I may not be a champion, but I feel like a fucking winner!

There’s no point giving you a day-by-day run down of the pre-comp week because I was so exhausted, I was unable to actually do anything 😦

I went rock climbing for a friend’s birthday on Sunday which, despite being great fun (and I was actually quite good at it: I haven’t been rock climbing for 8 years, and even then I didn’t go that much! I managed a 6a without cheating. I think the best I ever managed before was a 4+. Amazing what an increase in strength generally can carry over to!!), probably wasn’t a good idea: Monday’s light training session felt so heavy. 65kg squat felt more like 85kg. It was horrible.

Matt told me to rest up for the rest of the week, and I wasn’t going to argue. I had a 90 minute sports massage on Wednesday, which identified the cause of all my stupid hip flexor pain: really fucking tight quads! The therapist said she probably could’ve spent the whole 90 minutes just on my quads they were that bad. I’ve got myself booked in for another massage on the Friday after the comp, so I’ll get her to start on my quads. Matt’s got some evil plans up his sleeve for the off-season, so I need to be in full working order!

I had every intention of foam rolling and stretching on Thursday evening, but all I could muster was cooking dinner (chicken, broccoli, a little rice and avocado…again. DULL) and going to bed (at 8pm!!).

I must admit I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to match my gym PBs let alone break them at the comp. I couldn’t even walk for 30 minutes without feeling like I needed a nap! But I got through it and I did myself, Matt and all of my friends proud! Yay!!

GBPF British Classic, Bethnal Green Weight Lifting Club, Saturday 20 September 2014

As is standard, I had a shit night’s sleep: I struggled to get comfortable and kept waking up with back/shoulder/wrist/leg pain. I dragged my sorry arse out of bed just after 6am, half an hour before I’d intended, early enough for me to put on proper make up! Well, you have to do something to counter-balance the sausage leg sexiness of a singlet + knee sleeves… According to the home scales, I was 61.5kg. Could’ve had ice cream last night 😉

My journey to Bethnal Green, which usually takes about 90 minutes (ridiculous considering both places are in London!), was made more arduous by Twickenham station being closed for major works. I got there really early though because I couldn’t face sitting around at home.

My official weight: 61.2kg. Bonkers. I can’t quite understand why my battle to be under 63kg has been so easy this time round!! What the fuck have I done differently? Oh well.

There were a lot of lifters in the first flight (10am lift off), so we were split into 3 groups. I was in the second group to lift. Waiting was difficult. I desperately wanted to get that first squat out of the way!! Eventually, the warm ups were over and the time had come. I was fucking shit scared…!

You’ll notice a lot of “C’mon Emma” instances during these videos. As much as I hate being called Emma, a lot of those people didn’t know my name at all and were just repeating what they heard. I was grateful for the support (and decided to channel the frustration and dislike of being called Emma into my lifts). I had to re-write my certificate at the end because they got my name wrong, again. Oh well, I guess I just need to come up with an effective strategy for correcting people without coming across as an arsey bitch. Bugger 😦

Squats:

Squats have been my big worry on the run up to this competition: where I’ve seen massive improvements in my bench and deadlifts, my squats has only caused me anxiety. Am I going deep enough? Am I going too deep and wasting valuable energy? Should I open at 85kg or should I play it safe(r) and start at 82.5kg or even 80kg? Will I bomb out?!?!

I’m a worrier, it’s what I do best, so I had to focus my worry on something. This time round, it was squats.

Warm ups went OK; 80kg felt alright but was more of  a grind than I would’ve liked 😦 Still, I decided to go with 85kg because I hoped the adrenaline (and pre-workout) would have kicked in and it would be fine.

Anyway, the bar was loaded and my name was called…

Attempt 1:

Woohoo! 3 white lights! Good lift. Phew. I’ve done no worse in squats this time round than I did in July. You’d think the nerves would settle a bit now…hmmm…

Attempt 2:

If this lift was successful, it would match my gym PB…

…and woohoo! I got it, eventually! That’s a 5kg improvement on last time. Yay!

Attempt 3:

OK, this was an unknown. 92.5kg to beat anything I’ve ever done.

Alas it was a no. My quad / hip flexor was not happy with me at this point and I had to stop. I needed that weight off my shoulders as quickly as possible. You’ll see in the video, I ducked out from under the bar. I didn’t know, but you’re not allowed to do that. I’m new to this and this shows my inexperience. I won’t do it again.

Bench press:

Now that the scary lift was out of the way, I could focus on the lifts I was confident about. Only, of course, I didn’t have anything to focus my worry on, so I picked up on the first thing, actually two things, that I thought might make me fail: my heels came off the floor slightly and the referee was making us pause for a looooong time.

I stuck my weightlifting shoes on and that solved problem one, but what if I wasn’t able to power the bar off my chest enough? What if my arse left the bench?!?! ARGH!

My name was called. I’d soon find out…

Attempt 1:

Attempt 1 was 52.5kg. If I got this, I’d be 2.5kg better off in my bench press than I was in July (where I failed 52.5kg).

And yay! Despite a pause that felt like an eternity, it was a strong lift! Woohoo!

Attempt 2:

Now to match my gym PB. 57.5kg…

And yep, that long pause made all the difference, but I fought it and I got it. 7.5kg improvement since July!!

Attempt 3:

I have never held 60kg in the bench press position ever!

And yeah, I knew that wasn’t going back up while I was lowering it. Oh well. My subtotal is 12.5kg better than it was in July. Can’t complain!

Deadlifts:

The worry of squats and the worry that replaced that needed to be replaced. So, of course, my lower back started to hurt, 80kg felt heavy and then I couldn’t remember the commands (there’s one: down! Idiot!!)

I approached the platform feeling weak and shaky…

Attempt 1:

115kg: 5kg more than I closed on in July…

And yep, it was easy. I’m annoying myself with all this worrying! Shut up Emma-Lee!!!

Attempt 2:

125kg to match the best I’ve done in the gym.

And again, not to shabby! What to go for next?

Attempt 3:

130kg. There was a lot of umm-ing and ah-ing with this. I wanted to go for 135kg, but I also didn’t want to fail my last lift. I would’ve loved to have smashed my Strongwoman PB with proper form, but, as always, I wasn’t confident enough. Matt agreed that 130kg was sensible…

And I got it, probably easier than the 125kg. Should’ve gone for 135kg! Haha! But that was a 20kg PB on last competition. I really can’t be unhappy with that.

Later, The Boyfriend asked why there was no talk of 132.5kg to match my Strongwoman PB. I have absolutely no idea.

So what does this all mean? In July, my total was 85kg squat + 50kg bench press + 110kg deadlift = 245kg.

Today, my total was 90kg squat + 57.5kg bench press + 130kg deadlift = 277.5kg. That’s 32.5kg more with less than 8 weeks of training.

I’m not competing again until next year, so I can focus on training and hitting my new target numbers comfortably. I’ll post about my new goals next week as I won’t be training at all, so I’ll need something to ramble on about.


After every competition, I say I want a burger but usually I can’t stomach it. I was determined to have a burger this time, so off to Byron we went:

The Smoky. Yum.

The Smoky. Yum.

I spent the rest of the evening feel utterly revolting. I had to take four antacids to settle my stomach down. Guess that’s a hangover from eating so clean over the last few weeks. Ah well, I’ll get used to it again. Bring on all the food!!

I’m not sure if I want to have to make weight anymore, and I’m seriously considering moving up a weight class. In Powerlifting, that’s not a problem because I’m never going to win anything and I just want to get stronger. In Strongwoman, though, not so much. While the u75kg category isn’t as competitive as the u63kg, the weights are mostly out of my range. We’ll have to see when the time comes!

Right now, I’m going to eat and rest, and then start my adapted off-season mesocycle in just over a week. Hopefully, all my little niggles will have time to sort themselves the fuck out!!

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2 comments

  1. Well done Emma-Lee! :)Those numbers are a massive jump from last time.

    PS. I feel your pain about being called “Emma”… as a Joanna, nothing infuriates me more than being called Joanne!!

    1. Thank you 🙂 I’m still on a bit of a high, despite the sore back and arse!! Haha!

      Well done at ESWC on Saturday!! Sounds like the competition was fierce!!

      xx

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