Greater Londons 2014 & my first go at refereeing

A few days have passed since the competition and I’ve been meaning to write it up, but as per usual life gets in the way. In a nutshell: I did OK pretty well, all things considered – a new 267.5kg pb total, 52.5kg pb bench press (at <72kg bw) and a new 120kg pb deadlift.

The night before the competition I did not sleep well – I think I got about 4 hours’ sleep, thanks to anxiety and my brain just churning over & over. I think I was more nervous about refereeing in the afternoon than I was about lifting in the morning.

I’d weighed myself at 71.8kg before I went to bed, and when I got to the gym I was a very, very surprising 70.1kg – the lightest I have ever been in nearly 4 years of competing. And that was without eating much protein, without trying to make weight (I had a full roast dinner the night before; including giant “healthy eating” no-no: gravy out of a packet).

I felt larger than I did before the British, when I’d spent weeks eating a precision diet beforehand, including 100g+ of protein every day, and yet I was 300g lighter on Saturday than at the British. AND (more importantly) I felt much, much better than at the British. So, lesson learned; I definitely will never do a high-protein “healthy” diet like I that again, because it made me feel like shit. Packet gravy and Snickers bars all the way for me.

Here’s an interesting thing – I’ve been training in my Adidas Powerlifting shoes for weeks now, but just before I did my final warm-up squat (82.5kg) I freaked out and decided to swap back to my Gola plimsolls. I don’t know why – I just don’t feel “right” in the Adidas shoes. I’ve never squatted more than 90kg in them, and I didn’t want the competition to be the time I find out that anything over 90kg tips me forwards too much and makes me fail (I have a tendency to collapse in the squat, which heeled shoes only accentuate).

Anyhow, on to the lifts. I opened with 90kg on the squat, which was fine as usual. 95kg was next, and again it was OK so I went up to 100kg, thinking Hey, I’ve got it twice before, it’s no biggie.

I didn’t get it. I was red-lighted 2:1 on depth 😦 Bloody typical really. I knew I hadn’t got it when I finished the lift, but I was hoping it’d been so marginal that the refs hadn’t noticed – but no dice. Oh well. 95kg final lift on the squat then.

On to the bench. I put my Adidas Powerlift shoes back on & got ready to bench using my new setup – no blocks, legs back, lots of leg drive. I’ve never competed using this position before, and I was pretty confident I’d get a 52.5kg bench – maybe even 55kg.

I opened on 50kg and…. red-lighted. Oh my fucking god. Apparently after the centre ref gave the signal I changed my setup & then my bottom came off the bench during the lift. I was gutted. I went & sat down, thinking that this was it, I was going to bomb, I wasn’t going to get any of my other benches (I have never managed to repeat a lift successfully in competition) and that I might as well get my stuff & go home.

But I didn’t do that…. Instead I swapped my Adidas shoes for my Golas, again, and took 50kg for my second attempt with my old setup & blocks under my feet. Bear in mind that I missed 50kg like this at the British, so I was freaking out big time that I wouldn’t get it.

I got it. Then I swapped back into my Adidas shoes, ditched the blocks and went for 52.5kg on my third attempt. This time, I dug my bottom into the bench and I got it! Oh thank fuck for that.

On to deadlifts. I had intended to open at 112.5kg, but I managed to let myself get talked out of that and went down to 110kg before the deadline. 110kg was fine, as usual (I’ve been opening with 110kg for about 2 years!!); so I went for 117.5kg and an equal pb next. No probs. So, 120kg to follow, despite everyone on the judging table telling me to go for 122.5kg. 120kg flew up, new pb for me (and I’ve been trying to get 120kg for TWO YEARS).

However, I was talking to the refs later on, and apparently I twisted one of my knees to tuck it under the bar, which technically is a hitch & not allowed, so I was very, very lucky to be given that lift. Yikes 😐

Overall, I got 2nd place (out of 3) and a new pb total of 267.5kg. I was happy to get 2nd, but if I’m honest I’m kinda gutted I didn’t win – I probably won’t ever have the chance to win anything except the Greater Londons, and I missed my chance this year. If I’d got the 100kg squat, I would have won on bodyweight (the lady who won totaled 272.5kg but was 1.1kg heavier than me – and probably 12 years younger!!). Oh well. A bittersweet 2nd place!

After lifting I had to referee, the prospect of which was terrifying! But it was actually fine… I was so worried that I’d forget all the commands, but I didn’t (mostly!) Being in the chair is definitely a different experience from being on the platform. I did centre & side ref for squats, side ref for bench, and centre & side ref for deadlifts.

The lifting finished at about 8.15pm, which was earlier than any of us predicted. I got a lift home from the gym after we’d spent about 45 minutes tidying up, so I was home before 10pm. I went pretty much straight to bed, ready for…. The BodyMASS the next day!

But that is a post for another time.


2 thoughts on “Greater Londons 2014 & my first go at refereeing

  1. Pingback: BodyMASS London regionals and a bit of a rant about bailing on squats | Laura Lifts

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