So incase you didn’t know already, I competed at my very first powerlifting competition on the weekend!!
Saturday 26th July saw the WPA (Welsh Powerlifting Association) Welsh Championships take place in Pontardawe.
The lead up to this competition has filled with disaster after disaster. Firstly I somehow managed to damage the soft tissue on the right side of my ribs which made lifting painful and excruciating if I used my belt. I also started to develop some severe digestive issues e..g being constipated for about 8 weeks (yes 8 WEEKS!!). Team this with bloating, stomach cramps and the start of excluding foods, this prep has not been easy!
Despite all of that I kept pushing forward with training and dieting to make weight. If you didn’t already know powerlifting is based on weight classes. Prior to any show you have to decide what weight category you are going to compete in. At the time of entering the comp I was weighing in at about 67KG ( I felt disgusting!!) So I decided to drop weight and compete in the 63kg class.
On reflection this probably isn’t advisable for your first competition as the last thing you want to worry about is your weight! Luckliy for me I have a very talented and experienced powerlifter as my nutrition coach. I dieted whilst still eating lots of food and not crappy food like salads and dust! No, no, I got to eat any food I wanted as long as it fitted my macro and calorie requirements (more on this in another blog).
Just to make sure I did make weight* I water loaded and cut carbs two days before the comp. On the Saturday I stopped all food and water intake at 4.00pm, had a sauna and then would not eat or drink until after weigh in at the competition venue.
Competition Day !!! So the morning of the comp arrived. I was up at 5.30 and hoppped straight onto the scales….60.6 kg hooray!!!!! Bags packed (80% of which contained food and drinks!) and off we went to the magical land of Pontardawe.
At this point I would of been shitting myself but I was so tired and hungry that I just slept the whole way up to the comp. I would like to set the scene for the venue…..think dilapidated village hall, toilets with no locks, musty smells and you can picture what it was like. Saying all that it was the perfect place for a first comp (also it shows that the sport of Powerlifting could do with investment from Sports Wales!!!).
Now I start shitting myself, I have to weigh in, I don’t know the procedure, I don’t know anyone here, everyone seems to know everybody else, why am I doing this etc, etc. I weigh in, still 60.6kg, get my rack height for squats and then I start to eat.
Food had never tasted so glorious. Inbetween weighing at 9.10 and lifting at 10.10 here is what I consumed:
2 Nakd Bars (1 cashew and 1 cocoa loco)
1 glutena nd dairy free bakewell tart
1.5 litres of water mixed with powerade
1 black coffee
Now it’s time to warm-up, then squats. Then eat more food, then bench, then eat more food and then deadlift, oh and eat more food. As well as whats listed above I also had:
3 zero calorie monster energy drinks
2 bottles of powerade
1 gluten and dairy free coconut bakewell tart
2 Nakd bars
2 homemade vegan peanut butter cups
2 date and banana vegan muffins
2 cups of coffee
What can I say, I had to keep my energy up!
I think I have mentioned that I was shitting myself about competing, not just because of the fear of bombing out on lifts but also because it was new! I was worried about the unknown but I really shouldn’t have worried at all!
Every single person that I met, whether they were competing, judging or spectating was so nice. Every competitor (especially the girls) couldn’t do enough to help, loads of tips and advice and encouragement. I will go as far to say that the camaraderie in powerlifting is the best, although you are there competing every other competitor wants you to make your lifts. They want you to do well and they are genuinely happy when you do.
So I managed to get 8/9 lifts. 95kg squat (yea I played it safe), 57.5kg bench press (lots more work to do) and a new PB of 130kg deadlift (with plenty more in the tank!) This saw me finish with a total of 282.5kg and also saw me qualify for the Womens British Classic Powerlifting Championships in September. I have alot of work to do to acheive the goals that me and my coach have decided on and I am going to give everything I have into achieving that goal!
I have found it hard to actually sum the day up into words but I know that it was one of the best days of my life. I am still on cloud nine and I am so proud of myself for doing it and doing it well!
P.S Never be scared to try something new, it may just be the best thing you ever do!
P.P.S A huge thank you to my coach Connor Burkhill. He has been my rock throughout this prep and I could not have asked for anyone better!!
Back to normal blogging next week but I am just so proud of myself that I had to write this!!