2015 European Classic Powerlifting Championships

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the first ever European Classic Powerlifting Championships held in Pilsen, Czech Republic and no words will be able to do the experience justice! Training in the run up to the championships was far from ideal; I’d had a nasty sickness bug and had been spending endless hours in the library doing uni work. A combination of these two things meant my weight dropped quite considerably, and I wasn’t able to gain any strength on my squat or bench, which both actually went down for a few weeks. Fortunately I had managed to maintain and slightly improve my deadlift strength.

Anyway, this meant that I wasn’t peaking as anticipated in the final few weeks and each training session varied in success. In a way this was a good thing, as I went into the competition having no idea how my body was going to react on the day and therefore not having too high expectations for myself, which took the pressure off a little. From the nominations I also wasn’t expecting to place very highly. There were times where I felt like I wanted to get it over and done with so that I could start a new training cycle and make some real gains, but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Competition day came after a few days away in Crewe for a work function, so I had been eating well in my rest week. So to my surprise I weighed in at 54.8kg, having been trying to maintain over 55kg for the previous week. This is a new low as a 57kg lifter. 11088267_10155384515225387_1147207446070201974_n Warm-up for squats felt better than I expected, so I didn’t need to change my opener of 90kg which I feared I would. On the platform this felt harder than anticipated as I lost my line and fell forward a little. Feeling disgruntled, I needed to have a little pep talk with myself about hitting my second lift and managed this easily, hitting an equal comp PB of 95kg. As this felt so easy I decided to go for 100kg. As you are probably aware it’s been a goal of mine for some time to hit  100kg in competition so I think I over psyched myself a little and didn’t go in with as much composure as I would have needed to get the lift. It was also really heavy! So this was a no lift. 11092710_10205618611638276_1728230939_n I don’t feel I have much to report on the bench. I decided to play it safe and go 52.5kg, 55kg and finish on 57.5kg, another equal comp PB. If training had been going well I would have hoped to hit 60kg for a third lift, but I felt like I would prefer to get 3 good lifts in than potentially fail 60kg. Watching some of the younger and lighter lifters has inspired me to work even more on my arch, particularly on bringing my feet behind me to get even more of a shape, which will hopefully help me to hit 60kg again sometimes soon. I swear some of those girls were contortionists though!

11083928_10155384524845387_8272546964706179500_n10858483_10155384531045387_7866089577709803732_n

I was most looking forward to deadlifts as it was the only lift that had remained consistent through my stress. These went exactly as I had hoped, despite feeling a little tough in the warm up. Deadlift is the lift that I find it easiest to get psyched up for, and that’s exactly what I did. I opened on a comfortable 115kg, went for a second of 120kg and then finished on the easiest 125kg I’ve ever done. Having struggled for quite some time with the first part of the lift I’m delighted with the speed of the bar off the floor (video below). I’m just glad I didn’t notice the song that was playing, as this might have ruined my pump.

I finished with a 277.5kg total, a 5kg PB and annoyingly close to my long-term goal of 280kg. This placed me in 7th out of 9. I was pleased with how the competition went, exactly what I could have reasonably expected on a good day considering the circumstances. ceremony

Possibly the most enjoyable part of the whole experience was the wonderful company I had while out there. It was so great to support and be supported by friends both new and old. The GB team was by far the loudest in terms of cheering and supporting our lifters, which got us some odd looks at times… (definitely not because of our fashion choices)

crowd The top-notch cheering apparently did us well as the female Junior team placed 3rd overall and the male Junior team placed 1st, giving the Junior team 1st overall. Some of us are still very new to the sport,and this was the first international for many. Also Sion managed to win gold on one leg. So a fantastic result for our team. team I’m now super excited for the coming weeks of training, there’s so much I want to work on to be able to excel at international level. My experience at my first raw international wouldn’t have been possible without the continued support from my coach, Paul, and the impeccable coaching from Lawrence and Pete while in Pilsen. And not to forget the European Powerlifting Federation. As you can hopefully tell from the photos and videos, the venue was fantastic and the competition was smoothly run. As ever, being in my final year of university I’m unlikely to be able to post as regularly as I’d like, so feel free to follow me on instagram for more regular updates; @susiebboo

Peace and Love

GBPF South-West Championships

Image

Weight was an issue in the few days prior to the south-west, so had to resort to water manipulation on Friday and Saturday to try and get my weight down. This consisted of drinking 8-10 litres on Friday and around 6 litres before 5pm on Saturday (which was a mission since I was at work and the loo is out on the street and up some stairs!). Friday to Saturday I dropped just over a kilo down to 52.4, then Saturday to Sunday morning I dropped down to 51.8, only to get to the competition (after not eating or drinking anything between weigh-ins) and weigh 52.4 on their scales. Tired and dehydrated I tried to go for a walk in lots of hoodies and chew gum and spit but this only got me down to 52.3, so on a sugar low and desperate to eat I made the decision to move up to the 57kg class and compete as a guest. Figured I would just use the competition for experience and get down to 52 for the Welsh in two weeks.

Stressful weigh-in over, I started warming up for squats. My suit went on super easy, probably due to my dehydration and slight weight loss so I probably should have washed it before the competition to tighten it. Warmed up to 100kg not quite to depth so I was slightly nervous for my opener of 105kg. I was very nervous before my first squat, not knowing when to start wrapping and having general pre-comp nerves. Had to wrap myself so my wraps probably weren’t as tight as I would have liked, so my first squat was a little tougher than I would have liked. Got 2:1 white lights so it probably wasn’t as deep as it could have been but it was a good lift so job done!

My next lift didn’t go quite as well. Or well at all for that matter… After my first lift a nice man offered to help and roll my wraps up but he rolled them up really loosely, so when I came to wrap myself I wasn’t able to do it nearly as tightly as I would have liked. I got onto the platform knowing I wasn’t wrapped tight enough and knowing full well I wouldn’t make the lift. I unracked the weight (110kg), something in my right knee twanged and my left knee felt like it was swathed in fabric rather than wrapped in powerlifting wraps, so I re-racked it and looked imploringly at my coach. Think I even said ‘my knees aren’t wrapped tight enough’. I then unracked it again, became overwhelmed with the stress of it all and re-racked it. No lift.

Third lift; calmed down a little and went to attempt 110kg again. The same nice man offered to wrap me, and for some reason I accepted. He had an interesting technique, but again nowhere near tight enough. Managed to get on the platform, unrack the weight and attempt the squat again. Stalled at the bottom; no lift.

I don’t like to attribute my squat failure to the lack of people there to wrap me, but it had a large influence on the sequence of events. Hopefully there will be someone there to wrap me at the Welsh, but in the meantime I will learn to wrap myself tighter! And I’m pleased I atleast got my opener. Double bodyweight ain’t bad…

Bench went a lot better by comparison. I had calmed down immeasurably and was actually quite looking forward to it. With my opener planned at 60kg, a stalling 55kg during the warm-up worried my coach, but I tried it again and proved to him that 60 was the right decision. And it was, although on the platform it wobbled a little on the way up, but it was a good lift. My second lift of 65kg was a no lift, I didn’t quite time the hit right and lost my line. Went on to attempt 65kg again for my third lift and it sailed up without a problem, so I was happy with my bench.

Deadlifts went well in terms of white lights, but my suit was far far too loose and I don’t think it really gave me any ‘bang’ off the floor like it did when it was tighter. Opened with an easy 105kg, then went to a slightly challenging but do-able 110kg. Next was 115kg, an equal gym PB. It was honestly the slowest lift I have ever done. It took its sweet, sweet time coming off the floor and then I dragged it up for what felt like about 5 minutes. The room went blurry, my organs threatened eruption, but the bar came up and I got the lift. Not bad considering how loose the suit was! The sense of relief after finishing my deadlift was once again immense.

I learned a lot at the competition, and learned of all the various factors that can go wrong with kit lifting. I had a good day overall despite some quite major setbacks, and really got to know a couple of my teammates who I hadn’t really spoken to before. I finished with a total of 285kg and somehow managed to come 2nd in the 57kg class. It was an open competition so my equipment really helped my total, but I was still really shocked when they called my name for 2nd! Got myself the shiny little plaque that you can see in the picture above, my 4th award for my 4th competition 🙂

Now the next two weeks will be spent fine-tuning my kit lifting and cutting down to sub 52kg again for the Welsh. I’ve got a couple of recipes and updates to post in the next few days, so watch this space.

Preparation

wpid-IMAG0889.jpg

 

Finished my final preparatory sessions on Monday and Tuesday, just rehearsing squat and bench up to openers. I’m looking to open squat with 77.5kg,  bench with 47.5kg and deadlift with 97.5kg. They seem low and easy to me, but my coach assures me that getting my first lift in easy is paramount. From there I’m planning to go 82.5kg, 52.5kg and 105kg for my second lifts, then see from there. It might be that I just hit my training PB’s. but if there’s a winning total on the line I’ll be sure to try for a new PB! All very exciting!

This evening has involved a lot of cooking and preparation, as you can see from the picture above I’ve got a lot of food to prepare and pack! Leaving the fresher stuff until tomorrow morning then relying on cool bags and a mini fridge to keep it all fresh until lifting on Saturday. Being on a strict diet is such effort at times, but I’ll be damned if I move up a weight class. Weighed 52.5kg yesterday and 53kg this morning so need to be extra careful.

Even with all this organisation I’m so worried I’m going to forget something vital….