Off-season update: training, deadlifts and cake!


Time for a quick update on my off-season training, progress and goals.

As per my most recent update, I’m still planning on doing a deadlift-only powerlifting meet (or just doing a deadlift at a full powerlifting meet, anyway).

Training for that has been going OK, I think. It’s sort of difficult for me to tell, since it’s a new venture and I don’t have anything against which to measure my progress. And my progress seems slow, to be honest, with my deadlift numbers creeping up in tiny increments. But perhaps that’s just how it goes? I suppose it would be a bit odd to increase my deadlift by 30kgs in a week or something. That would rather suggest I just hadn’t been trying up until now.

So, where am I with the deadlift? Despite once pulling 140kgs, I haven’t managed to replicate that in training this year. I did however pulled 135kgs just before Christmas (for two sets of one rep), and that was after quite a few sets building up to the max attempt.

(Off-season means a max attempt deadlift session can be followed by cake with a friend!)

I’ve still no idea what I’ll manage to do in a competitive setting but I’m really just doing it for the experience. A PB (PR) would be great, but I won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.

As for my other 2014 goals, yes I will certainly be competing in bodybuilding again 😀 . I’ve chosen my “A” goal, and have also identified a couple of shows which I might do in the run-up to that show. All will be revealed in due course, but it’s safe to say that the very earliest I will compete in bodybuilding this year will be late August.

I find January a funny month, hence why I don’t blog much about my training. I never feel there’s very much to say! But if there’s anything you’d like to know, or discuss, please let me know. I’d welcome the writing prompt!

I’ll leave you with a truly delightful session that my new training partner, Lady P, “enjoyed” about 10 days ago. I do two leg sessions per week, one is more squat/quad dominant and the other is more deadlift/hams focused.

1) Barbell backsquats in powerrack
warm up sets: 40kgs, 60kgs, 70kgs
working sets: 80kgs (12, 10, 10, 10)
2) “red” leg press (no idea what make this is but it’s a plate loaded one)
warm up set: 100kgs
working sets: 150kgs (4 x 10)
1 fast set at 100kgs – 7 reps wide stance, 7 reps regular stance, 7 reps narrow stance
3) nautilus leg extension (single legs)
3 sets to failure (each leg) 60kgs
1 dropset to failure 60/50/40kgs
4) nautilus duo squat machine
3 sets (310kgs, 310kgs, 285kgs all sets to failure)
5) glute/ham raises
2 sets, using a resistance band

(Top right is the “red leg press” and bottom left is the nautilus duo squat – I know this is a pretty unusual bit of kit, I’m not sure if you’ve seen or trained on one?)

What’s your main sporting goal for 2014?
And do you find January a funny month for training, too (or is it just me)?

Off-season update: training, deadlifts and cake! 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.


15 Responses to Off-season update: training, deadlifts and cake!

  1. Dave says:

    Isn’t the deadlift in that picture 170kg?


  2. flick161 says:

    Some nice strong lifts in there Nic.
    With Squats that strong for higher reps you really should do a full power meet before you start dieting -you’re clearly very strong! Imagine what your 1rm would be! X


    • Nicola Joyce says:

      Aw, thanks Flick! I’ve squatted 110kg before for more than 1 rep but it was a while ago.

      However….my bench is so shit as to be almost non existent! So I’d need the deadlift and squat to take care of almost all my total, haha! X


      • flick says:

        Most PL’s I’ve spoken to have one shit lift. Bench has the least weight for your overall so if it’s bad (and probably isn’t as bad as you think) then as long as your other 2 are up (which they are) you should be fine 🙂
        Plus, everyone’s gotta have at least one thing they’re bad at 😉


      • Nicola Joyce says:

        LOL I’ll add “bench press” to the list 😉

        Cheers Flick, maybe a full power meet is in my future… x


  3. Tara says:

    LOL can you imagine if you accidentally pulled 170 without knowing?! Wouldn’t that be awesome…

    The previous commenter beat me to the punch. Your squat is phenomenal! You should definitely be doing a full powerlifting meet before you start dieting. Based on what I’ve seen in comp, you’d only need about 40kg to win. Your squat and dead are huge for your size!!!


    • Nicola Joyce says:

      Haha I’d love it if that happened! I have miscalculated by 10kgs before but not 35kgs. 170kgs would be something!

      Hm…. I might think about it… I haven’t been training squat for competition though and I haven’t actually flat barbell benched for a very long time.


  4. Trish says:

    Good Luck at the PL meet I bet you will be surprised how much you pull on the day.

    Can’t wait to see you in action again this year xx


  5. bigdaveakers says:

    Interesting stuff, thanks Nicola!


  6. Liz says:

    Hi Nicola, woah your squats really are good! I’m a squat-lover and my new year’s resolution is to squat 70kg for 5 x 5 reps. I’m currently at 65kg, but I’m quite little so think that’s a big enough jump! Would be great to see some pics of your quads after your mega-set! 🙂 What comps are you entering this year? I don’t compete ever, but I like to follow.


    • Liz says:

      PS – check out my blog sometime – it’s new 🙂


    • Nicola Joyce says:

      Hi Liz, thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 At the mo I’m training all bundled up still, but according to my training partner, you can see my quad sweep, teardrop and hams popping through my tracky bottoms (I must send her that £10…. 😉 )

      As soon as it gets remotely warm enough I’ll start training in shorts again and will start up with the #gymselfies again haha

      70 for 5×5 is a fantastic goal, would love to hear your progress. Do you back squat, or mix it up? I love front squats.

      take care 🙂


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