Riding high

Today is Thursday, which is my Friday and every one of my weekends is a 4-day weekend. Yeah I know, must be nice huh? It is nice.

Damn it was nice to be back into some good ol’ regular programming this week. Although, I did a little bit of extra work Sunday and Monday, which is what I’m going to tell you about first. By the time Sunday rolled around, I couldn’t sit still any longer. Most of last week I was sick and when that is combined with a deload week, it turns out to be the perfect recipe for heavy barbell withdrawal. On Sunday I worked up to a moderately heavy Squat single and did some not-super-crazy airdyne intervals. Here are my Squats from the little extra credit sesh (not super eventful) where I worked up to a single at 280-lbs and then did some EMOM (every minute on the minute) Squats at 255-lbs:

Ok, so now for Monday. I’m going to begin with some background information. Last Christmas, I received my first pair of real-deal weightlifting shoes (Nike Romaleos 2) along with Rehband knee sleeves. On my first or second day in the gym after getting these toys, I PRed my Squat by like 40-pounds or something obscene like that.. I think it went from 265 to 305. I didn’t take video of the 305, so I have no idea what it looked like, besides that I do know it was to full-depth. But honestly, even when I watch videos of myself squatting from the last 6 months, I can tell that I’ve made leaps in my technique. Anyway, that was about 9 months ago. Since then, I had never squatted more than 300-pounds. In fact, I had never even gotten that big 3-0-0 again. This spring, 295-pounds went up once or twice pretty comfortably, and I tried to sneak up on 300 with fractional plates a time or two with no success. There were a few weeks before CrossFit Regionals and Raw Nationals that I maxed my Squat every Friday with the purpose of getting me more Time Under Tension (TUT) and boosting my confidence… That didn’t happen. I continually failed to get that magical 300, let alone 305, so we changed things up. In April at the Alaska State Powerlifting Championship, I put up a 297-pound squat and that was the closest I ever got. Until Monday.

My coach programmed a 5×5 Squat at 70% (210-lbs), 8×1 Deadlift at 80% (280-lbs), and accessory work. I did all of that stuff between 3 and 5 PM and then coached from 5 until 8 PM. After coaching, I decided to Squat more – my plan: work up to a heavy single. Maybe, just MAYBE, go for 302-lbs. When I stood up with 302-pounds on my back and it felt like something I do on a daily basis, I knew I had more in me. Here’s the wonderful 307-pound PR video:

I feel really good about how that Squat looks. Obviously it isn’t perfect, but I know that lift is absolutely repeatable and that, most importantly, I have more in me.

Lastly, here is my training session from yesterday (again, really nothing exciting).

“Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.” – Ovid

Next move

Top of the World Recap

Well, I’m indifferent about my performance at the Top of the World PL Challenge in Fairbanks. Going into it I felt great – weighed in at 74.1 kg (about 2.2-lbs under weight) – and felt strong. Squat warm-ups went exactly as I wanted them.. I was able to stay focused on exactly what I needed to do. My opener and 2nd attempt were great, even could consider them easy. On the third attempt is where I had an opportunity to chip my current Junior American Record of 297-lbs. “Chipping” a record is only something I can do, because I am the record holder. Most people just have the option to make 2.5-kg increases, but my advantage is that I can make 0.5-kg increases if I’m going to bump up my record. I had several options, my coach advised me to attempt anything UP TO 303-lbs (137.5-kg), but I took a more conservative route and went for 299.8-lbs/136-kg. It was like butta:

Now, the rest of the day was unspectacular. I am attributing it to a few things: meet-day nutrition (I need to eat more carbs), adrenal fatigue , and regaining focus after a monumental moment (like setting an American Record). It does seem crazy for me to say that I’m not satisfied with my performance, considering I set an American Record, but I had certain expectations for myself and I failed to meet them. The take-away is that I had yet another great learning experience and it taught me more about myself as a competitor – I’m happy with that.

Next Up

This week was an easy week training-wise. I came down with a head cold and sinus infection type of thing for a few days, but trained anyway. Today I did some extra work after my 6×3 Squat at 225-lbs (75%) because I finally felt good. Next week I’m starting the bulk of my next 6-week cycle before the Bench & Deadlift Invitational at AFX (Alaska Fitness Expo) on October 26th.

Experimenting with nutrition is something I enjoy doing. Therefore, I am now doing carb backloading, as described in this article by Caitlyn Trout of Juggernaut Training Systems (JTS). I really just got started today. I’ve been looking for guidance and advice from other female powerlifters who have to watch their weight while they do strength training, so this article had perfect timing.

Another piece of news in my fitness life this week is that I got business cards! I am going to have them printed in the next couple of weeks and when I get a high-quality image, I’ll post it on here. Let me just say, they are pretty bad ass, with a custom-made logo by House 8 Graphics.


Here is the crew from the Top of the World PL Challenge in Fairbanks, AK.