If I had a Bucket List, “Powerlifting Competition” would now have a big checkmark next to it.
I honestly didn’t think i was going to make weight. I’d debated for weeks on end about whether it would be ‘worth it’ and more often than not, I’d choose pizza over weight loss (can you blame me?). But on Monday morning – just six days out – I decided to cut weight for the 63kg class.
I’d heard a lot of horror stories about water cuts and going through a severe caloric deficit – but I had Brett to help guide me through the process and other than a bit of delirium on Thursday afternoon after 8L of water (lol), I was completely fine. I started at 66.1kg on Monday morning, and by Saturday I weighed in at a DELIGHTFUL 62.57kg.**
Post-weigh in, I ate an Egg McMuffin and a package of bliss balls – while drinking Powerade and pre-workout. I snacked on a protein bar, banana and a few candies throughout the day – but my stomach was honestly so small that my appetite was fairly tame during the 5-hour event. So all was well! And no, I didn’t feel that my strength was impacted whatsoever. No, I’m not a scientist either. Just stating how I felt. 🙂
** I initially registered in the 72kg class (as a novice, you can change your weight class on the day of the event). I really need to start believing in myself more!
My biggest fear – other than bombing all of my squats – was that I’d be nervous as hell and not be able to perform my best on the day.
I was extremely surprised when I arrived at the gym calm and collected – sure that the second they called my name I would be filled with anxiety and panic. But that feeling never came. And when I walked onto the stage that day I’d never felt so focused in my life. During my first squat I accidentally made eye contact with someone in the crowd – but it didn’t phase me – and from that attempt onwards I was in some sort of trance that made the crowd vanish the second my name lit up the screen.
Here’s what went through my head (albeit it wasn’t much):
“OK, do not f*ck this up. You have to do it so stop stalling.”
Seriously. Every single lift. I’m still shocked that I even had that running through my head.
I also learned that day that watching Brett compete is the most nerve-wracking experience and nothing else will ever compare. 🙂
I went 7 for 9 – missing my third squat (100kg/220lbs) and third bench (55kg/121lbs). They were both weights that I know I can do – and I don’t regret giving them a shot. I told myself that I’d rather fail 100kg than get 95kg and know I might’ve been able to do more. Now, if I wasn’t a novice and I was trying to get a placing for Nationals (for example), a smart move would’ve been to put 95kg on the bar and secure a higher total. But – like I’ve said – I’m not worried about placing right now and just wanted to make sure I didn’t leave the competition feeling like I could’ve done more.
Brett left for the airport (to head to his own competition in Minsk, Belarus) before deadlifts started – so regardless of my own insecurities – I stuck to our plan of 95 – 102.5 – 110. I successfully completed all three lifts, with 110kg/243lbs being a new personal best and the perfect way to end my first competition.
Squat: 92.5kg/ 204lb Bench: 50kg/ 110lb Deadlift: 110kg/ 243lb
Total: 252.5kg/ 557lb
No – they are not the numbers I envisioned when I first started training, but I trained as hard as I could and in the end that leaves me satisfied with the results, knowing that I gave it my all and conquered my fear of competing in front of an audience.
I also (hilariously) placed 1st. There was only one other person in my category that day – so it’s not really something to gloat about but still looks nice on the certificate I received. 😉
Post comp feed
Post-comp I sourced the juciest burger and kumera fries from BurgerFuel, with a slice of vegan chocolate cake from Midnight Espresso on Cuba Street. I downed this while binge-watching Season 5 of Orange is the New Black (which is a total letdown thus far, to be honest).
*It took me over 4 hours to finish this. But don’t worry – my appetite is now back in full-swing and pizza cravings are at an all-time high. 🙂
During the last couple weeks of prep I found myself thinking more about what I would do afterwards, than about the actual competition itself. I was getting burned out and honestly just had a lot of doubts about how I’d perform on the day and if it was something I wanted to continue pursuing.
I was really looking forward to taking a break from powerlifting after the competition, and although I had an amazing experience, this is what I plan to do for the next 3 to 6 weeks. I’ll still be at the gym 4 to 6 days a week, but will be incorporating more exercises that weren’t part of my powerlifting peaking cycle (such as running outdoors, more accessory movements, core work, etc.). I think it’ll be a great time to refresh, then I’ll be right back at it, as I’m already planning to compete again in November.
Is this how people feel when they get a tattoo? Once you start you can’t stop?
Special thank you to my boyfriend, Brett, for coaching me and putting up with all of my crap – all while training for his own competition at Worlds. To Maria for being my first powerlifting inspiration when we met 3 years ago. To the Powerhouse Gym crew for being with me through it all – spotting me, practicing bench commands, witnessing my epiphany after i realized I mis-loaded the bar during deload week, the hard work you put in on comp day to volunteer your time, and all of the kind words of support and advice you shared with me over the past few months. To my friends in NZ and worldwide who sent me messages the day of my meet (regardless of their timezone) to wish me luck. I think you all knew how much this meant to me. Thank you xo.