Training Update: Nine Weeks Out

If any of you follows me on social media, you know that I’m about nine weeks (8.5 at this point) out from my next meet, which will be the Alberta Provincial Championships from June 29–July 1. The last meet I competed at was Nationals, which were actually held at the same venue in February. That was the meet where I finally broke through my squat plateau, set a national equipped bench press record, and also set a personal PR (personal record) in my total. So I’m hopeful this will be my lucky venue again! 🍀

I did some travelling for work last week, and I never realized how disruptive it could be in terms of training and life in general. I have so much respect for people who travel for work on a regular basis! Waiting at airports, sitting on planes, packing, unpacking, sleeping poorly in a strange bed, finding an overpriced gym to drop in at…So I ended up losing a couple of training days and then training at a commercial gym with soft floors and slippery benches. And I feel like I’m still recovering my sleep and struggling to get back on my normal training schedule! Oy!

That said, I can’t complain too much about how training has been going, as you’ll see in my lift summaries of the week.

Squats

This week saw me doing the heaviest squats I’ve ever had programmed before. Day 1 was light(er), Day 2 was 3×2@230 lb (which was basically my second attempt at Nationals), and Day 3 prescribed 3×4@230! I’d never done 230 for more than a single before, so it seemed like a daunting task.

Until it wasn’t.

Day 2 of training went off without a hitch. However, since my training schedule was messed up, I accidentally slipped in a volume squat session the day before my Day 3 heavy squats and went in already a little sore. But…

I managed the first set of four, with the fourth rep being a griiiiiind. On the second and third sets, I chickened out at the third rep and decided to do an additional set of two instead (to ensure I still got all my prescribed volume in). And although there were no failed reps, I was pretty disappointed with myself for not grinding out a fourth rep, especially in the second set (I feel like I definitely could have eked out one more). That just shows me that I still have a lot to work on with regard to my mental game!

Deadlifts

Of all of the disciplines, the deadlift is the one currently giving me grief. It never feels like I’m in the right position, and it just hasn’t felt right since Nationals. I’m used to this kind of relationship with deadlifts, though, so I’m just trying to get the job done and waiting for them to “click” again. (I don’t have a video for deadlifts this week.)

Raw/Classic Bench

Similar to my squats (my squat and bench programming is the same percentage wise, except for my volume blocks), the bench training I had programmed for this week was ludicrous. Three set of four reps at almost my competition PR? Is my coach (@hippie_hordell) crazy?!

Nope.

After nailing 185 lb for some doubles at the start of the week, the weight moved really well again for 3×4. That is some programming sorcery right there.

How you do that?

Equipped Bench

Well, well, well. What do we have left to say about equipped bench this week? Just this: PR double to a half-board Bench Blokz at 121 kg and a full rep at 115 kg (which is 1.5 kg under my national record). 😎

I’ve been really pleased with how my equipped bench training has been going lately (thanks to the genius programming of @smartlifts), and I’m excited to do it on the platform again come June. You can’t really equipped bench on your own (you need someone to get you in to and out of the shirt and lift off the weights for you), so it really feels like a team effort, and I’m lucky to have my boyfriend (the epic @hippie_hordell, mentioned above) by my side. Every PR feels like a PR for us both, and I love when I can make him/us proud on meet day!

If you read this whole week of training recap (my goodness, I have a lot of feels about my training!), you are a rock star! Thanks for following along! Stay strong, my friends!

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Welcome!

Welcome to my new blog!

In the past, I’ve blogged about travel (pigtailsandapassport.com) and about my time competing in bikini (I don’t even remember what the URL is for that one lol), but I thought it might be fun to blog about my current (for the past 2.5 years) passion: powerlifting.

For any new readers (hi!!!), here’s a quick background about me: I started consistently weight training in 2012 in preparation for my first bikini competition (for anyone who doesn’t know, bikini is a division of bodybuilding—it’s the smallest female division) and competed in the sport until the fall of 2013. In that time, I competed in local shows, regional/provincial shows, and even a national show. However, the obsessively strict dieting required to achieve stage leanness brought up a variety of old demons (I struggled with a variety of eating disorders in the past), and it brought me to very dark place mentally. However, one thing I did take away from this sport was a love for training—specifically, lifting weights. I was curious about powerlifting, but without anyone to show me how to do it, I just stuck to what I knew: “bro” hypertrophy workouts. This was satisfying for a while, but without a clear goal, it was easy to become complacent (and there were weeks and even months where I travelled and didn’t train at all). Finally, a gym opened up in my city (shout-out to Evolve Strength!), and the owner said he could teach me how to powerlift and write me a program. Thus, a powerlifter was born!

I started powerlifting in August 2015 and since then have competed on almost every level—I’ve competed on the local, national, and international stages and even hold the national record for equipped bench press in my age and weight class!

So, that’s basically my lifting history in a nutshell! I’ll likely hearken back to some of my past experiences in future posts, but I wanted to give you a little backstory before I start sharing training updates and talking about future plans.

If you’ve read this far, thank you, and I hope you enjoy this and future content!

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