Last week I finally had the chance to practice the events I wasn’t able to during the previous week. The only comp event I am yet to practice is a harnessed vehicle pull. As you can imagine, the logistics of organising this in central London can prove difficult, although I am scheduled to do it this Wednesday – probably a good thing considering my competition is only 12 days away!
The past few days have been quite mentally tough on me and I have seriously doubted my sanity for competing. I have never felt less prepared for a competition, my weight is freaking me out and my body has never felt more battered and bruised.
Breaking down the events one by one, I have only practiced deadlifting a trap bar (to simulate a car) three times, I haven’t log pressed 50kg (the opening weight for a max weight attempt) since July, I have only done farmers walks and the anvil carry twice, practiced lifting stones once and have not practiced the vehicle pull at all. The only event I was feeling remotely confident about was the anvil carry, as loading events are my best, but I just found out yesterday that they’ve scrapped that event due to time constraints. Typical!
Another thing that has been stressing me out is my weight. Two weeks ago I was sitting at 75kg on the dot and feeling completely fine about making weight, but a few days ago I was almost back at 77kg! Stressing about making weight is not something I need right now. This week I’m going to diet as strictly as possible and do a mini water load/cut to hopefully get down to 75kg by this weekend, and then I hope to maintain that until comp day. It looks like I’m not going to be having my usual huge meal the night before. Sad face.
Monday – Squats
Back squats: 20kg x 8, 8, 40kg x 5, 60kg x 3, 71kg x 3 x 8
Standing leg curl: 15kg x 12 x 4
Step ups holding 14kg dumbbells: 10 x 3 (per side)
Cable pull-throughs: 50kg x 12 x 3
Single leg hip thrust: 10 x 3 (per side)
10 mins of bike sprints!
I finally had a breakthrough on my squats! The new wide stance I’ve been working on for several weeks finally felt natural and all my sets felt easy. Boom! The sad news is Em had ditched me so I had no witnesses for my epic squats.
Why on earth I thought it would be a good idea to weigh myself at the end of the day, while feeling sick and bloated, I don’t know. Hence the sprints! Shame on me.
After squatting, I had the best taco salad of my life. Recipe is here. I added rice because carbs.
Wednesday – Pressing
Log press: 30kg x 5, 35kg x 5, 40kg x 3 x 8
Bench press: 20kg x 10, 30kg x 5, 37.5kg x 3 x 8
Standing dumbbell press: 14kg x 6 x 3
Dumbbell overhead extensions: 14kg x 15 x 3
Rope pushdowns: 30kg x 12 x 4
Face pulls: 45kg x 12 x 4
Woodchops: 10 x 4 (per side)
20 mins of sprints outside
As I cycle through my percentages, the log is starting to feel heavier which is somewhat concerning considering I need to do at least 50kg in competition – and a lot more if I don’t want to be handed the wooden spoon!
My legs were absolutely killing from Monday so sprints were painful. I’m still sticking to just two cardio sessions a week, before you all think I’ve gone crazy.
Thursday – Deadlifts
Conventional deadlifts: 60kg x 8, 80kg x 5, 90kg x 5, 100kg x 2 x 8
Trap bar deadlifts: 55kg x 8, 95kg x 5, 115kg x 3, 125kg x 3, 115kg x 10 (max in 75 seconds)
Band-assisted chin-ups: 5 x 4
Lat pulldown: Approx. 45kg x 12, 10, 8, approx. 50kg x 6, 4
This was the first time I did max reps with the trap bar, not even at competition weight (which is about 130kg), and it absolutely killed me! It didn’t help that I felt like I was going to give birth to a squash baby.
Saturday – Events training
Another day consumed by training. I left my house at 10am and didn’t get home until 4.30pm! I trained at Commando Temple. The induction I was forced to do took almost an hour and was a complete waste of time, as expected, and it sucked the life out of my boyfriend who was then too drained to train and instead spent 2.5 hours cheering me on and being my personal physiotherapist. Bless his heart.
I felt a bit uncomfortable in the gym, to be honest. The guy leading the induction spent the entire time talking to my boyfriend and only made eye contact with me once, when he was talking about the light 7kg training bar. This is a guy who has seen me compete before and someone – not being rude, but it’s true – I could out-lift. His attitude was extremely patronising for someone who knew that we were there so I could practice events for my competition. It doesn’t help that they have two posters on the wall in the strongman area: one which is a gorilla branded “strong man”, and another of a woman with her tits out accompanied by “strong girl”. All the signs throughout the gym refer to it as strong man and strong girl training, which made me pretty ragey. While I appreciate that the gym has great facilities, I can’t help but feel they are reinforcing the idea that the “girls” should play with their cutesy dumbbells in the corner.
I started off with some atlas stone practice. It figures that the gym was completely empty except for a group of guys who were taking up the entire strongman area loading stones, so I had to wait for them to finish. In my competition, I have to lift the 70kg stone over a yoke for max reps in 75 seconds. They had a 65kg stone and a 77kg stone. I was the first woman – I mean girl 😉 – to ever lift the 77kg stone in their gym. Sadly, I couldn’t get it off my lap and over the yoke as I was trying to conserve my energy for other things. I did two max rep attempts with the 65kg stone, and managed five and four before my bleeding forearms said no more. That is quite lame and I’d like to get at least six in competition. I’m not feeling quite as nervous about stones as I was, but I still want to practice picking one up on the day as it usually takes me a few goes to find my groove.
Next up I practiced farmers walks. I wanted to do more sets but I only managed three runs with 72kg per hand before calling it quits. My lower back was in serious agony after deadlifting on Thursday and farmers always do a number on my mid-back. I seriously think putting the weights down is the worst part of the whole exercise, as it feels like my back is ripping apart. Delicious. I moved the weights quite quickly but, as always, was extremely slow off the floor so I’m hoping that competition adrenaline will kick in on the day.
I finished up with some anvil “sprints” up and down the gym. Yes, doing just three exercises took 2.5 hours. I have to admit there was a bit of monkeying around. They had ropes that I couldn’t resist climbing, and they have a brand new Conan’s wheel I played with. They also had a big arse tyre I couldn’t help but pull out at the end. I have to admit that some of this was just me sticking my middle finger up to their sexist BS.
I absolutely had to have a burger after this. This burger was from a new restaurant in Clapham Junction called Dip & Flip, and it was seriously in the top three burgers I’ve ever had. They had poutine (which I’ve failed to ever find in London before) and oreo milkshakes. Oh yeah.
My back was absolute toast after this so I went home, ate more food and napped. Ahh, the life of a strongwoman. I ate 4000 calories this day – no wonder I can’t make weight 😉
Sunday – Pressing
Log press: 30kg x 8, 35kg x 5, 40kg x 3, 42.5kg x 2 x 8
I wouldn’t really call this a training session, but I needed to do the pressing I skipped on Saturday. Again, my back was frickin’ killing me (today it feels like I’m actually bruised!) so I got in and out as quickly as possible before crying all over my foam roller.
A Sunday roast made it all better.