A new mesocycle, yoga and a new Powerlifting federation

I’m back from my rather enjoyable deload! Man, did I need it!!

Matt’s made some changes to my programme for this cycle, which has me focusing on leg drive and quad development. It also contains the most vomit-inducing back exercise: 50 pull up reps!! Luckily, that comes next week, so I have time to prepare myself!

This week, though, training was a bit disrupted by having to go to Birmingham for work, which included an overnight stay. More about that thrilling time later…

Sunday 9 November 2014

This should have been Tuesday’s session, but, y’know, work etc. I don’t like training on Sundays any more. Sundays should be PJ days!!

  • Bench press:
    • 20kg x 10
    • 30kg x 5
    • 40kg x 5
    • 45kg x 5 (x 5 sets)
  • One-arm dumbbell bench press:
    • 25lb x 8 (x 3 sets)
  • Parallel bar dips:
    • 5 (x 4 sets)
  • Band pressdowns/dumbbell kickbacks:
    • blue band/4kg x 12/12 (x 4 sets)
  • Shrugs:
    • 50lb x 5 (x 5 sets)

I decided to start doing some yoga to help with my flexibility, particularly my hips. I found some free video “classes” on DoYogaWithMe.com and tried out Yoga for Hips, Hamstrings and Back. It’s not stupidly difficult and, thankfully, not full of the Zen etc. stuff I find annoying. Hopefully, if I keep this up, I’ll be super-bendy in no time…

Monday 10 November 2014

I woke up with yoga DOMS. What the fuck? I was a little worried this might have a negative effect on my squats. It didn’t!

  • Squats:
    • 20kg x 10
    • 40kg x 5
    • 60kg x 5
    • 72.5kg x 3 (x 2 sets)
    • 77.5kg x 3
    • 80kg x 3 (x 3 sets)
  • Oly-style squats:
    • 20kg x 10
    • 40kg x 5
    • 60kg x 5
    • 70kg x 5 (x 3 sets)
  • Romanian deadlift:
    • 60kg x 5 (x 5 sets)
  • Dumbbell rows/seated band rows:
    • 15kg/green band x 12/8 (x 4 sets)
  • Clams:
    • 12 (x 4 sets)

I love Oly-style squats!

oly squat

I wasn’t expecting to be able to do them: I’d spent a while trying to get myself into the correct position without any weight on my back and just failed miserably. The first couple of sets that I did with weight on my back felt wrong too.

But, 60kg for 5 was easy (according to percentages, I was meant to try 65kg but I was doubtful), so I went for 70kg for 3 sets of 5, and they felt good, with only a small sticking point on the last rep.

I am actually shocked that these squats felt so natural and smooth. And so was Matt! This may end up being the most efficient way to squat for me, so I’ll see what happens. Regardless, my quads need to get stronger and these will help!

I had a bit of a meltdown this evening, which meant I got very little sleep. All because I’m a bit of an idiot. Oh well, everything’s OK now.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

I had to have a rest day today because I was stuck at a work thing in Birmingham. I wouldn’t normally write anything about a rest day, but I have got to have a moan about the food I had to eat. If only I’d had my phone at the dinner table so I could’ve taken pictures!

Every year, we hold an event at the Ibis, Birmingham City Centre which involves eating their culinary delights for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This year, they tried to go a bit fancy by putting their food in silly little bowls, but it didn’t take away from the fact that it’s just awful.

Lunch was dry sandwiches, silly little salads in little bowls and deep-fried chicken. There were also these tiny little dry mini-cakes that I decided weren’t worth it. Luckily, I’d had a big breakfast and I also had some dark chocolate Hobnobs in my bag.

It was dinner, though, where the Ibis really out-did themselves. My starter was meant to be a warm mushroom salad. What I got were 5 pieces of cold mushroom that looked like slugs on a few shitty salad leaves. No dressing. All yuck!

The main was spicy cod with baked polenta. I had some cod, which was burnt, with a tiny amount of spicy tomato sauce, and the mashed potato was OK. But the polenta was dry and hard, and it felt like it was sucking the water out of my body! There were NO VEGETABLES. Surely, they could provide a few measly peas! It could’ve been worse: I could’ve had the bangers and mash, which was just that – 3 sausages and some mash. No gravy and NO VEGETABLES!!

Then came the “sticky toffee pudding” which was actually a cold sponge with a small amount of cold toffee sauce on top and even less lukewarm custard.

Not only was the presentation and cooking bad, but it also made me quite ill. I’m glad the bed was fairly comfy!

Thanks Ibis, you cunts!


Wednesday 12 November 2014

Breakfast this morning picked up where dinner left off last night. Despite myself, I had sausages, bacon and scrambled egg, and of course, I ended up feeling like crap. But I wasn’t sure when or if I would have chance for lunch before my train back to London, so I needed something more substantial that a mini croissant and a coffee.

I felt shocking by the time I got home and had to have a nap before I could even consider lifting. Turns out, incline bench press is a fairly good cure for a headache…

  • Incline bench press:
    • 20kg x 10
    • 30kg x 8
    • 35kg x 8
    • 32.5kg x 8 (x 4 sets)
  • Floor press:
    • 20kg x 10
    • 35kg x 8 (x 4 sets)
  • Cable “skullcrushers”:
    • 25kg x 12, 10, 8, 6, 4
  • Rear delt fly:
    • 4kg x 20 (x 4 sets)
  • Clams:
    • 12 (x 4 sets)

Thursday 13 November 2014

There is a new evil in town, and it is deadlifts with a pause. Seriously, who thought that would be fun?!?!

  • Front squats:
    • 20kg x 10
    • 40kg x 5
    • 50kg x 4 (x 8 sets)
  • Deadlifts with a pause – lift to knee, pause, lower back to floor, pull all the way up = 1 rep:
    • 60kg x 5
    • 70kg x 5 (x 3 sets)
  • Good mornings:
    • 20kg x 10
    • 40kg x 5
    • 45kg x 5
    • 50kg x 5
  • Narrow grip pulldowns:
    • #6 x 12, 10
    • #7 x 8, 6
    • #8 x 4
  • Face pulls:
    • 20kg x 20
    • 25kg x 20 (x 4 sets)

Friday 14 November 2014

I was meeting a friend for dinner this evening, so I had to train in my lunch break. This meant heading to the local Fitness First, which cost me £20!!! £20!!! I couldn’t believe it. It was £15 last time I went there. I had to pay, because I had to train!

Anyone know of another gym within 5 minutes’ walk of Mansion House?

Annoyingly, my training programme got me a lot of attention. I kept getting asked if I compete in something, why I arch my back when bench pressing, what I’m lifting for… And I was very aware of people looking at me. I guess that comes with the territory if you’re going to lift seriously in a commercial gym where the cardio for women myth is perpetuated. The PTs almost wet themselves when I checked it was OK to do power cleans in the “freestyle” area. Oh well, back to lifting at home tomorrow! Yay!

  • Bench press:
    • 20kg x 10
    • 30kg x 8
    • 45kg x 6 (x 6 sets)
  • Military press:
    • 20kg x 10
    • 25kg x 5
    • 30kg x 5 (x 2 sets)
    • 27.5kg x 3 sets
  • Power cleans:
    • 20kg x 8
    • 30kg x 3
    • 40kg x 1
    • 45kg x 1
    • 50kg x 1
    • 52.5kg x 1 (x 3 sets)
  • Power shrugs:
    • 52.5kg x 5
    • 60kg x 5 (x 5 sets)

My friend and I went to Wahaca for dinner. I ordered so much food for myself, the waiter started to walk away before my friend could order her food! It was a bit embarrassing, as the couple who were sat next to us were clearly on a really awkward first date (the woman was obviously not expecting the middle aged man in a garish shirt) and kept watching us as we ate.

Of course, there also had to be dessert!

Chocolate tres leches cake with peanut butter ice cream!

Chocolate tres leches cake with peanut butter ice cream!


Saturday 15 November 2014

Again, I have arse DOMS and I can’t quite work out why. Maybe the power cleans yesterday?

Anyway, I did the hips, hamstrings and back yoga thing again to try and help with the oly squats.

  • Oly-style squats:
    • 20kg x 10
    • 40kg x 5
    • 60kg x 5
    • 70kg x 5 (x 5 sets)
  • Pistol squats:
    • 8 (x 3) – hilarity!! I really can’t do these! Haha!!!
  • Stiff leg deadlifts:
    • 60kg x 8 (x 4 sets)
  • Pull ups:
    • 8 (x 4 sets) – I had to use a band for this. I was too exhausted!
  • Face pulls:
    • 25kg x 20 (x 4 sets)

This session really fucking killed me. After the deadlifts, I just wanted to fall down, but I had pull ups and face pulls to do. Oh, and I almost fell forwards on the first rep of my second sets of squats. That was a bit scary. Ah well, I saved myself!

That’s it. Week one over and done with already.


In other news, I’m not 100% sure if I’m going to lift with GBPF next year. The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF – with whom the GBPF is affiliated) have decided that only certain brands of belts will be allowed in all competitions, from local to international level. There have always been technical specifications for belts, but the specific brand malarkey means I would need to spend about £100 on a new belt because my double-pronged Strength Shop belt is no longer legal. I’m also not entirely sure if my singlet would be legal either.

I’m going to wait and see whether these changes are enforced or whether the backlash that’s taking place and the petition, which I’ve signed, makes the IPF reconsider before I think about renewing my membership. I’m joining another federation, the Global Powerlifting Committee, for now. I’ve heard good things about them. Plus, their weight classes are a bit better for me. I’ll be able to lift in the u67.5kg class. Oh, and I’ll get to play with knee wraps!

Now to get my squat and bench press up to standard so I can qualify for their national competition.



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