Yesterday, I competed in my first Powerlifting competition: the London Clubs comp at Bethnal Green. I needed a total of 225kg to qualify for the British Classic in September, which I got with 20kg to spare! A 85kg squat, 55kg bench press and 110kg deadlift gave me a total of 245kg.
As always, the u63kg class is the most competitive. There were five of us and I came fourth. But it wasn’t about placing, although something shiny would’ve been nice. The aim of this comp was to get to Britain’s, and that’s what I did!
If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that the week before an u63kg comp is always stressful as I try to make weight. On comp day, I always seem to weigh in much lighter than I’d expected.
This comp was no different and this week was fucking torture. I weighed myself daily and I fluctuated all over the place. The day before the comp I was 62.6kg on my home scales which would be fine if I knew how accurate they were. So of course I freaked out, practically starved myself and sat in a sauna longer than is advisable!
Sunday 20 July
We didn’t do our usual Sunday morning session, so I did my last deadlift and squat session before the big day at home. It’s been really hot (OK, really hot to me means anything over 24ºC) for what seems like forever and I’ve been suffering. Today was no different, and everything felt really fucking heavy. But I did it.
- 20kg x 8
- 45kg x 5
- 55kg x 5
- 65kg x 3 (x 3 sets)
- 60kg x 5
- 70kg x 5
- 80kg x 5
- 90kg x 1 (x 5 sets)
- Bodyweight lunges (stretch):
- 15 (x 2 sets)
Monday 21 July
I’m pretty sure today was even fucking hotter, and this last bench press session was fucking nasty. I was glad when it was over!
- Bench press:
- 20kg x 10
- 30kg x 5
- 37.5kg x 5
- 45kg x 2 (x 4 sets) – paused at bottom
- Close grip bench press:
- 40kg x 3 (x 5 sets)
- Bodyweight parallel bar dips:
- 5 (x 4 sets)
Tuesday 22 July
Because there’s no lifting now until Saturday, I’m having to fill my time with other things to stop myself freaking out. This evening, The Boyfriend and I were meant to go to see the theatre adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. He wasn’t able to come with me in the end, but thankfully I managed to find a friend (who had never read the book it turned out) to face Room 101 with me.
First, though, there was dinner. Nando’s, obviously!
I’m not a regular theatre-goer, and I wouldn’t say I know much about theatre at all, but I thought this was really good. I had to cling to my friend at one point because I felt physically ill. The Room 101 scene was truly nightmarish. I loved how it ran for 101 minutes (with no interval) and the clock was stuck at 1.01. Little things…
Wednesday 23, Thursday 24 and Friday 25 July
I think I spent most of these three days freaking out about my weight, particularly on Friday.
Like I said in the intro to this post, I practically starved myself on Friday by eating less that 1200kcal. This is not something I would recommend to anyone. Eating 1750kcal, which I had done for the rest of the week, was pretty low (but I could get away with it because I wasn’t really doing anything other than walk to and from the station) but 1153kcal was plain stupid.
Add to this the dehydration (I only drank 2litres of water instead of my usual 3.5litres) and the 45 minutes I spent in a sauna (only getting out in that time to jump in a cold shower before sitting in the dry heat again), I went to bed feeling like shit and apparently 62.6kg.
Saturday 26 July: COMP DAY
Of course, the first thing I did when I woke up (at 6.10am!!) was weigh myself: 62kg. This definitely put my mind at rest. However, I was faced with a 90 minute journey across London feeling dizzy and weak, with only a strong black coffee to sip to take the edge off the hunger pangs.
I arrived at Bethnal Green at 8.30am and weighed in immediately: 61.7kg. Typical! As per usual, I didn’t need to stress as much as I did!
Anyway, I ate and rehydrated, got changed and warmed up for that all important first lift.
My squats went really well. I opened at 75kg, a weight I knew would be comfortable. The nerves definitely settled when I was given 3 white ‘lights’. This was followed by a successful but less comfortable 80kg.
My third lift, 85kg, was also successful but UGLY! See for yourself…
It wasn’t only the 13 women lifting: there were the men lifting in all the categories under 83kg. And there were a lot of them, especially in the u83kg class. I was sat around for what felt like a lifetime in a gym that is in a building a bit like a village hall with no air conditioning waiting for the boys to finish their squats. It stank. It was hot. I was dripping with sweat!! But hey, at least there wasn’t any danger of getting cold, right!
Finally, it was time to bench press. My opener, again, was a comfortable and easy 45kg, followed by a wobbly, but good, 50kg. Attempt 3 was my first fail of the day: 52.5kg. Fair enough. I’ve never done it before and 50kg was wobbly. I just couldn’t get it past the stupid sticking point. Hey ho!
Again, we had to wait for the guys to do their bench presses, which meant at least another hour of sitting in what was essentially a sauna. I was starting to feel sick – I’m really not good with the heat – and I couldn’t get enough fluids in!!
Martin, the Bethnal Green coach, came and tapped me on the shoulder to politely ask me to stop sitting around on my arse and go do some work, so off I went to warm up for deadlifts. This is when the stomach cramps began (and they didn’t stop until about midday today!). I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be able to do my planned opener (100kg) and toyed with the idea of 95kg. I only needed 90kg to get the qualifying total…
Once I’d started doing my warm ups though, I started to feel more confident and kept the opener as it was. Lift 1, success! Lift 2, 110kg, FAIL!! I got the fucker off the floor – and usually if I can do that, then I can finish the lift – but I talked myself out of it!! Lift 3, though, was a success. It was hard and I pull an amazing face, but it worked. Phew!
We had to wait for the boys to do their deadlifts and the awards ceremony before we could leave. I’d been there, in the heat, for 9 hours!! 90 minutes later, I was finally home. That was a fucking looooooooooooong day! And powerlifting isn’t a particularly gripping spectator sport…
If you’re interested, all of my competition videos, including the failures, can be found on YouTube.
So yeah, 85kg + 50kg +110kg = 245kg! BOOM! I’m really, really pleased and I’m now actually looking forward to September and the next competition. It’s a shame I ended up so unwell. We were meant to go for burgers and ice cream afterwards, but I couldn’t face it.
I’m starting my new mesocycle on Monday which Matt has sent me that addresses the weaknesses I showed at the comp. I’m hoping this hard work will help me add at least 20kg to that total. Although I would love 280kg, I know 8 weeks isn’t enough time to get there. 265kg is much more realistic. This would be something like a 90kg squat (+5kg), 55kg bench press (+5kg) and 120kg deadlift (+10kg).
Here’s counting down then: GBPF British Classic 2014. T-minus 8 weeks and counting!!