Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Battle of the Belles Contest Report

On Saturday morning at 7:30am, four Strongwomen met in Grand Central to take the train to Norwalk and weigh in for Battle of the Belles V.

We all met our weight--I weighed in at 172lbs, which is crazy, given that 2 days before I'd been 180, but whatever--solidly in Heavy Middle Weight, which was where I wanted to be. We ate a good brunch, rested, ate a good dinner, and fell asleep early.

The event was run incredibly well, and started at 10am with the log clean and press away.

Event 1: Log clean and press away, max reps in 1min, 115 lbs on a 12" log
I had only managed to lift this twice, for singles, in training the week before. In the event, the first time I cleaned it into my chin, and missed the lift, but I put down the log, and made it on the next lift. I missed my other lifts, but still put up a score, which made me glad. Overhead is my weak area, and often I can put weight overhead in training that I can't do in a contest. Here I met my training max.

Event 2: Axle deadlift, max reps in 1 min, 275 lbs
This also went exactly as I planned. I did 6 reps, coming in 3rd in this event. I maybe had one more rep in me, but I'm glad I left it in the tank.

Event 3: Farmer carry, 155 lbs per hand, 100', with a mandatory drop and turn at 50'
I was scared of this event, and I came in 5th out of 9 on it, but I completed it with no drops. I was worried on the first leg, and didn't go as fast as I could, then really sped up on the second leg. If I did it again, I'd try to be faster out of the gate.

Event 4: Front yoke carry, 275 lbs, 100'
I came in 3rd on this event, and also accelerated at the end, as it got more painful. Completed with no drops, feeling good.

Event 5: Kegs over the bar--carry each keg 15', put it over a 44" bar, 100 lbs, 125 lbs, 150 lbs
This event felt great. I didn't lap the first keg, but I lapped the next two. I had a moment of confusion on each one about how I wanted to tip it, but that didn't waste too much time, and I didn't even let the first two kegs touch the bar, because it felt so low to me. I came in 3rd on this event.

I came in 3rd in Heavy Middle Weight, out of 3, but I also came in 3rd in Middle Weight Overall, out of 9. I tied for 3rd on points with the other middle weight competitor from my gym, but in whatever the tie-breaker was, I came out ahead, to take home the prize socks (they are pink and say STRENGTH on them).

It was a heavy competition with very strong competitors, and I didn't expect to do as well as I did. I have some good lessons to take away:

* It continues to be good for me to go into contests not expecting to win, just hoping and planning to hit my goals on various events. I did in this case, hitting the rep numbers I wanted to, and meeting my goal of getting points on every event.
* I always start off thinking "why am I here?" "what am I doing?" and "this sucks", but by the end of the day I usually happy and excited and having a blast. I need to remember that at the beginning of the day.
* I am a careful competitor, and usually take a moment to be sure that I have a good grip on something, that I have full control of whatever I'm doing. This kept me from making any major mistakes, and that was very good, but more aggression and confidence would get me out of the gate faster, and probably give me better scores.
* I need to practice going overhead as much as I can. My problems with it are probably at least 70% mental and lack of practice, and only 30% lack of strength. When the 115 lb log goes up, it goes up easily, so I just need to practice the movement more until it doesn't scare me, and I can hit it more consistently.

Overall, a great day, a great weekend, a wonderfully well run event, with lots of cool women attending.

(Photos by Caitlin Barrett and Alyssa Rashbaum Ages)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Light event practice

Got in late yesterday from a 6 day trip to Vienna, where I tried to avoid the incredibly heavy food, but still had my digestive system basically stop functioning.

This evening I went and did some event practice for Sunday's competition.

135x10x2 axle deadlifts

7x2 pullups with a 80# band

80x7x2 log press

100x2x100" keg runs, especially practicing picking it up

5x2 low box jumps

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My monthly crossfit class

I dropped into Brick today for my monthly Crossfit class. Since I'm not doing much if any Strongman before my competition on the 19th, and I'm going away for 6 days, it seemed like it would be okay. And I'm tired, but not dead.

Part A:
KB clean practice.
3 rounds
1 min KB cleans on right side
1 min KB cleans on left
1 min rest

I did 15 on each side for each minute with a 12kg KB. This seems like a very silly use of time, but whev.

Part B:
For time
50 pullups
500m row
50 air squats
30 burpees
50 KB swings 1pood
500m row
50 pushups

I Rxed everything except the pullups. Did ring rows, because kipping pullups always mess up my overhead lifting for many days to come. The KB swings showed me how tired my back is from the yoke carries yesterday. 19:42, about 5 minutes of which were spent on the pushups.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Yoga the night before strongman

Doing yoga the night before a strongman session turns out not to be the best idea, but I really needed the sleep and relaxation. So win some, lose some.

Axle Deadlift:
275 max in a minute--only got 2, but I know I'll do better at the competition

Farmer carry:
120/hand x 80' x 2, with one drop and pick

Front yoke carry:
180 x 80'
240 x 80'
280 x 80'
180 x 80' for speed

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Overhead on my own

Yesterday I warmed up with some rotator cuff work.

2 sets of 6 strict pullups, 3 without a band, 3 with

Behind the neck warm up of 45x10 strict press.

12" log clean and press away: 90x4, 105x3, 115x1 + some fails, 110x2, 115x1x2, 90x5

115 meets my PR for the 8" log, and is something I've been struggling to do for a while. When it works, it goes up super easy. When it doesn't, it feels like it weighs a million pounds. It's all about getting enough leg drive.

Behind the neck push press: 95x10, 95x8

Swiss bar bench 85x6, 105x6, 125x2, 105x5x2

Battling ropes: 60, rest 90 sec, 50 + rest 90 sec x 3

This evening I did an hour of level 2 Vinyasa at a local studio to try to relax myself enough to sleep tonight. I've only gotten one good night's sleep in the last 2 weeks.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Back Squatting with Chains

Started with a back squat:

Added chains to a total of ~230 and did 230x4
Added plates on top of the chains to 260x2
155x10 without chains, which felt weird as shit

Chains are good training for several things, listed here: http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/blog/squat-with-chains/

One of the things they do for me is give me stability, and keep the bar path straighter, but they also help me get more comfortable with more weight, and help with speed.

Did some stone carry 15' and load: 150 x 4, 175 x 4

Bicep and tricep work, and done! I like these shorter sessions.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Farmer Carries

Today was so crowded, it took a long time to get anything done.

Started with Front Squats: 95x10, 135x10, 160x5x3 (middle set was only 3 because I'm an idiot)

Farmer carries:

GHR with the 80# band: 10x3

Single leg curls, single leg extensions, 60# x 10 x 2 for each

Calf raises: 70# on the machine x 10 x 2