Max week: Take two!

Max week: Take two!

Today I officially start my new program! Despite my protesting (and actual tears – melodramatic, much?), Alanna has convinced me to enter a powerlifting competition in February. The idea of doing powerlifting is terrifying as my weakness in strongwoman is strength events – why would I want to draw attention to that by doing a competition that focuses only on maximal strength?! She is convinced it will be good for me so I’m trying to trust her without freaking the eff out.

The competition is in Birmingham and I will be competing with Em (in a different weight category), who I’m counting on to slap some sense into me on the day. It’s a GBC GP comp, which means I can thankfully compete in the under 75kg weight class and not have to cut to 72kg. There is also a 24 hour weigh-in, so I can eat big the night before!

My programming for the next 12 weeks will therefore shift towards powerlifting. My first strongwoman competition for the year isn’t scheduled until June anyway. It’s going to be an exciting few months ahead!

In advance of starting my new program, I tested my deadlift and bench max last week, after testing my squat the week previous. I finally got that 130kg deadlift!!!!

Monday – Bench
Bench press: 20kg x 12, 30kg x 10, 40kg x 4, 45kg x 1, 50kg x 1, 52.5kg – F, 45kg x 3
Slingshot bench: 40kg x 8
Floor press: 30kg x 10, 35kg x 8, 40kg x 4
French press superset with band kickbacks: 12 x 2 of each
DB shrugs: 30kg x 5 x 5

I hadn’t tested my max bench since before I had my accident in February 2013, so basically anything I lifted was going to be a PR. My bench really, really sucks but I’m hoping that it will respond well as I have not been training it properly. It’s pretty sad that my overhead is stronger than my bench.

Alanna is having me film all my main lifts so you can expect to see a lot more videos from this point forward. I will try not to absolutely flood my blog with videos, so now would be a good time to subscribe to my YouTube channel 😉 I realised I hadn’t filmed any of my warm-up sets, so filmed this one after failing 52.5kg.

45kg bench

Wednesday – Deadlifts
Deadlifts: 60kg x 8, 80kg x 5, 100kg x 3, 110kg x 1, 120kg x 1, 130kg x 1
Bent over row: 40kg x 10 x 6
Lat pulldown: Approx. 45kg x 12 x 4
Back extensions holding 10kg plate: 12 x 4

I have had an ongoing battle with 130kg (286lbs). I pulled it sumo in December last year, but have yet to be able to pull it conventional. Last week, I failed it having been ill, and Em said I wasn’t allowed to have a burger until I made the lift. What fantastic motivation! 120kg went up easy peasy, so I felt really good going into it…. and I finally did it!

130kg deadlift (I really need to work on my victory dance haha!)

The aim for February is apparently 140kg. Eek. I have banned myself from something else until I hit 140kg, but I’m not sure I can share that on the blog. Ha! The burger and Nutella milkshare were definitely worth the wait!


Thursday – Pressing
Log press: 30kg x 8, 35kg x 5, 40kg x 5 x 5
Military press: 20kg x 8, 30kg x 6, 5, 5
Seated DB press: 11.5kg x 10 x 3
Close grip bench: 30kg x 8 x 3
Rope pushdown: 35kg x 12 x 4
Kneeling cable crunches: 60kg x 15 x 4
Pallof press: 10 x 3 (per side)
20 minutes of tabatas

I had no interest in testing my overhead max as I did it fairly recently at my last competition. I was positively bouncing off the walls on Thursday. I went for a run in the morning, lifted in the afternoon, did tabatas AND yoga (more on that below!). I also found time to get my hair done and go out in the evening.

Fresh hair

Fresh hair

Last week, I signed up for 30 days of hot yoga. I religiously did hot yoga when I lived in Sydney, but it’s just so expensive for classes on top of all of my other gym expenses. I couldn’t resist a good deal (£35 for 30 days!) and managed to go three times last week. Last week was the happiest I’ve felt possibly all year and I had an insane amount of energy. I think my body agrees with this zen business.

Post-yoga salmon. So zen.

Post-yoga salmon. So zen.

I had a nice quiet weekend of nothingness planned other than dancing, yoga and a bit of shopping. I haven’t spent a night at home in my PJs for what feels like months and I was quite looking forward to it. Those plans all went out the window! I can’t go into much detail other than the fact I had a great steak on Saturday night…


…and amazing pizza on Sunday. I’ve been wanting to try Pizza Pilgrims for months, and I finally went to the Carnaby Street branch. My friend and I shared the Napoli Salami and the Salsiccia E Friarielli, and there may have been gelato involved afterwards as well. I also bought the hottest shoes ever – pictures to come!


On Sunday, I came home to a delicious dinner I’d prepared earlier. I threw some chicken breasts, tinned tomatoes, onion, garlic, paprika, cumin and chilli in my slow cooker and left it for eight hours on low. I paired the shredded chicken with brown rice, corn, cheese, avocado, spinach, salsa, lime juice and coriander. It was so tasty!


Have you ever done hot yoga? Have you ever made a lifting-related deal with yourself?

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