GBPF South West Classic

I can only apologise for my lack of posts over the last few weeks; with the third term rapidly drawing to a close I’ve had to put a lot of my time and energy into my university work so haven’t been training as much as I would like and haven’t really had the time or motivation to post! With just under a week to go of my second year, hopefully I’ll be back to posting regularly soon.

Competition prep for the GBPF South West Classic was a bit more relaxed than it had been for previous competitions. As it was a small friendly competition on home ground, and as I was lifting equipped as a guest it was more for experience and to show what I can achieve in kit. With my birthday two days before the competition it was a little frustrating to say the least to still be hovering on the edge of the 52kg class, and not be able to indulge in any celebratory food or drink on my actual birthday. I ended up having a really productive day in the library, and more than made up for it after the competition so no harm done!

It was really great to have my family come down to visit, see me lift and most importantly to compete! My brave mum successfully competed in her first powerlifting competition after I very sneakily entered her without her knowledge. It was a bit of a gamble as to whether she would or not, but it’s something we’ve been talking about getting her to do for ages. Getting her out of her comfort zone and showing her how fun it can be was the aim, and I think I succeeded!

The morning of the competition I weighed 52.0kg on my own scales, so decided to have a hot bath to cut a couple of hundred grams to be safe. I ended up going up to 52.1kg, whoops, so had to go about the rest of my morning wearing thermals and a woolly hat! Got to the venue and weighed in 52kg on the dot. I hadn’t really cut down food or drink the evening before so this was probably the reason for the near-mishap. A nice little break before squats was welcome, to refuel, rehydrate and talk my mum through how the day would go. I think having my mum there to look after, along with being in a familiar place, really helped my nerves, as I wasn’t nervous at all.
Warm-up for squats went well, wearing my normal squat suit (a borrowed smaller suit didn’t work too well for me) I managed to hit parallel depth at 100kg, then actual depth at 110kg before going on to do 112.5kg for my opener. My suit was ever so slightly looser than normal but I had an absolutely brutal wrapper helping me out so the wraps helped more than the suit I think. My next lift of 120kg felt slightly tough and I rounded my back on the way up a little bit, but I got it up and that’s all that counts! I think I got one red light for depth, though. My next lift of 125kg was tough to walk out, but very comfortable to actually lift. As you can see in the video above it’s definitely not a maximum effort! But at 7.5kg more than my previous comp PB I can’t complain really. With all the stress of kit lifting, 3 good lifts and a comp PB was brilliant.

Warm-up for bench also went well, managing to get up to 60kg easily. My pecs did feel tired for some reason while I was warming up but this didn’t seem to affect my lifting at all. With some slight confusion as to when the ladies would be starting, I ended up warming up a little early so had to do 60kg a few times before my opener of 62.5kg. My opener went well, but my technique was possibly not ideal. Still got the bar up! My next lift was 67.5kg and my form was a lot better. I already had my comp PB of 67.5kg so there was less pressure on me for my third lift of 72.5kg. But I went out, set up perfectly and got the lift! It was tough at the top, but I anticipated the ‘second hit’ and pushed through it. As this is a lift I had only done a few times before in training, and relied heavily on me getting my form right, it was a great feeling to get it in competition.

Warm-up for deadlifts could have gone better, but with my results I don’t think it mattered too much. Again I had a little confusion as to when we would be starting so I think I had a little too much of a leisurely lunch, and ended up putting my deadlift suit on a little late. I was almost too relaxed about deadlifts, as with the lifts I had got so far I would only need to get my opener of 105kg to surpass my desired total of 300kg. But I think this might have helped, as there was a lot less pressure on me. I got my opener easily, and went on to 112.5kg for my second lift. As I had only got 110kg in my last competition I just wanted to surpass that and I would be happy. I didn’t straighten my back enough at the bottom of the lift so it took a little longer to lock out than I would have liked but I got it. Next, after a little consultation with my coach I opted for 120kg for my third lift! I have only ever lifted 115kg, but wasn’t far off 117.5kg at my previous comp, so 120kg would be a big PB. As I was already past my desired total there was nothing to lose. I went out, I set up, I straightened my back and I got the lift, almost easily! Now the British standard of 130kg doesn’t seem that far off at all!

I couldn’t have been happier with my final lift, to get a massive PB like that and get a 317.5kg total when I was only aiming for 300kg was just amazing. I think the relaxed and friendly atmosphere really helped me, along with the distraction of helping my mum. She got all white lights on all her lifts, which is a tremendous achievement for someone who doesn’t even train in a powerlifting gym, and has never properly been refereed! I’m very proud of her. A big thank you to my coach and all the lifters for supporting her and making her feel so welcome.

After a short presentation, myself and my family headed out to a pub for a well-earned beer and burger in the sun. To have such a successful day of lifting and then to spend a lovely evening with my family really made for a great belated birthday celebration.

My next competition won’t be until July, so I have had a few days off lifting this week. It’s time to start the cycle over again and make some raw strength gains before I get back into kit. I’m hoping to find some smaller kit to lift in, which should hopefully get my numbers up even higher. Exciting times ahead. Just need to get this uni year over and done with and I can properly concentrate on lifting again, as I’m just a little distracted at the moment!

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