Monthly Archives: January 2013

26th & 28th January

Not been so great at keeping up my log! Sorry! 

Saturday 26th was a speed day. To be honest I was feeling pretty flat on this day, nothing really felt right and I was sort of going through the motions. 

Box squat (just below parallel): 20kg, 5 reps x 2; 40kg, 2 reps x 2; 40kg + 5kg chains (pair), 2 reps x 8

Weighted glute & hamstring raise: 10kg plate, 10 reps x 3

Hyperextension with blue band round neck: 10 reps x 3

Bench press with red bands: 20kg, 5 x 2; 25kg, 3 x 3

Narrow grip bench press with red bands: 25kg, 3 x 3

Wide grip bench press with red bands: 25kg, 3 x 3

JM press: 20kg, 10 reps x 3

Bent-over barbell row: 30kg, 10 reps x 3

Decline crunch: 10 reps x 3

Monday 28th was a heavy legs day. Despite feeling tired after work, I was more on it tonight!

Deadlift: 60kg, 3 reps x 4

Deadlift + 5kg chains (pair): 60kg x 3; 70kg x 3; 80kg x 3; 90kg x 1; 100kg x 1

Deadlift (back to straight weight): 90kg x 3; 80kg x 5

Straddle lift (standing on two benches, squat holding weight between benches): 10.5kg dumbbell, 6 reps; 25kg kettlebell, 10 reps x 3

Single-arm dumbbell row: 12.5kg, 10 reps x 3

Band good morning: blue band, 15 reps x 3

Pullthrough: blue band, 15 reps x 3

Cable crunch: 25kg, 10 reps x 3

Weighted wide-leg situp: 5kg plate, 10 reps x 3

Very pleased with my deadlift tonight – I feel I’m really getting back to normal after my surgery!



Max chest night tonight. Bench is my weakest lift by far so I need to concentrate this year on really working my arms/chest/shoulders hard.

Barbell bench press (straight, no chains or bands): 20kg, 10 reps x 2; 25kg, 10 reps; 30kg, 5 reps; 35kg, 3 reps; 40kg, 3 reps; 42.5kg, 2 x 2; 40kg, 3 reps

The aim here was to get 3 x 3 @ 42.5kg, but I couldn’t manage it, hence the extra 40kg set at the end. 

Dumbbell floor press: 10.5kg, 10 reps; 12.5kg, 5 reps; 12.5kg, 10 reps x 3

Went a bit mad with these! Floor press is one of my favourite exercises (along with decline crunches and – of course – deadlifts!)

Lying tricep kickback (dumbbells): 5kg, 10 reps; 6kg, 8 reps x 2

Pretty bad; I was trying to do 10 reps with the 6kg dumbbells but just couldn’t. Needs work. 

OHP: 20kg barbell, 5 reps x 3

Alternate hammer dumbbell curl: 7kg, 10 reps x 3

Lat pulldown: 25kg, 10 reps x 3

Decline crunch: 10 reps x 3


When I arrived at the gym, the first thing Martin said to me was that on Saturday I should have been working off % of my best box squat, not barbell squat, for that workout. Trouble is, I have no idea what my 1RM box squat is, so last night we ran up to find out. 

(For those not in the know, box squats are generally harder than regular barbell squats).

Squat (warm up): 20kg, 5 reps x 2

Box squat (low box below parallel, straight weight): 20kg, 3 reps x 2; 40kg, 3 reps; 50kg, 2 reps; 55kg, 1 rep; 60kg, 1 rep; 65kg, 1 rep; 70kg, 1 rep; 75kg, 1 rep.

I’m really pleased with this; I thought I’d only get up to 65kg or so. It’s less than 2 months since my surgery but I feel like I’m finally getting back to “normal”. 

Then I followed that up with:

Deadlift (for speed): 40kg, 5 reps x 2; 60kg, 4 reps; 80kg, 2 reps; 70kg, 5 reps x 3

Bent-over barbell row: 30kg, 10 reps x 3

Weighted glute & ham raise: 10kg plate, 10 reps x 3

Hyperextension: 10 reps x 3

Cable crunch: 25kg, 10 reps x 3

Weighted sit-up: 5kg plate, 7 reps x 3

17th & 19th January

Slightly late logging my latest two workouts…

On Thursday 17-01-13 I did max chest. I had intended to choose bench press as my main lift, but both benches in the gym were occupied & I didn’t have enough time to wait around, so I chose dumbbell floor presses instead…

Dumbbell floor press: 10.5kg, 5 reps x 2; 12.5kg 3 reps;15kg, 3 reps x 3; 17.5kg 1 rep (weight = one dumbbell)

Barbell bench press: 20kg, 10 reps x 2; 25kg 10 reps; 30kg, 5 reps, then 3 sets of 10 reps

JM press with 15kg bar, 10 reps x 3

Seated dumbbell shoulder press: 7kg dumbbells, 10 reps x 3

Barbell bicep curls: 15kg, 10 reps x 3

Lat pulldown: 25kg, 10 reps x 3

Dumbbell side bend: 12.5kg, 10 reps x 3

Then on Saturday 19-01-13 I did a speed day. All lifts focused on speed & explosive movement.

Barbell bench press: 20kg, 10 reps x 2; 22.5kg + pair of 5kg chains (so, 32.5kg + instability) 3 reps x 3

Narrow-grip bench press: 22.5kg + 5kg chains, 3 x 3

Wide-grip bench press: 22.5kg + 5kg chains, 3 x 3

JM press: 20kg, 10 reps x 3

Seated machine row: 12.5kg (each hand), 10 reps x 3

Box squat (low box): 20kg, 2 x 2; 40kg + 5kg chains, 2 reps x 15

Bent-over barbell row: 30kg 10 reps x 3

Glute & ham raise: holding 5kg plate, 10 reps x 3

Decline crunch: 10 reps x 3

Workout 14-01-13

Back to the gym today after my birthday this weekend (I was 36. Four years til Masters!)

Martin gave me a programme outline to work on up until my next competition in April. As I said before, I feel like I’m going to have to start from scratch with my squats, which feels a bit dispiriting but needs to be done!

Stationary bike: 10 mins (2.05 miles)

Box squats: 20kg, 3 reps x 3; 40kg, 3 reps x 2; 50kg, 3 reps; 60kg, 3 reps x 3

Dimel deadlifts: 40kg, 20 reps x 2

Bent-over row (quite high, underhand grip): 20kg, 10 reps x 3

Glute & ham raises: 10 reps x 3 holding 5kg plate

Band good mornings: 20 reps x 3 with blue band

Wide-legged sit-ups: 10 reps; then 10 reps x 2 holding a 5kg plate

Cable crunch: 20kg, 10 reps x 2; 25kg, 10 reps

I weighed myself this morning & I was 72.9kg, which is not too bad (my competition weight is 72kg max). Going to start a regime of CLAs before meals & BCAAs after workouts. I don’t lift to lose weight, obviously, but I can’t let my weight run away with me! 

Workout 10-01-13

After my slightly disastrous squat session on Monday, my coach & I had a chat and have decided that I shouldn’t follow the same programme as the other guys for now. They’re all training for a competition in February, which I won’t be ready for; instead we’re going to play a longer game & get myself ready for another comp in April. 

He also wants me to try squatting with a super-wide stance; I find it quite hard at the moment due to less-than-stellar hip mobility. But practice makes perfect, right?

Bench press:

The bench was set up with red bands (small diameter, not too thick, maybe about 7.5kg of extra load on top of the bar weight)

20kg 5 reps x 2; 25kg 5 reps; 30kg 5 reps x 2, 3 reps x 2

Dumbbell floor press: 10.5kg dumbbells, 3 reps; 12.5kg 3 reps x 5

Dumbbell hammer curls (both arms simultaneously): 6kg dumbbells 10 reps x 3

JM press: 20kg bar 7 reps x 3

Glute hamstring raise: 5kg plate, 10 reps x 3

Squat: 20kg 5 x 5 (keeping it light to practise my new stance)

Good mornings: 40kg 3 x 3

Bent-over barbell row: 20kg 10 reps x 3

No training for me on Saturday as it’s my birthday!! Back to the gym on Monday. 

Workout 7-01-13

And so, on to the workouts! I generally follow programs by my coach, Martin, which are written not just for me but also for all the other competitive powerlifters who train at Bethnal Green. I’m the only woman currently training in this way at my gym, which is both a bit disconcerting sometimes, but also very cool!

[The aim/goals of the workout]

Squats: 5 reps x 2 @ 70%; 3 reps x 3 @ 80%

Rack deadlifts: 6 – 10 singles @ 70%, tight & fast

[Actual lifts]

Squats: 20kg 5 reps x 2; 40kg 5 reps; 50kg 3 reps; 60kg 5 reps x 2; 67.5kg 3 reps; 60kg 3 reps. 

These were very hard, and my form was poor. Over 60kg my squats turned into “squat mornings” (i.e. leaning forward too far) and I felt very unsafe. I was extremely disappointed not to complete the sets, but Martin gave me a quick pep talk after, which helped. I do try to keep a positive attitude, but sometimes it’s hard when you let yourself down!

Rack deadlifts (pins just below knees): 60kg 4 reps; 80kg for 8 singles. 

Seated machine rows: 15kg (each hand) 5 sets of 7 reps.

Seated good mornings: 15 reps x 2 with a 20kg bar.

Glute & ham raises: 2 sets of 15.

Pullthroughs (with band): 2 sets of 15.

Seated leg curl (with band): 2 sets of 15.

Landmines: 20kg bar, 3 sets of 5.

Cable crunch: 2 sets of 10 @ 20kg; 1 set of 10 @ 25kg.