This year we mark 100 years since the end of WW1. To honour and remember those who have fallen, not only in WW1, but all the men and women who have given their lives for our great nation I will be attempting the following…
10 rounds of…
10 pull ups
10 squats @100kg
10 press ups
10 deadlifts @100kg
The workout will take place on the 9th November at Royals Gym and will be commencing at 0600hrs.
The doors are as always open to all. Whether you’re a member or not, please feel free to pop in and show some support. I will be in dire need of it.
If you feel the need to make a donation, please do so via this page. All proceeds will going towards the Royal British Legion and the Royal Marines Charity.
The Northern Region Champs took place at HMNB Clyde and this time I entered the competition full power rather than single lift deadlift. I haven’t competed full power for 12-18months and in all honesty I’ve missed it. I’m thankful for my success in deadlift, but competiton days drag when you’re the last to lift at every event, and so today was a welcomed change. I opened my squat with 120kg, followed by 130kg as a second lift and a third successful PB lift of 140kg. This is a huge improvement from my last full power where my PB was set at 120kg. The bench press has always been a weakness of mine and again it showed. I opened at 85kg to the progress to 90kg as a second successful lift but failing my 3rd lift at 92.5kg. Any hints and tips for those of us with longer leavers would be greatly appreciated. Finally the deadlift, which is always a favorite of mine for obvious reasons and thankfully I had last weeks combined services to base my lifts upon. I opened at 200kg, opted for 215kg as my second lift and 220kg for my third lift, to which I was successful. A better performance since the last 2 competitions and after weighing in at 73.3kg I’m back up to 3x body weight.
Although the majority of lifters at today’s comp were new to the sport, I’m pleased that I won overall and with my own lifts. It’s the kick I’ve needed to get me back into the sport and hopefully I can progress from here on and be successful at British Nationals next year.
Last week was the combined services champs, this year being hosted by the Army but due to a problem with their venue it took place at RAF Shawbury. I was lucky enough to be selected again for the Navy team as a single lift deadlifter, weighing in @73.3kg.
After my disappointment at Worlds, my training and diet slumped slightly and it took me a while to snap out of it and get myself back in the gym. As such I went to combined services not really knowing where my 1RM was and so I played it quite conservative, opening at 200kg. I lifted this quite comfortably and opted for 215kg as my second lift, to which I was successful. After some discussion with the Navy team manager I went for 227.5kg as my third lift, which I failed. I can make excuses all day long and there are other factors that come in to play with why my form has been poor, but ultimately its my own fault and it comes down to poor diet and lack of training.
After a successful British Nationals, and qualifying for the World champs I had just 8 weeks to prepare for the biggest challenge to date within my powerlifting career. I am pleased to announce that I finished 2nd and can proudly say that I am the 2017 World Number 2 for deadlift within the 75kg catergory of the World Drug Free Powerlifting Association (WDFPA)
However, on a personal level, I had a poor performance and after some reflection there were a few reasons why.
The Nationals gave me great confidence, pulling a PB and setting a new Navy record of 230kg, while narrowly missing out on 235kg. My expectations were high for Worlds and my aim was to hit that 235kg. Unfortunately this didn’t happen, and after a successful opener of 215kg I jumped to 230kg and failed it twice. My rest week leading up to the comp was tied in with a wedding in Aya Napa, not ideal! Although I restricted myself to only 2 nights of drinking, this is far from what I should be doing in the lead up to a world championship! However, I was the best man and it was just poor timing, something of which I couldn’t really help.
I opted to continue with a bulk after nationals and really struggled to cut the weight. This was poor planning and I think played a massive part in my poor performance. Prior to nationals I had always maintained my BW below 75kg and this allowed me to continue dieting relatively carefree. I felt that a bulk would help give me that extra bit of strength to pull the 235kg, which if I had managed, would of given me 1st place. This was not the case and my poor planning meant that I was still cutting on my rest week, where I should of been carbing up and flooding my muscles with glycogen ready for the big day. Instead I went into the competition relatively depleted of energy and although I had 2 hours after weigh in to eat, it was way too late. In previous competitions I have had a 3 day carb load and I am a big believer in the benefits that this can bring, especially because of the energy demands that are forced upon us during a day of lifting.
I also struggled with being on my own, nearly everyone had some sort of support, which makes a huge difference. For me I appreciate the advice and second pair of eyes on the opening lift and those there after. Deep down I knew that my opening lift didn’t feel as comfortable as it should have and I shouldn’t of jumped to 230kg. But I was heart set on a new PB and Navy record of 235kg, which was my downfall and another lesson learnt.
All in all, I learnt a lot in terms of competition prep and competition discipline, with regard to listening to my gut and not my own expectations. It was an absolute privilege to represent the UK in sport and we did come away with a British 1st and 2nd within the 75kg category. Along with a UK overall win. I appreciate everyone’s support over the last year and I’m looking forward to improving on last years performances. Eat plenty, and lift heavy!
So after finishing 4th place at the British Nationals pulling 230kg @74kg BW, I was a little downhearted to think that I had missed out on a spot at Worlds by only one place. However to my delight I have in fact qualified! This is down to being part of the Scottish region and so I now have 2 months to try and add some more kilos to my deadlift and hopefully finish in a respectable position.
In my lead up to the Nationals I decided to do a bulking cycle, upping my body weight to 78kg and then spending 4 weeks cutting it back down to 74kg. Due to having an insane metabolism and also training twice a day, I was having to eat 4000 calories a day and only through choice (so as to not get too fat) the majority of these came from clean foods. It’s a lot of eating!
During my cut I went down to 2800 calories a day and this surely showed with me becoming agitated and snappy the majority of the time. Apologies to all those who it affected!
My training focus on the lead up was mainly targeting my hamstrings and glutes as this is where all my power comes from. I have seen huge improvements in both my squat and deadlift and so I’ll continue to do this while its working. Although I deadlift with a conventional style I still like to train sumo, I feel that this really hits the hammys and glutes and also other muscles and tendons that don’t get worked during a conventional deadlift. Along with this I worked hard on my back squat, front squat and also front rack lunges and then accessory work such as single leg press and kettle bell good mornings.
With only 2 months to prep for the Worlds I am doing another 4 week bulk and with any luck I will improve on the Nationals. This has all come around in the space of just a year, after making the decision to step back from football and focus solely on lifting. I do miss the game, however my decision mainly came from a lack of discipline from team members in terms of training and nutrition. My decision was based on the fact that this is a solo sport and the effort I put in will hopefully show, and I’m pleased to say that it has.
Those of you who are avid trainers like myself know only too well the sacrifices that you make in order to achieve anything within your chosen sport. The hours of training in the gym, the nutritional discipline and the lack of social life because of it can often become a burden and I have found myself asking why I do it. Until you’re on stage and achieve something you have been working towards for so many months, when it all comes together, you realise why you’re there and that it was all worth it in the end.
The combined services didn’t go as well as I had planned. I weighed in @73kg and opened with a successful 200kg my second lift was again successful @215kg for my third I tried to break my own Navy record with a 225kg. Although I managed to lift it, it was a fail due to a slight hitch at the end.
Looking closely at the video my feet are just slightly too far apart, causing my knees to come in and lose power. However, I know I can lift it! Navy champs in December, I’ll get it then!
Wow, what a weekend! Sam and I travelled to Cardiff, Wales to compete in the Four Nations Powerlifting Championships for Team Scotland.
I am so grateful to the Scottish team for selecting me and giving me the opportunity to compete at a high level competition. It was a real privilege to compete alongside the best Powerlifters in Great Britain. I have learnt so much in just one weekend. Both female and male athletes on the Scottish team were supportive and encouraging. Just what I needed to soothe those nerves, I felt like such a rookie standing beside World, European and British record holders!
What were the scores on the doors..? Well! Irish team (by default) placed last. Scotland 3rd, Wales 2nd and England 1st by 0.4 of a point. Competition was extremely close! The standard of lifting was truly inspirational.
Now I have had time to reflect on my performance, I can say that I am very happy. Despite an early error of mine in the squat, overall I felt I performed to my best.
My lifts were as follows:
Squat: 1. 105kg 2. 115kg NO LIFT 3. 115kg
Bench: 1. 75kg 2. 82.5kg NO LIFT 3. 82.5kg
Deadlift: 1. 140kg 2. 150kg 3. 155kg
My first squat attempt went smoothly – I made the decision to open with a weight I know I can rep comfortably for 3.
Sadly, my second attempt did not go to plan. I let my nerves cloud my focus and I re-racked the weight (after a successful squat) before the judges command which meant I failed the lift. This made me feel uneasy. I was tempted to go for a 120kg final lift but felt this was too risky, and I had to think of the team first! So I finished with a 115kg. I know I have more in the tank there…
My first bench press felt very easy. I felt that I got my body into a great position. My shoulders were tucked under, my arch felt strong and my feet were sitting flat and comfortable. So, for my second lift I decided to go a lot heavier than first planned. Sadly, another NO LIFT. The judge informed me that my right arm dropped slightly meaning my left arm locked out first. For my final attempt (with the team in mind) I stuck at 82.5kg and I was successful. I didn’t feel too disappointed as this had been my planned 3rd lift despite the no lift. I tried very hard to get my head back in the game and remain confident.
In the warm up area prior to my deadlift, I suddenly became very fatigued. I had snacked little and often throughout the day. I felt I had maintained my sugar levels and had given my body enough carbohydrates to perform. Perhaps I had eaten a little too much or perhaps the intensity of the day was starting to take its toll. Either way, I was looking incredibly tired in the warm up meaning Sam and I decided to drop my opening lift from 145kg to 140kg.
Amazingly (perhaps due to adrenaline), the 140kg flew up! We decided to take a risk and make my second lift 150kg. Again, it felt comfortable! I got a great confidence boost. My head was in the game now, my sickness and fatigue slowly disappeared and I felt that I could set a new Personal Record at 155kg – and that I did. Final lift successful.
This weekend has taught me a lot. It taught me how to erase the doubt in my mind after the no lifts. It taught me to keep pushing through the sickness and the fatigue. To switch off the negative niggling thoughts in my head and to focus. For the first time in competition, when I walked up to the platform I knew that I was going to lift that weight. Now I must work on tuning in to the judges commands! Practice makes perfect I guess.
Finally, I must say a huge thank you to Sam for being the best coach and supporter I could wish for. From making sure my water bottle was always filled, to helping me mobilise to being the mastermind behind my opening lifts – without him the weekend would have gone very differently! Thanks coach.