Reader requests: my training weights

Thanks for your responses to my previous post where I asked you what you wanted to know about my prep.

The majority of voters clicked on the question about what weights I’m lifting in the gym at the moment, so that’s what I’ll talk about!

I did also get asked about recipes (blog post coming soon), a day’s eats (maybe) and a couple of off-piste questions which I’ll answer at the end of this post.

Since I do a lot of different lifts (I currently have two different leg sessions, as well as chest, triceps, back, biceps and shoulders), I thought I’d just pick a few main ones to tell you about. I suppose I should take pictures really but… I haven’t. Sorry about a text-heavy post! Here goes:

Squat (using Olympic bar) – 80kgs for 3 sets of 8-10
Deadlift (Olympic bar) – 75kgs for 4 sets of 8-10
Dumbbell deadlifts – using 2 x 30kg dumbbells
Decline benchpress (Olympic bar) – 40kgs for 3 sets of 8
Single-arm flat benchpress (dumbbells) – 22kgs
Bent-over row (Olympic bar) – 40kgs
Overhead press (using whatever kind of bar is free) – around 35kgs
Single-arm clean and press (dumbbells) – 14kgs
Single-arm upright rows (dumbbells) – 18kgs

There’s a selection of stuff I do. Bear in mind I haven’t done any kind of one-rep max test for ages. These weights are what I use for exercises which make up part of my sessions (which consist of anything from six to ten exercises, some supersetted) and I typically do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Karryann asked what made me choose Physique over Figure. The truth is, it kind of chose me. There are set criteria (although it’s a subjective sport) for both categories, and – as my initial prep progressed – it became apparent that I suited Physique more than Figure. I didn’t decide this for myself (I didn’t know anything like enough about it to do so). It was my coach, and her friend Annie U (former competitor and basically fabulous bodybuilding stalwart) who said it. Figure and Physique differ in that Physique competitors need to have more muscle mass and size, less body fat and harder conditioning. They can be striated and vascular. It’s less of a shapely, lean look and more of a hard, cut look. As I dieted and trained for my qualifier, that’s just the way I started to come in. So we decided I’d suit Physique best, and that’s the class I did! I’m very glad I did, I felt it suited me and my personality and I absolutely loved being on stage as a Physique competitor.

Thanks for voting and commenting and asking questions! I’ll be back soon to talk recipes.

Do you lift weights in the gym? What’s your favourite exercise, or your proudest PB/one-rep max?

Reader requests: my training weights is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


12 Responses to Reader requests: my training weights

  1. Juliet says:

    I sat here w/ a little kg -> pound converter to figure out your weights. holy crap you’re so strong! It’s interesting that you deadlift less than you squat, typically it’s the other way around. Is there any particular reason for this (an injury, etc.) or just how things have worked out for ya? 🙂


    • thefitwriter says:

      Hiya! Um, I’m not sure really. I think it’s probably two things – I’ve been squatting longer than I’ve been deadlifting (heavy, anyway) so I feel more at home with the squat movement. Also, my grip tends to give out way before the rest of me (on deadlifts). I’ve tried straps but don’t really get on with them.

      Or perhaps I should just try harder on DLs ;D


      • Juliet says:

        I’m the opposite, squats scare the willies out of me (I’m workin’ on it though!!). I like my straps but I understand where you’re coming from, they definitely took a while to get used to.

        I’ve been thinking of giving chalk a go to replace them.


      • thefitwriter says:

        I looooooove squats. Mind you, I love deadlifts too! 😀


  2. LOL you sent me running to my chemistry book to figure out all the conversions….dang girl!! 🙂 You rock!

    I also squat more than I DL…well. I squat more than I stiff-legged deadlift, less than I conventional deadlift. I think it’s a genetic thing for me.


  3. Karryann says:

    Thanks for your answer, interesting!
    My favourite exercise is squats, at 90kg right now.Stiff leg deadlifts are a close second,I’m lifting 75kg for this.


    • thefitwriter says:

      You’re welcome 🙂


      • Karryann says:

        You’ve made me think about my decision to compete next year. I thought figure would be best for me, especially with the new BNBF class. Maybe I should just wait to see which category my body best fits in to closer to the competition.


      • thefitwriter says:

        I think that’s a sensible approach, especially if you don’t quite know how much size you’ll gain or how lean you’ll come in. Are you naturally quite vascular? Also consider whether you want to do compulsory poses, or a t-walk etc… Would you prefer to do the heels thing, or not? I think you’ll know when you’ve found the right category for you. My best advice is… to get advice! I would have had no idea, but people who know far more than me told me what they thought 😀


  4. Kristen says:

    I think your reasons for choosing physique over figure are super smart — far better to choose what actually suits you rather than try to cram your square body into a round hole.

    And I got the awesome shaker cup today… taking it to the gym tomorrow! Thanks again; it’s great!


    • thefitwriter says:

      Thanks, I feel very happy to be doing Physique and feel it’s very “me” – nothing wrong with Figure at all but I just don’t think it’s me. So glad the shaker got there! Let me know how you get on with it 😀 What colour did you get?


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