Category Archives: Training Videos

When things go to ratshit…adapt!

This past 6 weeks has been a bit of a roller coaster. I somehow managed to injure my hip and what started as a small twinge soon deteriorated into something more serious that left me unable to squat and deadlift. Along with my mentor, Delroy McQueen, we took the decision to pull out of my next planned full power competition in Ireland on Easter weekend. I was pretty gutted as the line up is just superb and it would have been good to be there in the mix. This is where having a mentor like Delroy is invaluable, we both deal with reality and adjust our expectations accordingly and having someone as a feedback system keeps everything in perspective and working on the positives.

Del

Delroy McQueen always in the tick of things even when he is lifting himself.

Keeping the bigger picture in mind, which is the GPC European Championships, a full lower body training ban was imposed. So pretty much all I have been able to do is bench and upper assistance work for the last 3 weeks so that is what I did. Two press days and two back days. First press day is formal bench with tri’s and the second is a secondary bench day and strict press with delts. On the back days it was chins & rows, rows and more rows with retractions and trunk work.

To keep me focused I spoke to the promoter of the competition in Ireland, as I knew that as part of the event the boys were doing a raw bench comp based on Wilks, and I asked if I could be thrown in the mix. He was very much up for that which was awesome. Along with that I put my name down for bench only at Tattooed & Strong which, as many of you know, is a competition I run with GPCGB. Due to that weekend being stupidly busy for me I was under no pressure and I was prepared to pull out at any time if I needed to. Thirdly I entered Ink & Iron which is a push/pull in 3 weeks and a back up option.

I am a firm believer in when you get ‘injured’ you can really optimise that time and often come back a much better lifter because of it. You can only work with the body you have on any given day. I knew what I couldn’t do so instead of bitching about is I turned to what I could do and set goals accordingly.
*Set GPCGB Bench Only Raw British Records in 2 weight cats in Master 2 & Open
*Hit a 120kg Raw bench regardless of BW
*Practice taking 7.5kg jumps on bench
*60kg Strict Press
*Not come last against a flight on men on Wilks.
*Fully rest hip and allow time to heal.

Well so far the plan is going better than expected. On Saturday I not only set the British GPCGB Raw Bench only record in 90kg (weighed in 82.85kg after having to eat steak pie & chocolate milk to get up into the weight class), I also was able to set it a a GPC European and World single lift record. BONUS!!!!!

As always when I lift I have lifting plan with various options depending on how things are on the day. There is always the optimal plan and underlying that there are other strategies depending on what the end goal is. What I do depends on each attempt and the tempo of the bar and how well (or not) the attempt was carried out. One of the goals for this comp was to build confidence in taking bigger 7.5kg jumps which I had been practising in training. So these were my plans:
A:105/112.5/115 – 118.5(OpenWR)?
B:105/110/112.5
C:105/112.5/118.5 – Optimal

To say that I had been crazy busy project managing for a straight 36 hours is an understatement. Lifting was to start at 12pm for first flight and I was in 2nd flight so at 11.30 I took of my promoter cap and put on my lifter cap. I told everyone I was off duty for the next hour or so, put on my singlet and in went the ear phones. Any dramas would now be dealt with by the rest of the team.

Warm ups went well with the help of Daz ‘The Walrus’ Sloan. I keep it short and sweet and last warm up was 97.5kg. I was on about halfway through the flight. Mr. G was then with me on platform to hand out and Del was my bar tempo feedback system. For me the atmosphere at Tattooed & Strong is totally overwhelming if I let it be. After 12 months of organising to finally have up and running one of the most talked about events in the powerlifting calender AND all the very vocal support that came from the crowd as I walked on platform, there is a tsunami of emotion ready to sweep over me at any time.

Putting my wraps on I am shaking like a leaf, the adrenalin is on full pelt and I must now make sure I don’t let it take over and get giddy. There is no need to psyche myself up. I need to focus on getting the job done so I mentally blinker myself and fade everything out and go through my check list. For the next minute my universe is a single bench between 3 referees. Nothing else is any concern.

Be a dog

Be A Dog!

Whatever happens now I have to deal with it. Stay in the moment. I now go through the check list like turning the pages of a book, look at one page at a time, do what it says then move on to next page. No skipping pages. No thinking about what happens next. Heads down…no nonsense. Take the bar, wait for the commands and do what you came here to do.

105kg opener really did feel like nothing. A quick confer with Del and we agree 112.5kg is the next attempt. He reminds me to focus on this next attempt and that the decision on third will be made based on the 112.5 and how it moves. Stay in the moment.

I had done a 112.5kg last heavy session and it was a good lift but had moved pretty slow, but I felt good and was pretty confident that I would be able to push it through even if is felt tough. Bar is loaded again, same process, nothing changes, turn the pages and get the job done. 112.5kg FLEW up, looking back at it I think it is one of the sweetest benches I have ever done. As soon as I get up of the bench I look at Del and we both say 118.5kg 3rd attempt to take the GPC Open Single lift record by .5kg.

Now nothing changes. Just stay in that groove and get the job done. Bar is loaded, I can hear EVERYONE and yet I hear no one. Turn the pages, focus and Never EVER Give Up. 118.5kg is my step to 120kg. If I do this I know the 120kg will happen very soon. As Mr G hands off for me and I start taking the bar down I know I’ve got it and think of my cues ‘spread!wrap wrap wrap’ ‘pin’ ‘press’ ‘elbows’. Part way up the left arm lags slightly but I anticipate this and I know not to panic and just keep position and focus on driving my elbows through and it will lockout with the right. RACK!!!!! Job Done!

Right….tick off the first goals hit with added bonus.
*Set GPCGB Bench Only Raw British Records in 90kg+WR & ER
*Set GPCGB Bench Only in 82.5kg
*Hit a 120kg Raw bench regardless of BW
*Practice taking 7.5kg jumps on bench
*60kg Strict Press
*Not come last against a flight on men on Wilks.
*Fully rest hip and allow time to heal.

Singlet and back to making sure everyone has an AWESOME time!

Focus on Your Own Sh*t – PBs

This week 2 very of my lifters both hit PBs for very different reasons and with very different time scales. Neither was more or less momentous than the other and both made me incredibly proud and super happy.

The Hipster
The Hipster started training with me after the GPCGB British Championships in November 2015 as my training partner. He entrusted all his programming to me and pretty much just does exactly what I give to him. This week after just 12 weeks he hit 3 doubles at his previous comp PB of 180kg.

The Hipster has become my partner in crime and turns up for every session, gives everything he has. I know he thinks it is a one sided relationship but for me having a regular training buddy is such a bonus. He just ‘gets it’…whatever ‘it’ is lol.  When you have someone like that to train with the sum becomes is so much more than it’s component parts. 1 + 1 = 5!

Lucian B
Lucian B stepped in our gym 12 months ago a very unfit tattooist who sat hunched over all day. As an ex skateboarder he had broken his ankle and countless other bones and could barely touch his toes. He told me he wanted to learn to squat, bench & deadlift.

I am a true believer in softly softly catchy monkey and the people that impress me the most are not the genetically gifted who find tasks easy but those who really have to work at something and make slow progress. This week was the first time LB actually got under a squat bar to back squat. In the last year he has worked really hard and relentlessly to get to this point. With some smart programming that was IMPLEMENTED he hit a massive goal and I couldn’t be more chuffed. Now as part of his programming we can include squats. YAYYYYYY!

Focus on your own shit people and not what anyone else is doing. YOUR PROGRESS is what is important to YOU and we are all at different places and moving at different paces. Keep pushing forward regardless of how slow the progress is and only move one when you have successfully completed the tasks in hand. Lifting is like a book that you cannot just flick through or skip pages. Turn each page and take in every word. Some times you may be able to speed read and other times you may have to keep rereading the page or even the chapter.

STAY ROARSOME!!!!!