Week 5: OK I give in :-(

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all saw in 2014 in a way you enjoy. I spent the evening with the training buddies in my PJs eating chocolate. I was forced to play Monopoly, but other than that it was a lovely evening 😉


I don’t like board games, mainly because I get really competitive and make a complete tit of myself. As you can tell from my face, I wasn’t happy when the Monopoly board came out…

We went for breakfast the next day, which was fat-filled but really tasty!

And so to training…

On and off since I started training for my first Strongwoman competition I’ve had a pain in my neck and shoulder caused by the new heavy loads I’ve been holding whilst deadlifting and practising farmer’s holds. It usually goes away fairly quickly, like DOMS, so I haven’t really thought anything about it.

However, this week it has been pretty bad. It feels good after exercise and it seems to loosen up, but then stiffens and I’ve had awful headaches. It’s also a problem when I’m trying to sleep and is particularly bad in the mornings. On Friday, I had pins and needles in my fingers.

This week I carried on regardless – which was bloody stupid. On Saturday I conceded I was going to have to step back before I do something that prevents me from competing in March (if I haven’t already…).

This week’s training went like this:

Monday 30th December:

Training with Tara again today during the day. I wasn’t intending on going too heavy because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t hitching. That didn’t really happen – I got carried away and went for an axle PR! – and there was a tiny little hitch on the final set, but nothing like last week.

  • Axle Deadlifts:
    • 52×8
    • 72×5
    • 92×3
    • 102×2
    • 107×1
    • 112×1
    • 117×1
  • Barbell Deadlifts:
    • 60×8
    • 80×5
    • 100×1
    • 120×0 😦
  • Rack Pulls:
    • 112×5
    • 132×3
    • 137×2 PR!!
  • Pull Ups:
    • 4, 3, 3
  • Incline DB Rows:
    • 10×10, 8, 8

Tara filmed my final axle deadlift set and I’ve watched it over a few times. My form sucks and I am now in deadlift remedial studies. I may not be lifting 100kg+ for a while… 😦

Tuesday 31st December:

Tara and I decided to end the year in true Bro style…

  • Bench Press (5/3/1 C3W1):
    • 20×5
    • 25×5
    • 30×5
    • 32.5×5
    • 37.5×5
    • 41.68(!!)x9
  • Strict OHP:
    • 20×8
    • 25×5
    • 27.5×3
    • 30×1, 2, 1
  • Triceps Dips (using a dip station):
    • 10, 8, 6
  • Trap Bar Shrugs:
    • 60×8
    • 70×8
    • 80×8
    • 90×5 PR!
  • Triceps Push Downs:
    • 30×4; 20×6
    • 20×8
    • Dropset: 25×7, 20×7, 15×7, 10×10
  • Cable Biceps Curls (rope attachment) **YEAH BRO!**
    • 25×8
    • 30×8
    • Dropset: 30×8, 25×7, 20×6, 15×5
  • EZ Bar Cable Upright Rows:
    • 20×10
    • 25×8
    • 30×8

We grabbed some snacks for the evening on our way back to Tara’s, where we were going to see in 2014.

Snack stash... M&S told us it was guilt free so that's OK ;-)

Snack stash… M&S told us it was guilt free so that’s OK 😉

Although, there was no snacking before dinner! Tara made us her sweet potato chicken nachos.


Tara made us dinner. It was fucking delicious!

Wednesday 1st January:

The gym was closed, but there was breakfast…


Breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien

I don’t drink so there wasn’t a hangover to deal with, but my neck and shoulder gave me a few problems during the night, so I was shattered. I went home for a nap. Well, I am only 6…

I'm not in my 30s at all. I'm 6!

I’m not in my 30s at all. I’m 6!

Thursday 2nd January:

Today was my first day back at work. I couldn’t be bothered to cycle at all and the walk from Waterloo was glorious!

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral from the Millennium Bridge

I met Tara at the gym for our first squat session together. I was really thrilled with my final set!

  • Squats (5/3/1 C3W1):
    • 37.5×5
    • 45×5
    • 55×5
    • 60×5
    • 70×5
    • 77.5×10
  • Barbell Split Squats:
    • 40×5
    • 50×5
    • 60×5 PR!
  • Walkouts:
    • 90x45secs
    • 100x48secs
    • 110x38secs PR!
  • Barbell Hip Thrusts:
    • 40×10
    • 60×10
    • 60×24 in 75secs

I feel so stupid doing hip thrusts, but I do see their benefits. Last time I did max reps of these I did 22 reps in 90 seconds, so this is pretty good.

Friday 3rd January:

Today was a rest day and I fucking needed it. I had a headache all day and ended up in bed by about 9pm! Probably best leaving it there…

Saturday 4th January:

Today was the return of Super Girl Training (modified Strongman training) at Rosslyn Park rugby ground after its December hiatus. Tara and Anna came along too and I think they enjoyed it, although none of us would have said that at the time! We all wanted to vomit!

The ridiculous amount of rain we’ve had recently saved us from having to do any running (thank fuck!) so we just focused on time under tension. Working in pairs, 45 seconds on, 45 seconds rest, there were 2 rounds of the following:

  • Reverse sled drag
  • High handles prowler push
  • Yoke
  • Low handles prowler push
  • Farmer’s walk

Ben then killed us off with a prowler push relay. My DOMS-ridden quads did not enjoy this in the slightest!!

I then had the most miserable 5 mile cycle home and ended up soaked to the bones, despite my waterproof jacket… I did see Nick Frost in Waitrose though, so that cheered me up!

Sunday 5th January:

I had to give training with Tara and Anna a miss :-(. I hate missing training, but I know I’m doing the right thing. Better to have a week off now than not be able to train at all because I’ve done serious damage. And if I can’t compete in March, I will be so angry with myself.

"Italian" eggs: my consolatory Sunday breakfast

“Italian” eggs: my consolatory Sunday breakfast

So I’m spending the day massaging my shoulder and planning my deadlift remedial studies with the help of Andy Bolton and Pavel.

deadlift dynamite book cover

Andy Bolton (the first man to pull more than 1000lbs) and Pavel’s Deadlift Dynamite. The textbook for remedial deadlift studies…

Next week’s going to be weird. I do need to do my 5/3/1 squats and bench, but I’m going to leave them until Friday. I really hope this shoulder/neck thing sorts itself out soon. I may have to go to the doctors 😦


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