Tag Archives: strongwoman competition

More thoughts and where to go from here.

Not moving on just yet as I wanted to discuss the competition a little more. Having read back my previous blog post it sounds a little clinical. Of course I didn’t feel clinical on the day but I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be, it helped that I knew (apart from the farmers walk) I was more than capable of doing the weights for at least one rep. In fact I would say the log press and the sandbag were fun, that I was looking forward to doing them. But maybe it was because the competition was just an end point, the true journey had been getting there. That sounds corny but the amount I have learnt this year about body image, about mental and physical strength, about liking who I am and not striving for something I will never look like, about having an opinion and taking up space. Now some will say well yes of course you could look like the fitspo if you really really wanted it ( just *cough* 10 years older and with a head) but part of the journey has been learning that I am awesome the way I am. Thanks to the fact I had to weigh in when considering the U75kg category I know I am, weight wise, the heaviest I have been in a long time. I also know I don’t care. I wear clothes I wouldn’t have touched in my 20s and basically couldn’t give a fuck what people think of what I wear or what it looks like to them. I carry myself differently. I think the most important thing I have learnt is what other people think of me is none of my business, a liberating concept. I am not having to fake it anymore.

Things I learnt at the competition.

  • When you do lifts you need to wait for the command to put the weight down.
  • How to pace myself. The first event, Zercher Squats, went up in 5kg increments that you could skip if you wanted to. I knew my PB in the gym was 95kg but I also know I am shit at going in and lifting heavy straight off, I need to work up to a weight so basically I did every squat from 75kg which helped exhaust my legs. That’s not to say I wouldn’t have still failed the 110kg but it would have made more sense to skip every other weight so I went up in 10kg increments.
  • Sometimes you will fail an event, this is not the end of the world. Find a corner, let the exasperation out and then move on. Do not let it fuck with your head for other events.
  • That I really have to work on my lower body strength. I need to shut up and squat. My coach will be delighted to hear me say that but sceptical about whether it will happen!
  • How awesome it is to be surrounded by women who think picking up heavy weights is fun and who support each other in there attempts.

Whilst a small blog I do want to give a big shout out to Progressive Training Systems in Northampton who organised the event and also to Bridge Road Barbell in Camberley where I train. Both amazing gyms if you are looking to lift heavy in a supportive and friendly atmosphere. Please don’t think oh they will be filled with big sweaty men and I won’t fit in. They will be filled with big sweaty men but as long as you want to learn how to lift you will be welcomed with open arms and supported on your journey.

Right that’s the soppy stuff out of the way. I have been to the gym twice this week but with the aim to exercise not to train.
Tuesday: 100rep KB Clean & Press 12kg warm up followed by circuit done 5 times of 10 red band press ups, 10 inverted rows and 12 stepping dumbbell lunges (5kg each hand).
Thursday: Quick 5x5x40kg squats 5x20x15kg step ups.

What next? I am not competing again this year, it was fun and I’m so glad I started this journey and it is still a work in progressive but I am taking the foot off the gas a little. I will be training 3 times a week an hour a time over the winter with the majority of the work probably being lower body *sob*.  My family are looking to move house, I am starting some volunteer work and trying to grow my business a little more, so lots going on. I will still be blogging about my training interspersed with photos of my children and rants. My coach pointed out that after one particular post of mine ranting about body shaming was an link to an article that did just that. WordPress is free, it needs to make money, i get it but I am now moving to the following URL http://http://diaryofanewbiestrongwoman.co.uk/ and I hope to see you there!

Average Mum.

Wow. What a day.  With ups and downs and a medal at the end.

It was a long day.

Event 1 – Zercher Squat.  I got up to 105kg which is a 15kg pb for me, so I am moderately pleased with that but oh my god, there were girls in the U75kg category lifting twice their body weight. It was awesome to watch.

Event 2 – Log press AMRAP 40kg 75secs . I wasn’t nervous of this event until I got there and saw the size of the log. It was a beast, about twice the width I am used to pressing. I decided to clean it during warm up but not press it as if I had failed the press it would have messed with my mind for the actual event. In the end I finished the event beaming as I managed 8 reps in 75 seconds.

Event 3 – Sandbag medley over 20m 35kg,40kg,45kg,50g,60kg 75secs max time.  I was looking forward to this once I had heard the sandbags were solid (SO much easier to carry) and knew I probably wouldn’t have much difficulty picking them up (I have long arms!) but unfortunately my speed let me down a little as I didn’t manage to get the 60kg over the bar in time.

Sandbag Medley.

Event 4 – Rope pull and then drag 100kg over 20m. This was head to head, a format which works for me. Whilst I lost the head to head I knew my time would be better than if I had done it alone or against someone slower than me.  I need to practice my technique for this event.

I then found out at this stage I was placed 2nd. Which meant I went head to head with the girl in first for the farmers walk. Only I didn’t even manage to pick it up.

Event 5 – Farmers Walk. Jesus I think I had psyched myself out of this before it had even begun. I have picked up and walked with 65kg before (not far) but my legs were fried by this time and the handles were lower than I usually practice with. I just couldn’t get the weight up. I was so FUCKED OFF with myself. I was the only one not to do this event at all. I had to go outside for a few minutes and compose* myself  (*swear loudly and kick things)

Farmers walk being set up. Low handles!

Farmers walk being set up. Low handles!

Event 6 – Wobble hold. By this time it was LATE, the organisers decided the only people to do this event would be those whose placement would change if they won/lost it (does that make sense?) anyway after the Farmer Walk disaster I was placed joint 3 so would have to do the wobble hold to determine who got the medal. I was quite lucky it was the wobble hold that was the decider as the lady I was up against could have kicked my butt at any lower body event.

Wobble hold. 48kg each side.

Anyway I used all the pent up frustration over the farmers walk and took some words of friendly advice and went to my happy place (it involves pimms, sunshine and no children). I won. I got a medal.

(L-R) Claire (2nd) , Me (3rd), Anna (1st) I bascially grinned like this for the rest of the evening.

(L-R) Claire (2nd) , Me (3rd), Anna (1st) I bascially grinned like this for the rest of the evening.

I learnt a lot from this competition, but that’s for another post.

What about the title of this blog post? During the competition I got talking to a man who remarked that I didn’t look like I fit in at the competition – that I just look like an average mum. He didn’t mean this in a horrible way, I think it was almost a compliment.  I am an average mum, I have a 2 & 5 year old and my main job is looking after them, but inbetween? I lift heavy 😉

What does your husband think?

I got my first “what does your husband think?” question about me doing a StrongWoman competition. It’s not a comment I would have got if I decided to enter a 10K run. I am not sure how it makes me feel, confused I think mainly about the thinking behind such a question.

I have entered another StrongWoman competition. This one is in October and much nearer my current strength abilities

Whilst I think it is full if you do fancy having a go get in touch with @Megrstrong as there is a reserve list.

Last week I bought this t-shirt

I have to say I don't usually buy caption t-shirts but this will be fantastic in the gym for only £4

I have to say I don’t usually buy caption t-shirts but this will be fantastic in the gym for only £4

I was hoping I bought it on the day I finally got a 45kg log press, but that was not to be. I currently can’t lock it out properly. I think I am putting extra pressure on myself to do it as in August the lighter weight is 45kg for reps in 60seconds. Whilst I don’t expect to excel my current baseline is to be able to at least start every event.

Apart from the abortive session I whinged about on the blog the gym was good to me last week. I got some more yoke walks done, I wasn’t using a belt so only got to 130kg but happy with that at the moment. I upped my PR for farmers walk to 62.5kg per hand with turn. I am making progress slowly (which actually seems to be my main problem in all the lifts,  if my coach isn’t saying HIPS! then he is saying FASTER!) I appear to be a grinder rather than an exploder….

The main reason I wanted to blog today wihthout really having anything to say is 2 posts that I wanted to recommend. Firstly Nia Shanks The commandments for losing fat, the sane and simple way  is currently free on Amazon. So why am I, who is suppose to be embracing what a body can do not what it looks like, recommending this? Because I think the title is misleading, yes you may lose fat but actual it’s just a pretty good blueprint on how to start living a healthy life.  Have a read and see what I mean.

The second recommendation is for a post by Fit and Feminist.  ”What we need to do is change the paradigm so that we value our bodies for all of the amazing things they let us do.” This post is just awesome. Please read.

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