After getting the powerlifting bug at the WSA Welsh Champs I decided to enter my second competition 3 weeks later. With only a couple of weeks to prep for the next comp it was decided that there was no time for deload, instead treat the Welsh as a training session for the Bournemouth classics. This meant coming in to squat the day after competition. I had actually only popped in to the gym to use the internet when Owen ‘The real deal’ Hubbard strolled in and explained the need to squat. So I had 2 weeks of training and a week of deload before the next comp.
My new training schedule was simply brutal. Having had little direction for my training and gone on holiday for my prep for the Welsh I found the 5 days a weeks tough.
Monday – Squat
Tuesday – Bench
Wednesday – Dead
Thursday – Bench
Friday – Squat
With limited time we started in week one with 5 reps and worked down to single reps by end of week 2. If you have read previous blogs you will be aware that I am/ was keen on HIT training. I would only ever train a body part once a week or longer if need. Now I was training around 80% of my 1rm 5 days a week. The first week was the hardest then gradually I adjusted. By the end of week two 200kg felt nice on my back and flew up out the hole for 5 singles.
With a week until comp and openers hit it was time for a deload. Thankfully in this federation I could be be up 93kg, at a svelte 91kg I had weight to gain so did not need to drop water or carbs. (Dropping water for my last comp was a bad idea, I was cramping before the 1st round of deads).
This time the Dave’s Gym Power lifting squad was stripped down to Owen Hubbard, Max Semple, my self and mini Clug providing emotional support. We left for Bournemouth a day earlier to give us time to acclimatise and get a good sleep before weigh in. The drive down was fantastic as car journeys go. Lush rolling Doreset countryside set the back drop for endless lads banter about weights, girls, lifting, DOMS and tour stories of old, Cracking stuff. We arrived at the Lamb Inn at 4.30pm , dropped off our bags and headed straight for the beach. Tops off. After a lavish 2 course diner at the local harvester we headed back to the B & B to settle down for the night and prepare our minds for the epic day ahead.
After a modest breakfast (each of us handing over sausages to Dan Clug in fear of missing the weight class) we headed to Bournemouth Uni Athletics Club. An impressive facility with an Athletics track that would prove vital in the coming hour.
Welsh Powerlifting is a different experience to competitions in England. In Wales there appears to be an abundance of units everywhere competing and spectating. This is not a bad thing just an observation of the varying tone and atmosphere. If anything we where greeted with open arms, so much so Dan was asked to compete. During the weigh in he was asked by the head judge ‘Do you lift’ His response was a perplexed ‘yes’ “whats your 1rm squat?’ Dan ‘160kg?’ Get weighed in then’ Before you could say ‘Get lifting’ young Clug was signed up to compete in the 73kg class. In other news I weighed in bang on the money at 93 kg, Max was well in the 125kg class and Owen was 200g over his weight. This spurred on an impromptu 1500m run to drop weight. I have seen this man squat but never run.
Once weigh in is nailed then comes the wait. With 3 hours before warm ups began we stuffed our faces with sweets, croissants, baguettes, and tang fastic sweets. Basically anything that would give us a shit load of energy in the coming hours. The trick here is to eat but not too much the last thing you want is to be puking on the platform.
As the warm ups began the tension starts to reduce as you become more comfortable around you fellow lifters. I find the best way to stay focused is to not worry about the lifts going on around you but instead maintain a state of constant readiness. Not too alert but not too relaxed, just enough to be able to turn on your game 60 seconds before your lift. As the competition picks up so does the camaraderie. I have mentioned this before in the previous blog post but the atmosphere between your competitors is awesome. Everyone one cheers regardless of the weight or outcome of the lift. As my lifts get closer my behaviour becomes increasingly ritualistic. Music, water, chalk, vaseline (dry lips is key for a successful bench) what ever works for you.
Having had a few weeks of Powerlifting training under my belt I felt more prepared than before. I had learnt some useful skills. The grind, essentially knowing when keep pushing and fighting out of the hole until eventually you go up. Learning to pause, hold at the bottom of a rep no touch and go. With more preparation and one competition behind me I felt more content in the warm up room, dropping my warm up sets to save energy.
I managed a 220kg squat, 250kg deadlift and a 150kg squat. All 1rms which flew up I’m not sure how but they felt really good. Hubbard broke an unofficial world record with a 185 bench smashing his weight class. Max dominated the 125kg’s securing his 100% record and young Clug hit 1rms holding his own in his first comp.
Jubilant after another great weekend of competition, we headed back to South Wales via Burger King. The British Classic awaits.
Owen is aways ready to squat
Coffee with Clug