Junly 26th 2015 saw 3 of Swindon Barbell’s Powerlifters, Yasmina, Roger and Matt, competing at the South Midlands Powerlifting Championships.
Yasmina has been working with coach, Charlie, for her entire program building up to this competition on all aspects from programming to technique work and it seems to have paid off dividends.
Yasmina and her coach planned out a strategy for Personal Best’s on all 3 of the lifts, which started off with her squat. After 2 successful attempts at her opener and second lift Yasmina went for her PB of 97.5k and completed it with ease. Her coach commented that Yas definitely had 100k in her legs on the day, no question.
So pleased with this Yas moved on to the bench and opened with an easy 42.5k, moving on to her second attempt she failed it completely. Yas and her coach was shocked by it and strategised on how to cope with that weight again, before Yas was told the weight was misloaded and it was 50k instead of 47.5k. That may not seem much to some people, however when we look at %’s for Yas to go from 42.5k to 47.5k that’s an 10.5% increase, for her to go straight to 50k that’s a 15% increase! can you imagine going from a 200k squat opener to a 230k for your second? No.
So the correct second attempt weight was given to Yas for a repeat attempt at it and she managed to press it, slowly, but surely. However, because Yas had to take this second attempt again at the end of the round this meant she only had 2 people to go between this attempt and her third attempt which was the 50k she had previously failed!
Needless to say Yas struggled to press 50k and left the bench press section with an equal PB of 47.5k.
Yasmina was nervous about the Deadlift as recently she had been experiencing some inner thigh niggles, however you would never have guessed it. 130k and 140k for both first two attempts flew up like there was nothing on the bar, a discussion between Yas and Coach Charlie went on whether to go for 147.5k or 150k as her aim had been for 145k. Then compromised on a sure thing and went for 147.5k. Hindsight is perfect vision, and once Yas pulled the 147.5k so easily, they both realised that 150k would have been on, giving her 2nd place in the competition.
What this means is with lots of hard work over the coming 7 weeks before her British Classic Championships on September 19th Yasmina is well in place to reach numbers she has been after for a long time.
Lifting in the 66k category was Roger Hamilton-Smith who entered this competition knowing his preparation wasn’t optimal – spending a week out on the English Channel sailing and having only had 3 weeks solid training since his World Championships in June – however Roger was optimistic in trying things out and looking forward to having a coach by his side for the first time.
Roger managed to get an equal PB on his second attempt in the squat with 155k and just missed out on the 157.5k. Roger’s bench looked really solid in warm up and with his opener of 95k flying skyward faster then a Jet, Coach Charlie felt he was definitely on for a PB. A successful equal PB on his second attempt of 105k meant Roger went for 110k on his third, unfortunately just missing the completed movement so settling with 105k.
Deadlift was next up for Roger and after a slower-than-wanted second attempt of 195k both him and his coach decided to go for an equal PB on the third of 200k, rather then push for 202.5k. Roger completed it, with the help of the crowd and everyone in the side wings, and finished his competition with an equal PB on his total of 460k.
2nd place in the competition, increased the Divisional Squat record (South Midlands) from 142.5k to 155k and the Total record from 452.5 to 460k, 7 weeks after his world championships and with only 3 weeks of training. I would be happy with that!
Also competing was Matt Watson. Still relatively new to Powerlifting, Matt entered this competition with the hope of qualifying for the national championships. This was a big ask for Matt as he was 40k down on his total, which meant potentially silly jumps for weights that both him and his Coach knew were risky.
Matt’s build up for this competition, albeit more consistent then Rogers’, was also not optimal having spent a week away the week before the comp and having his flight upon return, Matt wasn’t feeling hugely prepared.
However his squat was looking good and he opened it on an equal PB of 165k (with his coach sh*!ting herself on the sidlines!) however it was a smooth and easy squat, so they decided to jump 10k to 175k. This is not the tactics normally applied to a competition scenario, however this competition was the definition of ‘Go hard or go home’ as he had such a mountain to climb for the numbers.
Matt managed to complete 175k but it was a slow and heavy lift. After a length discussion with his coach they decided Matt was there for 1 reason only – to hit big numbers – so, against all of his coach’s better judgement, they put him in for 180k. He didn’t manage to lift it.
Matt was looking forward to the bench press more so as it had been going so well in training, opening on 115k he completed well and went up to 125k for an equal PB. He managed to successfully press this so Matt made a big jump to 130k, unfortunately he just missed his one.
Matt was now feeling quite tired and weak after the squat and bench and was nervous about the deadlift. He managed to achieve his opener of 175k however the day had taken too much out of him and he could not get 185k off the floor.
Matt finished the day with a 10k PB on his squat, a 2.5k PB on his total and 3rd place (in numbers only, as he was lifting as a guest) in the Bench Press.
Although Matt was disappointed on the day to not qualify, he has learned a lot from this competition and after realizing he still did so well on his PB’s considering the sub-optimal preparation the week before, I feel he has a lot to be pleased with. Matt is now aiming to spend the next 9 months working on his muscle mass, technique and movement patterns to return strong and ready to qualify for the nationals at next years South West Championships.
A huge congratulations to everyone who lifted also, many new faces and some older ones!
Next competition for Swindon Barbell will be the All Englands Championships in which Beverley will show just how much hard work she has been putting in at training and aim to break her exisiting British Bench record, Helen will be lifting in equipment for the first time ever and Coach Charlie will be competing Raw again Bournemouth Barbell’s 19 year super star Charlie Chester for title of the strongest Heavyweight!