Following on from last post, I weighed in at 83.6kg the night before I was due to travel down to Aldershot but I had been water loading so was confident I’d make weight in the morning. Skipped breakfast, loaded the car with food & drink ready to rehydrate and refuel then hit the road nice and early. It’s a long old drive from Pembrokeshire and weigh-in was 10am-11:30am and I wanted to get in as early as possible so I could eat up!
Typically, my car radiator blew on the way .. perfect .. limped the last 30 miles using all the water I had in the car and heaters on full blast to cool engine, but still ended up missing the morning weigh-in by 10 minutes! Just what I needed. Used the scales they had there to see where I was and was looking at around 82.3. Couldn’t take the risk of having even a quick dioralyte as they weren’t the official scales and I may have gone over. Gutted … Had to wait till the 3pm weigh-in instead, feeling totally dried out and knackered from the hot drive down in the sun and watching the rest of the team fuel up around me. That’ll test your resolve when you are starving and thirsty as hell and having to watch your mates drinking plenty and stuffing burgers etc down their face 😔
Weighed in at 81.2kg by 3pm and spent the rest of the day eating and drinking and trying to regain as much lost water as I could knowing that my performance in the morning was dependent on it. Got a reasonably decent night sleep as was staying with family and was back ready in the morning. Didn’t feel too bad at the time, but warm-ups were feeling heavy and I knew I would have to really push myself to hit my targets.
Squatting opened well for me, hit a comfortable 190kg followed with a 210kg which went up easy so then went for a comp PB of 227.5kg (500lbs) – Didn’t go so well, knee gave way a little at the bottom so the spotters had to step in. That failed lift left me with just a 210kg squat. The judging was quite harsh and several lifters bombed out on depth so by the time bench came around, I dropped my opener down to 140kg. I’m confident I can hit that on a bad day and got that on the board happily. 150kg didn’t want to go up on my 2nd lift and on third lift my shoulder gave way on one side and the bar hit the spotters hand so I was red lighted even though I managed to lock it out (looking back at the video I can see why as not only was the bar travelling unevenly, he looked like he helped me, but when I was on the bench I didn’t feel like it!). My bench is always the first to get hit when I drop weight, especially with limited time to rehydrate again so I knew it was going to be a struggle. Ah well, on to deadlifts, dropped my opener to 180kg as again, I’m confident with that weight, easy lift on 2nd with a 190kg but centre ref had a quick word about bar ‘dropping too quickly’ and then a reasonably easy 200kg at third attempt as by that time it was all I needed to win my category and no point in shooting for a crazy PR.
So, not an amazing total by far, but it was enough on the day to take a European title and after the day I’d had beforehand, I was over the moon to have made it through and not been ‘bombed out’ of the competition at the squats – Plus the trophies were awesome 😉
Following that, I took a little time off and just enjoyed being ‘off-season’ as it seems like it’s been a long time and I’ve been nursing a few injuries for too long. Typically over the next few months I came down with a few illnesses and worst still, my knee gave way on the stairs as I’ve been suffering with patellar tendonitis for a while and sprained the inflamed tendon – yowch! Couldn’t walk for almost 3 days and training was out of the question for a while. My shoulder has also played up ever since, I think I’m getting too old for this lark! Ha ha
Now the last two months I’ve been rebuilding lost strength and trying to rehab my injuries. I have got back to all previous lifts equipped now, but my raw game has taken a big hit not only from the injuries, but the fact I’ve been focusing all my training on equipped lifting and feel my technique has come apart a little when unequipped as it’s a completely different way of lifting.
So now we’re into December and for now I’m really pushing to get my raw lifts back to where I was before I started competing. I’ll try and get some equipped lifting in once a month with the Pembs Powerlifters as I still plan on competing equipped but otherwise all training will be raw.
Life back on track, knee/shoulder calming right down with the focus on rehab and raw lifting and I’ll be posting up on here regularly again – Also, good news, I’ve met a graphic designer who will be looking at my book ‘Hench – A Straightforward Guide to Size and Strength’ as it’s still in Microsoft Word format and then will get it published and hopefully will finally get it out there! For now, back to the Christmas shopping, the joys of parenthood and work, work, work 😉
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 🙂