Commonwealth Powerlifting Champs 2017 Recap

HELLO…… Is there anybody out there?

So, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted. Perhaps the longest time ever between posts since I started this wee blog a little over three years ago!

It’s been a month since we headed off to South Africa and I competed for New Zealand at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Champs so it’s about time I finally did a post with a recap of the competition.

Commonwealth Powerlifting Champs South Africa 2017

I had a long training cycle leading into Commonwealths – from straight after Central Districts Champs at the end of April until we left for South Africa at the start of September. This was my longest prep for a competition and by far the best training cycles I’ve ever had.

Over these four months my squats improved dramatically, I had some good improvements in my deadlift and definitely made some small improvements in bench as well. I went through a number of short cycles including some higher volume work that I hated at the time but understand that the volume would have definitely assisted in my improved lifts.

When we arrived in South Africa I had three training sessions to do in SA before the competition. We arrived a week before I was due to compete so that my body would have time to adjust to the timezone and as I wasn’t sure how my body was going to react to all the flights and changes in regards to my weight cut.

The session the day after we arrived in Johannesburg went a lot better than I expected, I was expecting it to feel awful and it was just average so I took that as a win! It was very similar the day after, it was a light-moderate session and it was average but not awful like expected.

Commonwealth Powerlifting Champs South Africa 2017

After this we headed off on Safari for a few days, which also coincided with me beginning my water load – I’ll admit, not my smartest idea. Attempting to drink 3 times what you usually drink in a day whilst also being out where there are lots of bumps in the dirt track (and it felt like our vehicle found every damn one of them I tell you) and wild animals that could potentially be hungry when nature calls and you need to find a bush – not enjoyable at all. The second and third day of safari I was better equipped to manage the situation as I knew what times we were heading out, for how long and when we were expected back so I could drink my water more appropriately.

After an awesome few days on safari (I’ll have to post about it another time) we headed back to Johannesburg and then straight on to Potchefstroom. We arrived in Potch on the Sunday evening and I was competing on the Wednesday morning. The first thing I did after checking in was to find the competition scales and make sure that they weren’t ridiculously heavy – they were a little heavy but nothing to be too concerned about.

I had one last training session whilst in Potch, the training area was less than ideal with uneven ground and there was only one rack for anyone who wanted to train to use. I managed to get my final session done in the early evening one day before the queue for the rack got too long, albeit with what felt like half of team India staring at me whilst lifting.

Commonwealth Powerlifting Champs South Africa 2017

The night before the competition I weighed exactly 52kg on the competition scales (winning). In previous competitions I’ve only lost 300-400g overnight the night before the competition as I don’t have a lot of water left in my body by that point so I was happy to have another couple of teaspoons of chocolate almond butter and call it a night. This was the first time since doing weight cuts that I’ve actually had full calories the day before a competition which has been a big goal of mine!

Around 5am Wednesday morning I woke up and ran downstairs to check my weight (actually I lie, I forced myself to walk and take the lift so I didn’t expend unnecessary energy!) and I was 51.2kg. I was shocked to have dropped so much overnight as I have never lost so much the night before a competition.

By the time the official weigh in came around (6am) and post nervous pee I officially weighed in at 51.1kg, the lightest I’ve ever been in a competition – and probably the lightest I ever will be in a competition. As soon as I stepped of the platform the re-hydration plan was put into place and executed pretty well if I do say so myself. With the exception of making the decision to have caffeine pills in the re-hydration plan – I was supposed to test them before leaving NZ and it just didn’t happen. Lesson Learnt.

Squats

I opened on 127.5kg which ended up being a smart move as my legs were uncontrollably shaking on the way down and to be honest I didn’t know how I was going to stand up. I’ve never had that before and it was horrible. I was very conscious about my squat depth and ended up probably going too deep but I completed the first lift and got three white lights.

Second attempt I stuck with the plan and went for a 135kg which I had done for a comfortable double before leaving New Zealand. The uncontrollable shaking in my left leg continued and looking back on it I think I rushed the lift (I am a relatively slow squatter) and I ended up failing the lift.

Third attempt we stuck with 135kg and I was angry. I didn’t bust my arse for 4 months and fly halfway across the world to only finish on my opener. I’d done this weight before and it was comfortable, I know I am capable of more than this so I went out and there and stuck with the damn weight, using my anger to fuel the fire and successfully get the lift.

Squats 135kg, Gold Medal, +5kg competition PB, + 9.5kg on the NZ Record. Not too shabby, but I’m not satisfied with this lift! 

Bench 

If you’ve read the blog before or followed me on Social Media you may have seen that Bench is by far my worst lift of the three, and whilst it’s not that great of a lift for me I had made some headway in the training cycles and I was pretty confident I could get a PB.

Opener – 65kg – this weight still makes me a little nervous as at the start of the year I couldn’t’ do this weight.  I was unable to break past the 62.5kg for 11 bloody months! All I could think during this lift was, ‘you have to be so damn tight that your body can’t shake at all’. This weight moved fine so we stuck with the plan – not that I had many options.

Second attempt was 67.5kg – I’m not confident enough with bench to be able to take big jumps yet and my competition PB was 65kg so this was the only real place to go. I had done 67.5kg once in training, the week before we flew out and it moved pretty well I was fairly confident I could do it unless the weight cut knocked me around. It had a slight stall on the way up but not enough that I ever doubted that it would get up – three white lights.

My final attempt I had nowhere to go so gave 70kg a go, I knew that the likelihood of getting it wasn’t particularly high but I’m a trier so gave it a crack. Unfortunately it didn’t get very far off my chest at all. After reviewing the video of the 67.5kg I’m not surprised the 70kg didn’t go anywhere – I thought I had fixed my bad habit of dumping the bar on my chest and loosing tightness at the bottom, but obviously there is still more work to do.

Bench – Fourth Place (ie. Last!), +2.5kg comp PB. Happy with the PB, still more work to do on technique clearly. One day I will have an awesome bench! 

Deadlifts

My favourite of the three lifts! Deadlifts knocked me around a lot in training and I wasn’t really sure where I would end up on competition day with the weight cut and nerves but I’m pretty happy with how they ended up going. By the time we got to deadlifts I was pumped, jumping up and down and raring to go. Deadlifts are MY LIFT!

I opened on what seemed like a relatively aggressive 155kg (I heard a few people commenting about it in the warmup room) but I had done a 157.5kg for a triple before we left with no issues so knew that it would fly up. Three white lights.

Second attempt we stuck with the plan and went up to 165kg, I got the slight shakes on the way up but never had any doubt that I wouldn’t get it all the way up and the hips locked out. There was still more left in the tank.

At this point I had already won deadlifts and overalls and the person in second didn’t have a chance of catching me. So we went for a strategic move based on NZ Record chances, I knew that I could definitely do a 167.5kg but that a 170kg would be a slight stretch although definitely doable. I chose to go with the option I knew I could definitely pull just to increase the NZ Record by another 2.5kg and make it harder for anyone else looking to go for the record in the near future. A few shakes but I pulled through and got it – three white lights.

Deadlifts – Gold Medal Deadlift, +7.5kg competition PB, + 12kg on NZ Record. 

Total – Gold Medal (won by 20kg), + 15kg competition PB, + 42kg on the NZ Total Record. Wilks 467.50

Commonwealth Powerlifting Champs South Africa 2017

I’m very happy with the overall results of the competition, my aim was to go and win the competition which I did. My second goal was to break three NZ Records, which I did. This meant that I would automatically meet my goal of having a competition PB  – which I did. And another goal I set was to move into the number 1 raw female power lifter in NZ Spot – which I did! Whilst I’m not expecting that I will remain there for the rest of the year I am stoked to have gotten to that spot!

Now…. next competition is in two weeks time (yes, not my smartest move!) but I’ll be competing in the 57kg class – yay no weight cut! If you’re checking out the NZ Fitness Expo in Auckland on the 28/29 October and you’re there from 2pm on the Sunday come and check out the Record Breakers competition – I’ll be there!

 

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