Is there such a thing as a self-belief supplement…?


I told you I wouldn’t be able to keep up the blogging again. Ah well, I’m sure you haven’t missed me!!

This week’s training didn’t get off to the best of starts. Up until this point, things have, generally, gone well with this cycle and I have felt that the projected numbers were within my reach.

Last Monday (12th January), the 3 sets of 5 at 95kg squats (with wraps) felt heavy and like I had to fight every single rep (although the video makes them look a lot easier than they actually were). I did every rep of every set, and just hoped it was a bad day.

Of course, this played on my mind (well, I am The Worrier after all!!). This week, I was scheduled to do 3×3 at 100kg! Although I felt like I was approaching the bar with attack and confidence, apparently my face told a different story.

I warmed up, only putting the wraps on for my final warm up set at 95kg, and then loaded the bar with two plates (so badass! lol). Rep 1 was tough, but I got it. Rep 2 was ugly: my knees can together and I had to fight to push them out again. Rep 3 was painfully slow and almost a failure!


This worried me! I felt knackered and the first set was awful! How was I going to be able to do two more sets?

I didn’t. Set 2, I got the first rep but failed the second. Set 3 was the same. Beating myself up and telling myself what a shit lifter I am, I decided to do two more singles. After the first one, I gave up! I’d been in the squat rack for an hour and a half, I still had 8 sets of speed deadlifts to do, plus two other accessory exercises…

I hate not being able to do what I put my mind to, although it would seem my mind wasn’t really there on Monday.

After a number of tellings off, particularly from Matt (who pointed out that I’ve only been Powerlifting for six months and that I’m getting in a flap over international totals! In what sport could I expect to be international standard in such a small amount of time?!?!), I calmed down and started thinking rationally…

I had just done 3 reps at 100kg. I have only squatted 100kg (and 105kg) once before. After that first exhausting set of 3, I managed 3 singles. That is a monumental achievement and, yeah, I am getting my knickers in a twist because I’ve got it into my head that I want to compete at the GPC European Championships in June. Why did I do that to myself?!?!

Over the next three weeks, I’m meant to be squatting totally unknown numbers (next Monday it’s 105kg for 2 sets of 3 – my current 1RM). I may or may not be able to do all the reps of all the sets. I may not even be able to do 1 rep!! Pretty much whatever I do squat-wise will be a PB. And who knows, Monday might’ve just been another bad day, Maybe I shouldn’t do yoga in a Sunday evening…

Having had this epiphany, I approached my somewhat scary Tuesday bench session with a lot more confidence. 57.5kg was my final good lift at the GBPF British in September last year. This session, I did 6 sets of 3! A couple of reps were a bit off-line, but on the whole, they were good, solid lifts, mostly paused at my chest as they would be at a comp. I wish I’d filmed these so I could watch them over and over, and remind myself that, actually, I’m not that bad at all this malarkey.

Next week, bench enters the realms of the unknown as I have to do 60kg (my current gym 2RM – and the second rep was dodgy!) for 6 sets of 3. I’m actually quite excited.

Having felt like I’d smashed my bench session, I tried to carry this confidence over to my Wednesday deadlift session. 112.5kg isn’t an unknown, but deadlifts and I have fallen out recently and I’m never entirely sure how these sessions are going to go. Last week’s was brilliant (if you play the video, best turn the sound down! I stupidly put the phone next to the radio so the music, which isn’t really my cup of tea, is really loud!!).


All I could do was try to convince myself that this week’s would be too!

Added to my usual anxiety was that of training in a new gym. I had to train somewhere near work but I couldn’t face the soul-destroying atmosphere of the local Fitness First, so I thought I’d try the Nuffield near Cannon Street.

For a commercial gym, it wasn’t that bad! I only saw one platform and two racks when I walked in, but there were more in the other half of the free weights area where the “big” boys were, which I didn’t notice until I went in there and played with the fake 80kg tyre.

As seems to be the case in every commercial gym I go in to, I was stared at and the trainers wanted to talk to me. Seriously people! The weights I lift are nothing compared to the ladies I compete against. I’m distinctly average (probably even below average 😦 ) for a powerlifter! But hey, at least they didn’t try to tell me I shouldn’t do this, that and the other like some trainers I’ve come across (and not just in commercial gyms either!!).

I won’t rant…

Anyway, the first two sets went really well: a little slow off the floor, but good.


The third set went a little tits up as my hands were clammy and I didn’t have any chalk. I couldn’t grip the bar at all. 3 rather rushed reps occurred, which weren’t pretty at all. At least I didn’t tuck my tailbone though, so as Matt would say: Gainz!

So what’s the point of this blogging reprise? There probably isn’t one. However, the few training sessions that haven’t gone quite to plan have made me think about self-belief. Matt, Tara and pretty much everyone who knows about my training keep telling me I can do this and that I need to believe it. I approach the bar telling myself it’s going to happen, but it seems I don’t actually believe it. If things go well or better than anticipated, it’s a different matter, but as soon as I have an off day, it’s like the world’s ended (melodramatic or what?!).

Is it self-belief though, or have I just reached the limits of my ability/strength? If someone could let me know where to find a self-belief supplement that I can take along with my fish oil,  I’d be really grateful.



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