My First Powerlifting Competition

17 Aug 2016

You might have seen if you follow me on Instagram, that about 11 weeks ago I signed up for my first powerlifting competition which was through work. My doctor was in agreement that this challenge would be good for me and hopefully help me regain some focus that I seem to have lost over the last few months. I had nine weeks to prepare for it.

In theory I thought it would work, I had a new training program to follow and was really enthusiastic about it. In reality it didn’t quite work out that way, work was getting me down, the daily stress’ and strains of being a mum to a toddler, and not forgetting the four weeks of sailing I had in that timeframe (it’s a hard life I hear you say). It was fair to say that only about four weightlifting sessions had been done in preparation.

I returned from Canada on the Monday, rather sleep deprived, and I spent the Tuesday travelling to Wales and back, I was contemplating pulling out of the competition but then I told myself, what have I got to loose?!

I arrived on the Wednesday really apprehensive and had no idea what to expect, I walked into the gym and saw that everyone was queuing up, and I had no idea why! Ahhh someone help me! I found someone and I got told I needed to get my kit checked and get weighed. This was the part I was worrying about after three weeks away sailing, I weighed in at 61kg. Which placed me in the 58 - 63kg weight category. A weight category above what I wanted to be, but was just grateful I wasn’t in the one above that. I wrote down my opening weights and waited for the brief.

So, if you don’t know about Powerlifting (and I certainly don’t know a lot), you basically have three attempts at three separate movements, squat, bench, and deadlift, the highest weight that you lifted successfully in each of the movements is then added together and that is your total score. The female/male with the highest combined score in your weight category is the winner. Easy peasy.

Brief done, we had 15 minutes to warm up before the females started back squat. Nerves were starting to kick in now and I felt like everyone else was way more experienced than me (probably because they were). I did find some newbies like myself so didn’t feel like a complete outsider. I squatted 80kg in warm up which was 5kg less than my personal best so I was feeling confident.

Here it goes, we begin and my opening weight was 70kg, clear that with no issues, 2nd lift was 80kg, for some reason this one I felt the most nervous on, clear it though, 3rd and final successful lift was 82.5kg. I wish I had gone for 85kg, but I can leave that for next time. I was in awe of some of the girls that were lifting 100kg plus. Wow.

Bench was next. Brilliant, my worst lift and the one where a lot of improvement is needed. I opened up at 40kg, cleared with no problem, 2nd lift equalled my personal best of 45kg which I cleared, happy days, instead of being smart and attempting 47.5kg, I went straight in for 50kg and unfortunately failed the lift, again, lessons learnt for next turn.

Finally, deadlift. I was feeling okay at this. I opened up at 100kg and lifted it no problem. 2nd lift was 110kg, again got this up okay, this was only ever my 2nd time at lifting 110kg. I probably should have played it safe and maybe went for 115kg, but I went straight in for 120kg, my personal best, which I have only lifted once previously, I attempted to lift it up and pulled out of the lift straight away, I just didn’t feel like the weight was going to go up unless I had horrendous form and wanted to risk an injury.

So, I finished the day with a combined total of 237.5kg and finished 2nd in my weight category. I was over the moon!! Got a trophy and everything.

I have now registered with the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association (BDFPA), and look forward to future competitions within the Army and civilian competitions.

Morale of the story? Don’t be afraid of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you never know what you might achieve!

Ash xo

P.S I just want to say thank you to all the lovely girls (and guys) that helped me out on the day, much appreciated! xo

P.P.S At the time of finally getting around to publishing this, I have been selected to represent the British Army at the UK Armed Forces Powerlifting Championships on 21st September....eeeeek!!