Four weeks today til my first powerlifting comp so I thought it was time for a training update.
Quick reminder for anyone who doesn’t know: powerlifting is the one where you perform three lifts in the actual competition. Squat, bench press, deadlift. You nominate your opening weight (the weight you’ll attempt for your first lift of all three lifts) before you start. You do each lift three times, going up in weight each time. You nominate your second and third weight once you’ve done each lift.
I’ve never done a powerlifting comp before so I have no idea what to expect. I know what I can lift in the gym but that’s not necessarily a prediction of what I’ll do on the day, what with adrenalin, people watching me, etc. Each lift is watched closely by referees and you only get a white light (“good lift”) if your technique is spot on. Squats have to be to depth, bench has to be paused at the chest, deadlift has to be locked out (there’s more to it than that, but that gives you an idea).
The qualifying lifts for my weight category are 90kgs squat, 50kgs bench, 110kgs deadlift, all of which I’ve done in the gym but that’s not to say I’ll get them in comp. Obviously I hope I will, but I’m well aware anything can happen on the day!
Here’s how things have progressed over the last few weeks:
– I’ve been regularly squatting 80kgs and 85kgs for reps, 90kgs for 2-3 (although last week 90 felt very hard even for 1!) and I’ve done 100kg for 1 several times. I’d like to get more confident with squatting. I feel like it’s the lift which has improved the least, to be honest. Hm.
– I now bench 50kgs for reps with ease (which I’m very happy about because I can vividly remember the first time I did 50 for 5×5 – I felt like shouting it from the rooftops haha!), 60kgs for 2-3 and I got 65kgs for 1 with a lot of effort the other day. Last week I benched 70kgs to a board (powerlifting training technique) which gave me confidence. I’ve been doing a lot of paused bench as well which I actually really enjoy because I can feel it challenging my weak point in the press.
– I got a deadlift PB today! 145kgs. My love for deadlifting is well known (I never shut up about it). I’d love to set a new PB in comp but we’ll see. It wasn’t so long ago that I was jumping for joy about 140, so to get 145 today (whilst actually feeling quite shit after a late night last night) was very cool!
As well as working on my actual strength, I’ve been doing my best to work on technique, listening to the cues (so I don’t screw up on the day!), tackling my weak points in each lift, and maintaining some semblance of speed when things get heavy.
And I am finding a way to co-exist peacefully with my Inzer belt. It’s softened up (a bit) and I guess I’ve toughened up. I just keep remembering that I only have to endure the pain for one rep at a time!
So, four weeks of training left til my comp. I guess one of those should be some kind of deload/rest. So, yeah, three weeks. One of which is Christmas/New Year/travelling/seeing family etc. Eek!
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.