I’m trying to think of an interesting start to this blog post & failing, other than “So yesterday I competed in the GBPF London Clubs 2014…” So! yesterday I competed in the GBPF London Clubs! This is a different competition to the GBPF Greater London Championships which happens in November – the purpose of this competition was originally to establish the best powerlifting club in London, but it’s now grown to be something much bigger. Yesterday’s event has 75 entered lifters, and by the time I left (at around 5.30pm) the 93kg men + above had only just started lifting. I have no idea what time it all went on until, but hopefully not too late!
As I mentioned in my last post, this has been the oddest competition prep ever. Since I didn’t have to make weight, and because I’d been off work & out of my usual routine during the preceding week, my eating had been all over the place & I hadn’t been to Yoga or Pilates. Instead, I spent the week doing DIY in sweltering heat and eating 2 meals a day (mostly sugar, crisps and pies). My aim to eat more protein in July has really gone out of the window.
Still, I got my bathroom floor tiled, which was the week’s goal:
My freshly-tiled bathroom floor
By the time Friday evening rolled around I felt shit. Tired, unhappy guts, craving vegetables (me! craving vegetables!), sore and achy.
My traditional pre-competition meal is a Nando’s, but since I didn’t go into town at all last week we had a faux Nando’s cooked at home. It definitely hit the spot – we have this sort of meal pretty often at home and it’s always a favourite.
On Saturday morning I work up feeling pretty rubbish. I had a bad night’s sleep and on the walk from Bethnal Green tube to the gym my legs felt as weak as shit. Not a good sign. I wasn’t even convinced I’d get my 90kg squat opener.
I weighed in at 74.4kg, putting me at the low end of the 84kg class; there were two other ladies also lifting in the 84kg, and four ladies in my usual 72kg class along with 8 other lifters. We had 5 Bethnal Green women lifting altogether, which is a great turnout! Powerlifting has got so much more popular than when I started – I used to be one of maybe 2 or 3 ladies in total, at most.
The gym was roastingly hot, and luckily someone had thought to install some fans, otherwise I would have completely melted. Still even with the fans, it was hotter inside the gym than out, and my singlet felt like a sweatsuit.
I warmed up to an 80kg squat, then opened with 90kg on the platform, which in the end felt completely fine. 95kg was next, again no problems; then the magic 100kg! Which went up like an absolute dream – in fact I reckon I could have had a decent bash at 102.5kg. I will save that for the British Classic in September!
After a 1-hour break while two groups of boys did their squats, we warmed up for bench. I opened at 50kg, which was fine as usual. Then 52.5kg, which was tough but I got it. I then really had to put down 55kg, knowing I didn’t have a chance in hell. And yep, 55kg went down and then didn’t even move off my chest – much to the amusement of the refs. Ah well, you’ve got to give those guys a little comic relief, eh?
After another hour break, it was deadlift time. I really do not feel good about my deadlifts any more. I had told the refs that I wanted to open at 112.5kg, but I wasn’t sure I’d even get that. I warmed up to 110kg, though, and it felt alright enough that I decided to go for it. 112.5kg on the platform went up fine, so I asked for 117.5kg for my next lift. And…yeah, fail. I failed on grip on my right hand, again.
For my third attempt I went for the same weight, and decided (controversially!) not to chalk my hands, as it felt like I’d chalked my hands too much on the second attempt and that had contributed to the bar slipping. Again, I gave it a really good go, but as soon as I was fully upright the bar slipped from my right hand before the down signal was given.
I’m quite cross with myself, really. My left hand is fine, my legs & back are strong (honestly, the 117.5kg went up without my legs even really straining) but my right hand lets me down. And I know this, I’ve known it for months and months but I’ve been too lazy to work on my grip (because it adds another 15-20 minutes to my workouts and I want to go home, blah blah excuses).
Anyway, my total was 265kg, which is 15kg more than my previous totals at <72kg. Not bad work for a 2.5kg bodyweight increase. Unfortunately I was 5kg short of the British qualifying total for the 84kg class, so I won't have a choice & will have to compete at 72kg in the British classic.
The biggest surprise of the day, though, was that the organisers decided to do placings for each weight group for the women. Normally, they only do placings by weight group for men, and overall placings for women as there aren't very many women. Ergo, I usually come last!
But this time there were enough women to justify weight group placings and… I got second place in the 84kg class! Trust me, no-one was more surprised than me. No #TeamLast for once!
Say cheese! Me with 52kg champion Rachel
I got a pretty awesome trophy to add to the pile, and a reminder from the refs to work on that grip.
Overall, I’m thrilled that I got my 100kg squat, my 52.5kg bench and a new big total; but I’m disappointed I didn’t get a deadlift pb and that I didn’t get a qualifying total. But that’s me being hard on myself, as usual. In squat terms alone, I’ve come a long way. Just gotta work on that grip (or start doing deadlifts one-handed?)
Next competition is the British Classic on September 20th, which I have to cut weight for. More on that later.