It's official!

It’s official!

Last week I signed up for both competitions I was thinking of entering. I wanted to see how my glute handled events training before I made any commitments, and a relatively pain free week of training meant I was able to sign up for both competitions. The first comp is less than four weeks away while the other is in 10 weeks.

I can make all the weights at the comp coming up, so now I just have to do a few sessions with my coach to make sure my reps and speed are both up to scratch. The top four women from each weight category will go through to the England’s Strongest Woman final later in the year. One of my training buddies is doing this comp too, so it’s all the more motivation for us both to qualify! The events are:

  • 45kg log press (max reps in 60 seconds)
  • 110kg deadlift (max reps in 60 seconds)
  • Arm over arm sled pull and drag back (sled with 60kg extra weight)
  • 60kg (per hand) farmers walks over 30 metres with drop
  • Loading medley with four objects between 30kg to 50kg

The most reps I have ever done with that log and deadlift weight are three each, so it will be interesting to see what happens when I start training for max reps instead of max weight again.

The events at the June comp are much more fun, but also scary! I have a feeling this is going to be a much bigger competition, as anything which has a truck pull draws the numbers. The events are:

  • Truck pull (using harness)
  • Keg toss (6 items up to 16kg)
  • Car deadlift (120kg for max reps in 60 seconds)
  • Overhead press (50kg log = 3 points, 40kg bar = 2 points, 30kg dumbbell – 1 point
  • Hussafel stone carry (60kg for max distance)
  • Atlas stone loading (30kg, 40kg, 65kg, 80kg)

My training will have to change quite a bit for this one, as I will have to start more pulling, throwing and stone practice, and switch to a trap bar instead of a regular bar for deadlifts. When I briefly attempted a keg toss at the end of last year, it was… interesting… with a 12kg keg, so I can’t imagine doing it with 16kg. I’m not sure how I will practice the Hussafel carry yet, but it should be another fun event.


No turning back now!

I could probably hit one or two reps with the 50kg log if I train properly, so at this stage I’m thinking it might make more sense to attempt lots of reps with the bar for more points. Overhead pressing is my weakest event so I’m not loving the fact it’s four events in!

Anyway, here are last week’s workouts as I started preparing for these two comps.

Monday – Deadlifts
Deadlifts: 50kg x 8, 60kg x 5, 70kg x 5, 80kg x 5, 90kg x 5, 95kg x 5, 100kg x 5
Straight leg deadlifts: 22kg dumbbells x 12 x 5
Band-asssised chin-ups: 8, 8, 6
Farmers holds (per hand): 33kg x 20 secs, 42kg x 20 secs, 53kg x 36 secs
Single arm dumbbell row: 22kg x 10, 10, 12

I’m still adding 10kg to my deadlifts every week to ease my glute back into things. I have no reason to go above 110kg until this first comp is out of the way. I had insane hamstring DOMS for about four days after this workout – clearly my body is not used to lifting this heavy anymore! My grip strength has seriously weakened, as I can normally hold 75kg for around 40 seconds. My callouses are causing me a lot of pain lately so I’m hoping they will harden up quickly.

Tuesday – Pressing
Narrow log press: 30kg x 8, 8, 35kg x 5, 40kg x 5
Wide log press: 30kg x 5, 42.5kg x 5, 45kg x 3, 47.5kg x 1, 50kg – F, F
Standing shoulder press: 12kg dumbbells x 12, 10, 9
Incline dumbbell press: 14kg x 7, 8, 8, 10

I was not planning on attempting a PR at all given that I had done pressing just two days earlier and I was also training on my own. But 47.5kg felt easy so I gave it a shot. I was pressing right by the entrance, and I scared the crap out of two guys as they walked in – I missed the 50kg, threw the log and swore very loudly. Welcome, boys!


Wednesday – Abzzz
One of my training partners has been giving me crap because I haven’t trained abs in about 18 months, so she took me through a brutal 90 minute session of landmines, lying ab extensions holding a plate, side bends, standing ab crunches and back extensions. Because of all the ballet I did way back when, my core is pretty strong so I had no problem with any of the exercises, although I did feel crazy DOMS every time I tried to get out of bed for the next few days.

Thursday – Squats
Back squat: 20kg x 10, 10, 40k g x 5, 50kg x 5, 55kg x 5, 60kg x 5, 65kg x 5
Box jumps: 10 x 4
Split squats holding 8kg dumbbells: 8 x 3
Band-assisted pull-ups: 5 x 4
Barbell hip thrust: 45kg x 15, 15, 55kg x 12, 65kg x 10

65kg is the most I’ve squatted in months! I probably won’t go much heavier than this in the coming months, as my priority will continue to lie with my deadlift. It was the first time doing hip thrusts since I injured myself, so I was a little wary but it all felt good.

Saturday – Events with trainer
This was my first proper events session since January, and the first time I’ve trained with my coach since December. I was terrified that I would not only hurt myself but be as unconditioned as a bag of potatoes. The good news is I felt no pain whatsoever (well, pain related to my glute anyway!) and I can still move quickly, despite doing very limited cardio over the past few months.

Maybe it was the fact I had three burgers in four days last week...

Maybe it was the fact I had three burgers in four days last week…

We started with farmers walks and worked on technique, playing with foot placement and turning. We did farmers for over an hour! We only went up to 53kg but my callouses felt like they were going to rip off. The worst part was when we finished with a shorter distance, with four pick ups instead of two. Trying to pick up the handles four times in a row absolutely kills your hands. 60kg isn’t heavy for me, so I’m feeling confident in that event.

We then moved on to a sled pull and drag back. I’ve forgotten how brutal the leg pump is doing these! My hamstrings, quads and calves were in agony for the rest of the day.

We finished with a loading medley. My favourite, not. If you ever want to make yourself sick, do one of these. We set out five objects over a distance of about 10 metres: two kegs and two atlas stones weighing 30kg and 40kg, and a 50kg sandbag. I pick up one object, load it on to a platform and run back. My best time was 57 seconds, which is not bad considering I haven’t done sprints since last year (oops). I then finished off by practicing loading the 50kg stone.

Sunday – Pressing
Narrow log press: 30kg x 8, 35kg x 5, 40kg x 3, 5, 5
Barbell clean and press: 30kg x 5, 40kg x 5, 5
Dumbbell seated press: 11.5kg x 12, 10, 12
Face pulls: 45kg x 12 x 3

I’d had about two hours of sleep and I was also starving, so this workout was tough. Everything felt heavy! I’ve been training way more than usual now that I’m living across the road from the gym, so I need to take it a bit easier leading up into these comps.

This is the view of my gym from my home desk... could I get any closer?!

This is the view of my gym from my home desk… could I get any closer?!

Which event sounds like the most fun to you?

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