Time to step up my overhead game

Time to step up my overhead game

There are less than four weeks to go until my next competition, with still only four women signed up in my weight class. My coach has told me to think of this comp as a photo opportunity more than anything – I’m sure to get some great pics during the awesome events! They have also announced the events for the final of the England’s Strong Woman Championship that I qualified for two weeks ago, and they are luckily very similar to my next comp.

The comp on June 7 has the following events:

  • Van pull (using harness)
  • Keg toss (6 items up to 16kg over a 4 metre high bar)
  • Car deadlift (approx. 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)

The events at the ESWC final, which is on September 20, are:

  • Max log press (starting at 50kg, each lifter will have three nominated lifts with 30 seconds to complete each lift)
  • Car deadlift (weight TBC for max reps in 75 seconds)
  • 250kg tyre flip (as many reps as possible in 75 seconds)
  • Car pull using harness over 15 metres
  • 67kg anvil carry, 30 metres
  • 60kg stone over yoke (as many reps possible in 75 seconds)

It figures that my weakest event (overhead pressing) is for max weight, and not max reps. I am going to get absolutely smashed during this event, but luckily it will be first and out of the way. I’ve become so used to practicing events over 60 seconds that an extra 15 seconds is going to kill me!

I am up against some seriously strong and amazing women, so I’m just trying to stay positive and focus on the fact that I still have more than four months to prepare for this comp. I won’t be doing any competitions in between, and I most definitely won’t be cutting weight to compete in the natural comp in August, as it is far too close to the final to be mucking about with that.

I think the announcement of the events lit a fire under my arse, as I was able to hit a few PRs last week in training.

Monday – Squats
Back squats: 20kg x 8, 40kg x 8, 50kg x 5, 60kg x 5, 65kg x 5, 5
Front squats: 20kg x 10, 40kg x 5, 50kg x 5, 55kg x 5, 5
Walk outs: 100kg x 30 secs, 120kg x 30 secs x 3
Back extensions holding 10kg plate: 12 x 4

The gym was so damn busy that I had to squat on the outside of the rack, without safety rails. It figures considering I had actually planned on squatting heavy for once! My right lat was seizing up during back squats for some unknown reason, but it feels fine now.

Wednesday – Pressing
Narrow log press: 30kg x 8, 35kg x 8, 40kg x 5
Wide log press: 40kg x 5, 42.5kg x 5, 45kg x 3, 47.5kg x 1, 50kg x 1, 1 (PR!)
Barbell push press: 20kg x 10, 30kg x 8, 35kg x 5, 40kg x 5, 5, 5
Face pulls: 40kg x 15, 45kg x 12, 12, 12

I wasn’t planning on attempting a PR, but I hadn’t gone heavy on the wide log for such a long time that I wanted to play! I did 50kg twice, just to make sure the first one wasn’t a fluke. I still can’t believe I got it up, especially after hitting an axle PR of 50kg just three days before. Ideally I would like to be able to make at least one attempt above the starting weight at my September comp, so I have four months to add 5kg to my log press.

I also did some sprints in the park: 20 rounds of 50 metres. Burn, baby, burn!

I was a very happy chappy!

I was a very happy chappy!

Thursday – Deadlifts
Trap bar deadlifts: 55kg x 8, 75kg x 5, 95kg x 5, 105kg x 3, 115kg x 1, 120kg x 3, 3
Snatch grip deficit deadlifts: 50kg x 5, 70kg x 5, 80kg x 5, 5, 5
Bent over barbell rows: 50kg x 12, 12, 12
Barbell hip thrusts: 42kg x 15, 62kg x 12, 82kg x 10
Band-assisted chin-ups: 6 x 3

I have never done heavy trap bar deadlifts before, so this was technically a PR. I wasn’t wearing a belt so I think I could get even more reps with one. Before this workout, I was very worried about deadlifting 120kg for reps but now I’m a little more confident. I just need my hands to hold out – I found an amazing device to file down my callouses but I may have gone too far as my hands were in agony by the time we started snatch grip deads.

Just because I didn't train that day doesn't mean I can't participate in Flex Friday!

Just because I didn’t train that day doesn’t mean I can’t participate in Flex Friday!

Saturday – Pressing and events training with trainer
This was a fun day but I’m very battered and bruised as a result! We started off with axle pressing, and I did two max rep in 60 second attempts with about 45kg. I got 8 on the first attempt and 9 on the second. It’s the cardio that killed me more than anything – I thought I was going to pass out midway through each set. I’m not going to bother even trying the 50kg log on comp day, so I just need to keep the weight light and focus on building up my endurance for the next few weeks.

We then did practiced loading the atlas stones. I haven’t lifted a stone heavier than 50kg since July (and even that was only a couple of sessions!), so I was a bit uneasy about how it would go. We set the yoke at 48 inches and I managed to clear it with both the 60kg and 70kg stones. I did a medley with the 40, 50, 60 and 70kg stone – my trainer told me to aim for 40 seconds but I did it in 32. He said he can do four stones in 7.5 seconds, so I can’t get too cocky!

He then wanted me to do a max reps in 60 seconds attempt with the 60kg stone. My arms were bleeding everywhere and, when he counted me down and I tried to do the first rep, I screamed like a little girl – it was like rubbing salt in an open wound!

My lovely bicep and forearm abuse!

My lovely abused biceps and forearms!

We were planning to try the Hussafel carry for max distance with his 60kg log, but my arms were completely ruined and I couldn’t put any pressure against them. I used the 60kg sandbag instead and managed about 60 metres and then 75 metres. I think that may be my least favourite event ever – it’s incredibly tough on the lower back and legs.

We then threw his 6, 9 and 15kg medicine balls about. The 15kg one barely cleared my head. We tried to throw an actual keg but I could barely get it between my legs, let alone chuck it anywhere. Afterwards, we found out the kegs are going to be miniature-sized, so a lot easier to toss about – but I still don’t foresee that 16kg one going anywhere. This event is a lot harder than it sounds/looks on TV!

Nevertheless, now that I’ve practiced all of the events except the vehicle pull (that will come next week!) I’m not so worried about the comp anymore.

My huge post-training lunch

My huge post-training lunch

On Sunday, I didn’t lift but the training buddies and I still went out for Sunday brunch. Excluding the day after my last comp and time I’ve spent out of the country, I don’t think I’ve taken a Sunday off since July! It was nice to feel like a normal person and just focus on the most important thing in life: food 😉

Chorizo, eggs, potatoes and feta... om!

Chorizo, eggs, potatoes and feta… om!

Afterwards I made pulled pork in my slow cooker for the first time using this recipe, and served it with duck fat potatoes (random, I know, but I was on a roll with recipe experimentation). OMG. This meal was easily 1500 calories per person but amazing – it was so damn good I forgot to take a picture!

On a final note, I just wanted to let you all know that Rob and I separated a few months ago, and he will not be returning to London. A few of you have commented asking where he has disappeared to, so I can’t play coy for much longer. I didn’t bring it up until now as I like to keep my personal life, well, personal, and most of the time it has no relation to what I’m writing about. I am doing okay and appreciate the concern <3

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