Tag Archives: Powerlifting

GBPF Greater Londons

So, it’s done, and while I qualified for 2014’s British Classic, I’m not very happy with how I did. Spoiler: I came last, before you ask 😉

Firstly, I made weight! Thank deity. I was 72.5kg when I went to bed the night before, and I deliberately didn’t weigh myself at home before I left. I was 71.4kg at the official weigh-in.

Squats went fine – I got a new pb of 92.5kg, which is 2.5kg more than I got 6 weeks ago in the British. 2 pbs in 6 weeks is not bad going after lifting for as long as I have!

Bench was a bit of a disaster. I opened on 47.5kg which was easy. Second was 50kg, and the referee kept me waiting at the bottom of the lift for ages, and as a result I lost all power & couldn’t get the bar up. I went for 50kg on my 3rd attempt and got it up easily… but I’d jumped the press command by a millisecond, and therefore got 3 red sticks (no lights at the Greater Londons!)

Well fuck. That is the first time in over 3 years of competing that I’ve had a lift disallowed for commands. I should really know better.

On to deadlifts. I got my opener of 110kg up easily, no problems. Then I had a second & third attempt at 115kg disallowed for hitching. I’m really ashamed of myself. I know I hitch, and after the first attempt at 115kg I tried really hard not to hitch my second go; but the referees were specifically looking for a hitch & they saw one.

Everyone told me the judging was really harsh, and I guess it was a bit, but it was still right & proper to be harsh. After all, you can’t expect refs to make allowances, eh?

So, 250kg total & I’m qualified for next year. But I’m a bit sick of competing now; I’ve messed up in my last 3 competitions. I almost feel like I can’t call myself “a powerlifter” right now because I keep messing up. And yes yes, I know that’s silly!

I wish there was some way to go back to being a newbie, with my newbie gains and my freshness in competition. I feel so jaded right now!

After the club competition in December I might not aim to compete in the spring, to give myself a rest psychologically.


Talking about powerlifting

I’ve recently resolved to give speaking at meetups a try, inspired by two meetups for women in tech – 300 Seconds and Ladies Who Code. So I’ve pitched a lightning talk (i.e. a 5-minute talk on any subject) to the next Ladies Who Code meetup. I’m going to talk about powerlifting, because I’m enthusiastic about it and I’ll feel comfortable talking about it.

The working title for my talk is “How I went from desk-bound geek to British standard powerlifter [after 30 | in 4.5 years]*“. The regular-expression bit is because I can’t decide which ending to use, so hey – since everyone there will be a geek and presumably will get regexes, they might find it funny! Anyway. Moving on…

On the way home tonight I was feeling all self-doubty about lifting, again (see previous post) and I started to wonder if “in 4.5 years” is really something to be proud of. After all, all the other ladies who lift at my gym have qualified for the British championships at their first attempt (within  6 months of starting). Which is great, obviously, but… well, I suck in comparison.

And if I go do this talk, are the audience going to be thinking Geez, what took her so long? I know if it took me 4.5 years to reach that standard, I wouldn’t even bother! etc etc

(Sometimes I hate how my brain works!)

Maybe I should just stick to “How I went from desk-bound geek to British standard powerlifter after 30″, as I’m slightly less paranoid about that aspect of it!

Hmm, what do you think? Is 4.5 years a laughably long time to reach a standard that (it feels) all my gym compatriots reached so much more quickly? Should I hide it? Or should I be proud that I stick with lifting, despite being relatively mediocre? I guess I’m nothing if not tenacious.

Tonight was the final lifting session before Saturday’s competition. I did a fairly easy 3 x 3 squat @ 72.5kg (80%) and 3 x 3 bench with pauses @ 40kg (80%)

I weighed myself on the gym scales and – horror of horrors – I was 2.4kg over weight. Then I took off my knee sleeves & shoes, and was exactly 1kg over. Stupid shoes.

I’ve been feeling miserable about making weight tonight, and that’s translated into feeling miserable about always coming last when I compete and why do I bother powerlifting at all?

It sounds like the most horrible thing to say ever, but I think I enjoyed lifting more when I was the only lady who regularly attended the gym; now that we have loads of other ladies, I compare myself to them and feel utterly rotten about how mediocre I am. Don’t get me wrong – I love that we have loads of ladies, because I want to see more women lifting. I just don’t know how to handle the jealousy I feel 😦 And I can’t work any harder to catch up with them, because 1) I work hard already; and 2) they’re in their Newbie Gains phases, and I’m very, very much past that.

Maybe I need to haul myself off to the sports psych again.

Well, I did it.

I weighed in at 71.8kg after a stressful morning consisting of weighing in too heavy at the hotel (72.3kg), then getting lost on the way to the venue. Very very lost. Seems I must have panicked off 0.5kg in the car.

There were a lot of lifters at the British – 41 women in 3 groups, and two other flights of 3 groups of men. On the second day (today) there were 2 flights of 3 groups again. The Classic is very very popular!

I opened my squats with an easy 80kg, followed by 87.5kg (pb) and 90kg (pb)

On bench I got 45kg, 47.5kg (equal pb) and 50kg (pb)

On deadlift I got 110kg, then went for a new pb at 117.5kg and…. fucked it up. Twice. First time I just couldn’t lock out; second time I locked out but the bar fell from my right hand (the small one).

Total was 250kg and I came…… LAST! Of course. I knew I was going to come last, but it’s still a bit sad. I’d be overjoyed if I’d only got that deadlift. Oh well

The standard was very high, though. Louise Murray in the 57kg (125lbs) class squatted 126kg (278lbs) for a new British Record. My training partner Anna got a 362.5kg total in the 84kg+ and took first place. So yes, I was up against the best!

Still, this means I’m (sorta) 8th best in the UK in the 72kg class. In the GBPF at least.

So that’s it. Next competition will probably be the Greater Londons on 23rd November. Need to work on that deadlift.


48 hours to go

Argh, I am deep into pre-competition weight worrying hell. Literally all I can think about is my weight. I’m very lucky that I’m not strongly inclined towards ED-type thoughts and behaviours, otherwise this would be an even worse time (and it’s bad enough as it is!)

Normally by this point pre-comp I’m safely under 72kg, but this week I’ve been all over the place. Last weekend I was under; then early this week I was up as high as 73.2kg, which was frightening*. Yesterday I was 72kg on the nose, and today I was 71.7kg again. 

So, I’m OK for now, but I can’t get complacent.  If I don’t make weight, I won’t be allowed to lift, so I have to make weight.

Lunch today is going to be a tuna salad, and dinner will be lamb steaks with roast mini potatoes and spinach. Tomorrow I’ll have a light lunch & then dinner in the hotel I’m staying in (assuming we get there before 8pm – otherwise I’ll have to eat in the car!).

I’m going to weigh-in at 8am to give myself plenty of time to eat breakfast. 

I have a packet of orange Halloween Oreos to eat after weigh-in 🙂

* Relatively.

It’s squishy belly selfie time! It’s squishy belly selfie time!


72kg on the nose today, with 3 days to go. Fuck. I hope I can shed a kg or so of water weight, otherwise I WILL be fretting on Saturday.

Anyhow. Hey kids, lift for 4.5 years, reach British standard, and you can look like this! I.e. like a perfectly ordinary, slightly chubby, 36 year old woman.