I decided that to use this blog as a general training log would be a bit boring (for me and anybody who ever reads it, not that I know anybody is!). However, I want to record what I’m doing in relation specifically to my Strongwoman competition.
I finally told my husband what I was doing, and how I’m hoping to swap my long Sunday morning runs for strongwoman training sessions later in the year. I told him my competition date, and his main concern was that it might coincide with the twice season Tottenham v Arsenal clash! However, I got it on the calendar first and we all know that the calendar RULES. I also told some colleagues when we were out celebrating on promotion day (not me, but my manager got a well-deserved promotion), which makes things very real; one colleague keeps asking how my training is going!
So, training! I had my first strongwoman training session with Strength Ambassadors at the weekend, which was great fun. It was a nice safe environment to try out some of the equipment and events that I’ll be doing later in the year. After a few indoor movements to get mobilised, we headed outside for a warm up circuit that included a prowler push, then straight onto tyre flips. I got the 150kg tyre over a couple of times and found I really have to get underneath it, due to my lack of height.
Next up was the yoke and farmers walk handles. Another attendee and I struggled with the height of the yoke, which was already at its lowest. I could get it off the floor by about an inch, but that means there’s very little room for swinging! Somebody had the idea to wrap a towel round the yoke itself, which gave me just that little bit more floor clearance and I was able to do a couple of there-and-backs at 100kg.
The handles weren’t too bad at all, and I worked up to 50kg per hand whilst still retaining a bit of speed! I’d like to get up to bodyweight per hand and really work my grip.
After a break, we moved indoors and had a go with a log, an axle bar and keg lifting. I know that upper body is weak in comparison to my lower body, and my overhead strength is quite poor so I was pleased to work up to a 32.5kg log clean and press. 37.5kg was a fail, but I’m optimistic I can only get better at this! Unfortunately, it might mean trying to convince my local gym owner to either buy a log or let me keep one there if I buy it myself! I found using the axle bar felt a bit more natural to the Fat Gripz that I recently bought, but I can also see how the latter will help when I’m training in the commercial gyms.
The kegs were good fun, especially as each person had to work out the best method for them. Being a short arse, I found giving the keg a boost with my knee to get it onto the platform was quite useful. I was able to get a 40kg keg up a few times, using that method, though I couldn’t even lift the 50kg keg. My knees were quite battered by that particular event.
After the experimenting, Sally put together a mini event for us to try. Due to the varying strengths in the group of four, we had a lightweight round and a heavyweight round. The events were max trap bar deadlifts in 30 secs at 70kg or 90kg, max log clean and press in 60 seconds at 17.5kg or 27.5kg and then total keg load in 90 seconds. I was undecided but as two attendees opted for the lightweight round, I went for the heavyweight round. I knew the other woman doing it would whup my ass, but I figured it was more of a challenge for myself! So 4 x 90kg deadlifts in 30 secs, 6 x 27.5kg log clean and press in 60 seconds and 220kg keg total load in 90 seconds.
I was quite amused to see a couple of videos made it onto the FB page, including one of me. Not one of my tyre flips though, no – it was my rubbish fifth or sixth log press where my weaker left side took a second or two to catch up with my right! I thought I would ache quite badly the next day, but I seem to be ok two days on. I did skip my Sunday long run due to my husband being away, but I think that was probably a good idea anyway.
Aside from my training day, I also made contact with a strongwoman competitor who also does online training and nutrition plans. She’s put together a six week training plan, which looks IMMENSE, with the focus on improving my deadlift, overhead press and grip. There are exercises on there that I’ve never done before and had to google to see what I’m supposed to do! I’ve asked my PT if we can go through it during our session on Wednesday so she can check my form on the exercise I’m doing for the first time. I’ve also sent through a 5 day food diary and am awaiting the suggested improvements. I think this will really help focus me in the right way; although my PT is good, she’s never trained or competed at strongwoman.