I have! Today I squatted with Buddy the Elf and Frosty the Snowman aka my friends Miky and Jamie. A load of us went over to the fantastic Ripped Gym in Harlow – home to one of our own (WNBF Pro Mark Oakes) for the annual Christmas “natty meet”.
Our community of natural bodybuilders have various gym-meets throughout the year, sometimes organised by the gym owner, sometimes by the bodybuilder who trains at the gym.
Date and venue are set, word is sent out, and whoever can be there turns up to train, chat and have something to eat afterwards. It doesn’t matter if you’re experienced or new, competing or off-season, retired or yet to compete. You just have to want to train and have a bit of a giggle with the good folk of natural BB.
Training partners/trios are usually arranged beforehand via Facebook. And so it was that I ended up arranging to train legs with
Buddy Miky and Frosty Jamie.
Miky and I have never trained before. Jamie and I have, although not in the gym. We did a 60 mile sportive in the Summer. It was pretty hot, very hilly, and a big ask! Jamie had to get off his bike and have a little sit-down outside somewhere rather prophetically named “Hellfire Caves”.
Today was slightly less punishing on the quads…. but only just 😉
Ripped Gym in Harlow is an amazing gym, huge and packed full of equipment. I swear you could be there for 6 hours and still not have time to do a set on every different bit of kit. I trained there back in February but there was still lots I wanted to try out today!
Here’s what we did
(I’m sure you can spot the bit where the guys said “are we done now?” and I said “yes, oh no, ooh, can we just do a few sets on […]?”)
Back squats 4 sets (I worked up to 70kgs) then 1 set paused squats (lower weight)
Plate loaded hack squats 3 sets 10-12
Barbell SLDL 4 sets 10-12 ish
Superset: lying hamstring curl (both legs), standing hamstring curl (single legs) <<< I love this bit of kit!
Barbell hacks (only 1 set – I was taught how to do them properly – all I can say is ouch!)
1 x triple dropset on the leg press (cheered on by Jamie telling me “You’re a reindeer! You’re STRONG! ;D) )
Seal rows 4 sets
My legs are officially ruined!
Then upstairs for a bit of posing (had forgotten how tiring it is and how much it makes my legs and back ache!)
Then to Five Guys for a PWO meal. Sorry, Five Guys fans, but I was underwhelmed. It was OK but just OK. The company was great though 😀
Thanks to Mark Oakes for organising today’s meet (herding cats?) and to Michelle at Ripped Gym for the warm welcome.
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.