Skip to main content

Becoming a powerlifter - peaking sucks

Dying

Human noodle

Too much hench....



And that's basically your update for my powerlifting meet progress!!

But lets back it up a bit.

Last time I updated I was dealing with some back issues, which really put a dampner on my progress. Well things are looking up.

Firstly I took a visit to Lucie Spraggon, who is an amazing local soft tissue therapist. She did some poking around and came to the conclusion that I had - I had tweaked a muscle in part of my mid back, and in order to "give itself some space" it was drawing in everything around it. Lucie did some kind of magic which separated out the dodgy bit, allowing the rest to work properly again. Then she did some acupuncture for good measure.

Immediate relief. I was back training deadlifts (just trap bar to start with and not too heavy) the next day. For a week or so I could still feel the original tight muscle, but it wasn't interfering with anything else.

Lucie also suggested I should work on activating my glutes to make sure my posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes and back) was firing in good balance, so I've been working on that, and doing some accessory work that relies more heavily on my glutes in squat and deadlift. I've had a few weeks out from my programme, where I have programmed my own training in a similar format, focusing on the training I can do, and building muscle in isolation.

Now we are back in, and it's peaking phase. This is the heaviest part of my training, which means that my main sets of my primary lifts are being done right on the brink of my maximum capability. 1-3 reps for 5 sets. And it's stupid and rude and exhausting. I have learned from speaking to other lifters that this is normal. It's why athletes don't stay competition ready all year around. Good training programmes are designed to get the most out of you a short while before competition, then you rest (or "taper") and come into the meet well trained and fresh.

I'm loving my training, it's really rewarding and I'm really pleased with where my numbers are going, but it also takes a lot out of me.

Lifting at the limits of your ability puts quite a stress on the nervous system (which is something I have to be aware of, lifting with fibromyalgia), as well as the muscles, and depletes blood glucose quickly. I started to notice that I was light headed or shakey between sets, so I've introduced intraworkout carbohydrates. Which is a really posh way of saying I eat a jelly baby between sets. That's really helped with my energy levels and means I can keep the weight heavy through the volume. And there is serious volume. In this phase I do a total of 12 sets of my primary lifts - 3 warm up, 5 working sets, 4 accessory sets (a variation at lower weight, like a close grip bench or a pause squat), then some other accessory work.

I have renamed Bench day "so you think you had triceps" because my programme includes: plyo push ups, bench, pause bench and dips.

Recovery is also more important than ever. My recovery days are quieter than usual, I'm trying to be super strict on bedtime and I'm napping.

All in all, I'm feeling like things are back on track. My deadlift last week was 5kg below where it was pre-injury, but my squats are 5kg up is my bench. Next week will be my last week of heavy training (and the volume is slightly lower now) then I have a week to rest before competition!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Training with Fibromyalgia - a primer for Fitness Professionals

Fitness and Fibromyalgia
The second of my posts about training clients with chronic illness (the first on EDS is here)

Learning how to achieve fitness in a chronically ill body was first my way of life, and later, my profession; as I train or programme for a number of Personal Training clients. I have EDS and Fibromyalgia (which commonly presents alongside EDS).

While the physiology and mechanisms behind EDS are relatively well understood, at least in terms of recognising the roles collagen plays in our bodies and the effects of an anomaly, fibromyalgia is a bit of a tricky one. The diagnosis, causes and management of fibromyalgia are not very well understood, and while progress is being made in terms of recognising physiological markers etc, we are still very much in the dark.

One thing that is generally agreed on however, is that exercise is good therapy for fibromyalgia, and that's where we come in.


Scope of practice
Here we go again...

Fitness professionals are there to help …

But how can you be an athlete when you are sick?

Training through chronic illness - living life on the edge.
I'm living a double life.

My superhero persona goes to the gym and lifts enormous weights. She's vital and has her life together. Endless to-do lists in a bullet journal, juggling work and kids and being an athlete and performer with theatrical effortlessness.

Then there's the secret side people don't see, where I lie on the sofa in my flare day leggings and fleece, clutching a cup of tea for the slight relief the warmth affords my stiff, clawed hands.

I know I'm not the only one. I know a lot of athletes living with chronic illness. Outwardly fitter and busier than the average person, inwardly wracked with pain and fatigue.

There are two ways people tend to interpret this. Either we are not as sick as we claim, or we are stupidly putting our health at risk doing sport that seems counter-intuitive to our well being. The reality is a lot more complicated. I wanted to formulate a decent answer to "why …

Training Ehlers Danlos Athletes - a primer for the Fitpro.

When you have a rare health condition, it's pretty exciting when you encounter someone who knows about it. Even more so when you encounter people who are interested in it and more importantly, understanding how to bridge the gap and work with it.

This is why I am really happy to be seeing more and more fitness professionals asking "I have a client with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, what do I need to know?"

As a fitpro, and athlete living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome I am always happy to chat to trainers looking to broaden their understanding, and as I am often answering the same questions, I thought it would be good to do a write up.


Quick disclaimer before we start - I'm not a medic, and this is not for medics. I'm going to provide you with as many references as I can, but please seek specific medical input from your/your client's health care professionals. And with that we get to our first point.

Scope of practice.
Quick, check your job title. Are you a personal tr…

What's the deal with yoga and hypermobility?

I wanted to address a question today that keeps coming up on various hypermobility and EDS forums that I frequent. It comes up so often in fact that I feel like I have to write this all up in one place, to save me 1000s of key strokes of individual responses and distil some of my opinions and thought processes on the matter.

It always goes like this. Someone asks a question like "I've just been diagnosed with hypermobility, I've been told I can't do yoga anymore..."

The responses are always a mixture of "yes, my doctor/physio told me yoga was the worst thing I could do for my hypermobility" and "I do yoga and it's been the best thing for my hypermobility".

So what gives?

Well, I'm firmly in the "yoga is useful" camp, and I have to disclose that. I'm a yoga practitioner of around 20 years and a perinatal yoga teacher, as well as a personal trainer and bendy person.

While I have the deepest respect for the medical professio…

I'm going to help you find the best diet for you!

It's the most common question people ask me when they find out I'm a Nutritionist:

"What's the best diet?"
So today, I am going to tell you... You are welcome.

The best diet for what?
So the first question I will ask is... what are your goals? What are you actually trying to achieve?

Gym culture tends to revolve around bodybuilders, because it tends to glorify that aesthetic. But a bodybuilder's eating habits are really not very helpful for someone who is working out 3-4 times a week and trying to lose weight.

Eating for performance is a very different beast from eating for weight loss, and both of those can be very different from eating for good health.

[for instance the protocols I would use to help a physique competitor cut fat for stage are very different from how I would handle a non-athlete wanting to lose fat for health; and also very different from how I would support a weight-class athlete, like a boxer or powerlifter, cut weight for competition.]

Whe…