Where to start? Well, not long after last post I contracted a kidney stone & infection, needless to say, very painful and it knocked my training for 6. I pretty much couldn’t do anything for a month and had to pull out of the BPO British Championships in April as I wouldn’t be ready in time. These were qualifiers for the upcoming Europeans so needless to say I was a little gutted!
Thankfully, the president of the BPO has invited me to the Euro’s anyway as I have a ‘justifiable reason’ for not competing at the British, so wasn’t disappointed for too long J
Since then it has been a bit of a slog trying to get back up to previous strength levels. I’ve deliberately gained a little weight alongside training to help my lifts but unfortunately this mean I’m closer to 90kg than the 82.5kg I need to be at the meet and needing to cut 7+kg over the next 5 weeks.
Not an impossible task, but I will need to tighten up my diet and possibly water load again despite being advised against it by my GP. I know the risks and will put more into making sure I’m fully rehydrated for the comp – after this meet I won’t be competing till next year so will spend the rest of the year focusing on health and joint rehab/mobilisation, and possibly even move up a weight class next year to stop having to cut weight each time.
Training through April was just trying to get back to weights I’ve lifted this year and happily I’ve managed to do so, Deadlift back up to 190kg x3, Bench 150kg x2 and Squat 210kg x2. Equipment is a little tighter due to weight gain so pretty sure that’s helping, but still happy to hit my old numbers 😉
May has gone well, I’ve hit 160kg on Bench, 205kg Deadlift and 227.5kg for squat on max week. My goal is still to hit a 250kg Squat, double bodyweight Bench 165kg and another 5-10kg on Deadlift to take me up to my failed attempt at the worlds last year of 215kg. Got to have goals right?
So now it’s June, 1 week to go to the Euro’s, weighed in over the weekend at 87.6kg so I need to drop 5 kg, I’m eating as clean as possible and have easily dropped 3-4 kilos previously by water loading so feeling confident I’ll make weight … Watch this space J
Took a week off after the Welsh Championships and now started the next 8 weeks training leading to the BPO British. Still trying to train with The Pembrokeshire Powerlifters where I can as I get more from the sessions than when I’m on my own, but training almost always has to fit around my work & family commitments. For the next 8 weeks at least I’m loosely following Wendlers 5/3/1 for Powerlifting, with the last deload week leading to the British.
Got in a couple of sessions before starting the 8 week plan, Deadlifts with the Pembs boys with Chiropractors Nightmares, Bench session up to 120kg x5 and 140kg x4 (equipped) and Squats up to 200kg x3 (equipped), then backed off to 180 x6 (equipped, straps down). Then began with 3’s week + equipped singles.
Deadlift up to 170kg x3, then a single at 182.5kg – Was supposed to pull 197.5kg as well, but just wasn’t up to it and form was breaking down so left it and chased up with Good Mornings, Bent Over Rows and some abs
Bench up to 125kg x4 (raw), then equipped 140kg x4, and 152.5kg x3 (Was only supposed to be a single but was feeling strong so went for it!) – followed up with DB Bench, Press-ups, Chest Supported Rows and Rear Raises
Squats up to 170kg x3, then equipped 195kg and 215kg – Then Leg Press, Glute/Ham Raises and Captains Chair Knee Raises
So, water loading worked well again but was much tougher this time as I’ve gained a little weight since the UK’s. Got down to 85kg by the weekend before so then started loading with 2 gallons a day for 4 days, then 1 gallon on Thursday and none at all Friday – I was a little worried Friday as still weighing over 84kg so fasted as well to make sure I wasn’t over!
Woke up starving on Saturday and felt like crap as hadn’t slept well (too damn hungry), but I knew once I’d weighed in I could smash the food down 😉 Drove over to Swansea and weighed in at a comfortable 81.3kg (could’ve had breakfast!) and then started eating!! Spent the day hydrating and eating and resting up ready for the meet.
Got there Sunday and felt good, I think I’d done a better job rehydrating than last time and was ready to lift. I was in the second flight this time so had plenty of time to warm-up and mobilise and opened easily with 180kg, followed up with 200kg, and then went for 215kg for third attempt. I got a red light for depth on the final attempt from one of the judges, but the other two were white so got the lift 2-1. Happy with squats as only 10kg off the World’s with a walkout and a competition PB.
Bench went just as well, no problems with my shoulder and feeling strong so opened with any easy 140kg, then a 150kg, but just couldn’t lock out 160kg. Not too disappointed, I’ve hit it in the gym, but that’s without having done 3 big squats first! Still hoping to hit double bodyweight (165kg) at The British Championship in 9 weeks and maybe more at the Europeans.
Started warming up for deadlifts and despite struggling in training recently with Deadlifts I was feeling good, took a tally of my lifts and noticed I was at the same as I had been at the Worlds so I was going to have to hope to pull more than my current PB of 200kg in order to improve overall. Opened with 180kg, nice clean lift and then followed with 195kg. Decided to go for glory and attempt 205kg. Just about locked it out to get a PR, win my category and get a new competition best total of 570kg. Can’t really complain! Still aiming high and will be pushing hard to get my total into the 600’s for the Europeans 🙂
Been a while! Training going well again, no new injuries and my shoulder seems to be pretty much healed now so started getting my Bench back to previous levels.
I spent December practicing wider squats and sumo deadlifts, but to no avail as yet, wide squats are giving me pain in the hips so gone back to orthodox for now. Still practicing the Sumo Deadlifts to warm-up, and then again back to conventional for my maxes and at comps. I’m not confident enough yet to compete in Sumo style (that and the fact I can only pull about 90% of what I can with conventional pulls). I also tried out a new Bench Shirt as Coach doesn’t think I’m getting much out of the old one – I can’t get it on on my own so have only been able to use it a couple of times and couldn’t even touch my chest with 175kg on the bar! A bit more use and breaking in and I should get 180kg out of it 🙂
January has been a great month training-wise, although a bit of weight gain over christmas! Starting to get more from the equipment (suit & shirt) as I get used to it. My Bench is now back where it was pre-shoulder issues and I have pressed a 145kg RAW and 160kg in the old shirt so feeling confident for the upcoming Welsh Open Championships in February. Squat has held, worked up to a solid 200kg x3 and tried for the 500lb club (227.5kg) just after but I feel I was about a half inch high so will have to go for it again soon – I hit 230kg in January so confident I should hit it in comp after decent rest!. Deadlift remaining stagnant (as always!) and I will be happy to just pull my PR of 200kg at the upcoming meet.
February – Current weight 85kg so a little over at the moment, I’m water loading again as I did for the UK’s to make weight. Worked out my openers last week and aiming to try and total more than I did at the world’s last year (565kg). I’m opening at 185/140/185 and going from there, hopefully around 220/160/195 or more which would make 575kg total. I’m hoping to hit the 600’s by the end of the year and plan to squat a quarter tonne in the Europeans in July. Well, that’s the goal anyway 😉 Hit an easy 150kg Bench for 2 reps and 140kg for 4 last week, Squats up to 210kg comfortably and Deadlifts up to 150kg for speed work.
Sorry, it’s been a crazy couple of months so I haven’t been posting recently. It will be back to usual again now with a weekly training log and some new articles on their way.
Took a week off after the World’s and have been easing back in since. I’m going to change from conventional squats and deadlifts to wide stance/sumo as recommended by my coach in order to increase weight lifted, which means dropping the weight down and practicing over and over!! I’m also throwing in a back workout every other session and reducing Bench sessions as it helps my shoulder and you can’t go wrong by increasing back size/strength!
17th Nov – 22nd Nov
Back session – DB Pullovers, Pulldowns (V Grip and wide), T Bar Rows, Straight Arm Pulldowns, Single Arm Lever Rows and Rack Pulls up to 140kg x10
Squats – Wide practice with Pembrokeshire Powerlifters up to 140kg for 5 sets of 3 – Gorila chins and Captains Chair knee Raises
Back session – As above, Rack Pulls 160kg for 3 sets of 8
Deadlifts – Sumo practice up to 140kg for 3 sets of 5, biceps (DeFrancos 3-6-12 routine) & ab slings
23rd Nov – 29th Nov
Back session – As above, Rack Pulls up to 180kg for 3 sets of 3, biceps (3-6-12)
Squats – Wide practice up to 140kg x8 with loose wraps, Leg Press & Ab Wheel
Back session – As above with Rack Pulls up to 180kg for 3 sets of 5, biceps (3-6-12)
Bench/Deadlifts with Pembs Powerlifters – Bench up to 150kg, Sumo Deadlifts up to 180kg, Ab work
2 Weeks to the World’s
Week 7 – Just working on technique and some 60-70% sets. Shoulder playing up again, but not enough time to rehab, just going to have to get through it, doing some light mobility work and plenty of anti-inflammatories before training! I’ll dedicate some time to physio once the World’s are over. Weight still holding at 83kg so confident I’ll make weight.
Bench/Deadlift – 5×5 sets with the Pembrokeshire Powerlifters working on speed
Squat/Bench/Deadlift (Full Powerlifting session) – worked up to an equipped 180kg Squat (still getting used to the suit so more practice is better!), an equipped 140kg Bench (went up easy) and a nice quick 160kg Deadlift
Full Powerlifting – 3 sets of 3 on each at 60%
Ready for the World’s now, can’t wait!
6 Weeks to the Worlds
Week 3 – 531 week
Deadlift up to 160kg x5, then singles 187.5kg and 210kg (questionable form!) – Followed up with Lever Deadlifts, Ab Wheel and chins
Bench up to 115kg x7, then singles 120kg and 137.5kg (fail) – then equipped for 160kg – Then Close Grip Bench, Chins & Face Pulls
Squat up to 160kg x6, then singles at 170kg, 180kg and 190kg (fail) – Then Front Squats & Pause Squats
Dead Bench up to 110kg x7, then single at 130kg – Followed by Pendlay Rows, weighted Dips, Cable Reverse Flye, Pulldowns & Chins
Finished the week with a session with the Pembrokeshire Powerlifters and an equipped Squat & Bench session – Squats up to 210kg on the box, but couldn’t stop sitting on it so coach took it away and then I got a 220kg 🙂 – Bench up to 165kg, Also tried a few different shirts to see if it made a difference. Definitely prefer the Titan Katana, the Super Katana just didn’t feel right!
Changing up training a little, I’m not going to take a deload week as only got a few weeks of training left and will be taking a week off before the meet. Going to go back to 3’s again as per week 1
I’ve been toying with the idea of competing for a while but after getting ill in February it put a stop to any pipe dreams and up till now I’ve just been working back up to previous strength levels. However …
Had a great training session Saturday with the current World Champion and holder of several records Paul Murphy and the tank Aaron Hosking (who hit a massive 370kg squat – see vid). I squat up to 180kg with belt only, and then hit 190kg x2 and 200kg x1 with knee wraps – Paul was very encouraging and is convinced I have ‘a lot more in the tank’ and has offered to help coach me and to compete in September! What a result! I have decided to take him up on this and am now planning on entering that meet coming in just a few months.
A bit sore over Sunday and Monday so just enjoyed some time with the family over the bank holiday. This week I’ll be starting the shift in training over specifically to powerlifting, however my interests are still in strength and size so will continue to post as regularly as I can and get some more articles out there – click here to read previous articles.