Sunday, July 27, 2008

Raw Nationals Powerlifting Results...


Thank you all so very much for all the supportive comments and wishes of luck for Raw Nationals. I was very honored to have the chance to participate in a national meet already in my very early career of powerlifting. Lifting at a national venue is an amazing experience. I had a chance to see some really awesome lifters in action... and talk training, form and strategies with some of the best lifters in the sport. How cool is that?

The internet was down at the hotel, so I had no chance to post any news from the meet. Worse, I had no opportunity to check my messages. I will give a the highlights of the weekend.

I will have to say Ellen Stein was the person I looked forward to meeting most. Ellen is a seriously strong woman, she won best lifter in the masters category. Pretty amazing lady with an awesome sense of humor. She is also an RKC...

So, I suppose I should report how it all went down for me...

I had a rocky start before I even stepped on the scale to weigh in. I knew I would be cutting it close, but I started my period on Friday. If you ever wondered what rules the world, I will tell you it is your hormones. A big hormonal fluctuation is like getting sick. I was 3 pounds over my weight class and my energy was low. I spent all day Friday just chilling out and trying to drop those last 3 pounds.

Saturday morning I was feeling strong and rested. I made weight, and had two hours to get some food and water before the meet started. Maura and I headed down to the venue to stretch out and prepare. I had my numbers in order and Aaron at my side to help me.

First lift;
Back Squat
209lbs - easy... squat is my lift. Despite the fact that my legs were quaking and my stomach was turning from nerves, the weight flew up, no problem
225lbs - My plan was actually to jump to 231lbs, but it was period time and I wanted to go easy. Good thing, I really had to gut this one out. I have never struggled with a lift this hard.
242lbs - My plan was to go for 248lbs on my third attempt, but after almost killing myself with 225 I thought I should scale it back a little... I missed this lift. This was the first time I missed a squat ever... in training or a meet.

Bench Press
94lbs - This was an easy opener for me, which was fine. My plan was to go easy on the bench in order to recover from that killer 225lbs squat enough to nail a decent deadlift.
105lbs - Flew up. No problems. Felt Great!
110lbs - Again, no problems and felt great! Honestly this was my strongest lift all day, here is the one lift I could have gone heavier on, LOL!

Deadlift
265lbs
- An easy opener, just the way it should be.
286lbs - I know it would be a challenge. I was already really pretty gassed out from period time, nerves, and the killer squats... I missed the lift. It didn't move.
286lbs - Honestly, I was totally destroyed by this time... I wanted to go home, I didn't want to go up on that platform again, but I did, and I missed the lift for the second time.

I was really planning on doing better at Raw Nationals, not worse. What went wrong? Luckily I had lots of input to help me figure this out.
  • Over training. Pretty much everyone told me I was doing this. I didn't believe it, now I do.
  • What happens in the gym doesn't always happen in the meet. I have never struggled with 225lbs! I buried 240lbs 8 weeks ago!
  • A 3 lift meet is killer! I was gassed after that killer squat. Plus our flight was small, only 6 lifters. As soon as I took my belt off, it was time to get ready to go again! You are at the mercy of the meet director, it is like the Gym Boss... the judges don't give a shit if you need another 2 minutes to recover.
  • Period time. Not at the top of my strength, in fact, I am probably at my weakest. I have to adjust my numbers for the way I feel that day.
  • Nerves, they can work for you, or against you... you will always revert back to habit in the time of stress. Letting doubt creep in is a killer.
I placed second in my weight class and set the national record in the squat with 225lbs. I can't wait to figure out a better training schedule. I can't wait to smash my squat record with something a little better. I am looking forward to busting through the plateau I am experiencing in the deadlift. Finally, I don't totally suck at the bench press.

I spent some time talking over technique and form with the Gregs, both Jones and Page. Two way cool guys who really know the sport and know how to get strong. I also got a ton of advice from some really great lifters.

Shawn Friday, John Dorsher, Rich Endinger, Madvig, gave me encouragement, advice, beer and pizza. Great guys!

Angela Simons, Cathy Marksteiner (head judge) and Jim (last name unknown) gave me lots of kind words after the meet which was just what I needed after feeling so discouraged with my lifts.

Last, but not least... Maura was great, and it is always a lot of fun to pal around with a veteran like her. I would have never went without her.

Rick Fowler ran a tight meet. Everything went smoothly. I had such a great time.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Leaving for Saint Louis

I am up a little early preparing for our trip down to Saint Louis for the USAPL Raw National Powerlifting meet. I can't believe I am already in a national level powerlifting meet... And I am on a team. I am on Team Press Gym. We well be wearing black and white Zubaz and Press Gym t-shirts. How cool is that? Here is a link to the line up of the rest of Team Press Gym.

I am feeling rested and ready to lift. I have had the benefit of being coached by Mark Reifkind, Shawn Friday, and every other lifter at The Press Gym. I have had the pleasure of training with Anna White, up and coming powerlifter in the 132's and of course my regular lifting partner Maura Shuttleworth, bench press champion in the 105's. For anyone who has trained with someone much better than yourself... you know, a good training partner is worth her weight in gold.

Ralph and Aaron Friday will be doing the driving today. Maura and I are going to be riding in style in Ralph Friday's minivan. What a total luxury! I am going to have to eat every bad thing I ever said about mini vans on this trip. Plus, how lucky am I to not only have a super supportive husband, but a Father-in-Law willing to drive me down to my meet?! Plus, I will have expert lifter and brother-in-law Shawn Friday helping me with numbers on Saturday!

I will be posting pictures and more of what is going down in Saint Louis!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bench Press

Anna White joined Maura and me for bench press. We are getting down to the wire regarding training. Tonight was my last heavy bench press workout. I wanted to practice commands... here is how it all went down...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
100X1
105X1
Commands
110X1
105X1X3
Touch and Go
95X3
~Another grind... here is 110lbs



Chin-ups
5,5,5
Pull-ups
3,3

Everything felt great tonight.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Last Squat Workout

Tonight was our last heavy squat workout. Maura, Anna White and I met up to pound it out one last time before the big competition. I am really looking forward to Raw Nationals... But, I am ready for some rest.

My plan was to nail 240 or 245, but after looking at the video, you will know why I stopped at 230. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
155X3
185X1
205X1
220X1
230X1
210X1
155X5
~Huge sticking point at 230lbs. Wow... it felt like time stood still for a minute. Brad Madvig, on the spot, said he didn't help... Thanks for being there Brad! If you want a perfect demonstration in sticking point... check this out.


Training feels like a 5 course meal to me...
I start out at 70% - a frustrating weight to be at. It is like getting a bread basket at your table... you don't really want to eat a bunch of it, but you can't stop yourself because you are so hungry.
Then on to 75% - The amuse bouche... a tease of what is to come, leaving you hungry and dissatisfied.
OK, 80% - The soup, finally sustenance!
85% - Salad, my favorite part, I could be perfectly happy stopping here...
90% - Entree, always more that you thought it would be...
95% - Dessert, you think you want it, but you consume it with caution.
Max Out - That 5th glass of wine, the last of the bread basket, some of your dinning companion's meal... just a little too much, but you can't help yourself!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

No Juice

Anna White joined Maura and me at The Press Gym for deadlifts. Maura and Anna pulled some serious weight, however, it was a tough night for me in the gym on deadlift night. Things started out well... then I fizzled out. Here is how it went down.

Deadlift
135X5
165X5
185X3
225X1
245X1
265X1
280Xnl
280Xnl
265X1
275Xnl
265X1
225X1
~all the lifts up to 265 flew up. 265 was a little more difficult than usual, and I had an uneven grip which caused the bar to twist a little. after missing 280 twice, out of shear frustration, I loaded the bar with 265 and ripped it off the floor.

I simply hit a serious drop off. I guess I need rest. I have to confess I am more than a little disappointed about missing 280lbs. I will just have to put it out of my mind.

Maura and I went to the WABDL meet on Saturday. Cheryl Anderson set a record pulling 333 lbs in the 105 class. That woman has some serious power. Way to go Cheryl!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bench Press Training

Wednesday and Sunday are bench press days... Bench press is my least favorite lift. I am sure the main reason I don't love the bench press is because it is a weak lift for me. My form is pretty nice, even by Rif's standards, but I am still 10lbs short of pressing my body weight. If it wasn't for my stellar lifting partner, Bench Press Champion Maura Shuttleworth, I would bomb the bench press altogether. Lucky for me Maura loves the bench press, and her love for this lift carries over for me. I don't always post my bench press workouts because they are still pretty vanilla... I should be working on boards and some other variations, but I just haven't gotten there yet. Any whooo here is how it all went on for me on the bench....

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
Press with Commands
105X1
110X1
105X1
Pause-ish
95X3
~I really feel like I own 110lbs.

Skull Crunchers
18lbsX10
20X8
20X8

Face Pulls
60X10X3

Monday, July 7, 2008

Squat Training

Raw Nationals is getting close. This is our second to last chance to train heavy. Ana White joined Maura and me tonight to bang out a few reps under the bar. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
185X2
200X1
215X1
225X1
215X1
2ooX1
170X5
~Felt pretty good for having so much fun this weekend. Plus singles are so much easier than reps for me. Here is a video of 225lbs for viewing. Big sticking point, but I manage to work through it.


Heavy Walkouts
225
245
265
~I didn't want to do a whole lot of these because I got fried last time...

July Fourth Fun!!!


Maura and my friend Vicki is often behind the camera. She is a great friend, and we finally got a picture of her. Vicki has a great sense of humor and swings a mean kettlebell. She made this weekend unforgettable!

There was some fun and relaxation for us this weekend! Aaron, Shawn, Maura, Vicki and I all headed up to Alexandria in honor of Independence Day. Aaron and Shawn's parents generously hosted all of us at their home. I could not have asked for nicer in-laws.

We started with some fun water riding on Big Mable, a huge water toy pulled by Ralph Friday on the pontoon boat. That evening we watched fireworks from the pontoon boat as well.

~Ralph Friday at the helm; us girls on Big Mable...

~Shawn and Elsa Friday


On Saturday Mike Nelson and Jodi showed up. Maura insisted on a push-up workout. Ten sets of ten was on the menu... then some goofing around with kettlebells. Maura and I followed this up with a new form of ab work... check out the video for your viewing pleasure.


We also got a few special visitors... Amanda and Steve Reishus, and Rob stopped by! Steve Reishus is another kettlebell/powerlifting enthusiast from blogosphere, meeting him and his wife Amanda was a real treat. They are a very sweet couple. Rob is a very nice guy as well... he need a blog though.


It was so nice to spend the holiday weekend with friends... it is important to mix some fun in with training. This weekend was near perfection.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Everything is easy until it gets heavy....

This is the time in my training cycle where I start to complain. I feel much better disliking the peaking stage now that I know Rif doesn't really care for it either. I love lifting between 75-90% of my max. Those weights are fun! Heavy enough to be interesting... light enough to be enjoyable. Above 90% gets oppressive and a little stressful. I have to focus. No joking around. It's work. I am much more interested in having fun.

I am finding myself wanting to take a nap in the middle of the day. I crave lots of fat... not just my treat of corn chips, but big fat; coconut oil, nut butter, fatty cuts of meat, mayonnaise... my energy is low.

The 16kg kettlebell is starting to feel heavy. I get fired up for my workout with the barbell... then my little flame burns out and I am asleep on the couch about an hour after getting home from the gym. Raw Nationals is in 21 days... that means two more squat night and one deadlift workout.

Boo hoo... I am a cry baby! Any whoo here is how it all went down...

Deadlift
135X5
165X3
185X3
225X1
245X1
265X1
270X1X3
~The first single at 270 flew up! It went up easier than the 265. The second two singles went up easy enough... It is still tough to break the floor. I feel like I own 270.

Only deads tonight. I had to train clients until 8:30... Aaron, Shawn, Maura, Vicki and I are going up to visit Aaron and Shawn's parents this weekend. Should be fun.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back on the Bench

Maura is back from Bench Press World's, which means training bench press is going to be back on track. Here is how it all went down...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
105X1
~with commands
110X1
110X1
105X1
~close grip
95X3
95X3
95X3

Seated Plate Raises
25lbsX8X3

Face Pulls
60lbsX10X3

Maura and I were both low on energy, so we called it quits after the face pulls. Raw Nationals are in 22 days.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Time to get Serious...

Monday is my regular squat day. After a weekend of fun with friends, and missing my deadlift day on Friday, I was really looking forward to getting under the bar again. Maura had the day off work so we met up early at The Press for our squat workout.

This is the difficult part of training for me. I am at 90% of my 1RM, I had 2 sets of 2 at 115lbs on the menu. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squat
95X5
135X3
165X2
205X2
215X2
215X2
205X2
~ I don't really know what happened... 215 moved like crap. I can't even say the bar felt heavy... I simply didn't have the juice. I might have got one good squat on my first rep of the first set. On the second rep I really twisted my way up, I don't know why. The second set, I didn't hit depth and the second rep moved very slowly.



Box Squats
160X3
155X3
155X3
~I think these moved up better than last week. I will have to make a movie for Rif's approval. I feel it in the hip flexors which is where I believe I am supposed to feel it.

Kettlebell Class
I worked out with my class. I went pretty light, with the exception of Bulgarian Split Squats... that was part of my squat workout. I did 2 sets of 2 with double 16's.

I usually workout with my class, but I don't count it as a workout because I am distracted. I have to watch over my students, make corrections, offer demonstrations and coach. It doesn't seam balanced to me... so I feel like that training really counts as a workout.