Bar x lots
40kg x 6
60kg x 6
80kg x 3
100kg x 3
120kg x 3
127.5kg x 3/3/3/3
90kg x 3/3/3
Static Lunges with Safety Squat Bar
40kg x 6/6/6 – each side of course
Steated Flop n Locks (this is what I call them anyway, I am sure they have a proper name)
40kg x 10/10/10
Bar x lots
40kg x 6
60kg x 3
70kg x 3
80kg x 1
85kg x 3/3/3/3/3/3
DB Floor Press
55lb x 8/8/8
Banded Skull Crusher into Tri Fry
Bar + purple x 5/10 x 2
I have added commentary into videos to go into more detail. I hope it works for you guys. Let me know what you think.
70kg x 10/10
90kg x 5
110kg x 5
135kg x 5/5/5
125kg x 5/5
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.
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)?
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 earphones. 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 checklist. For the next minute my universe is a single bench between 3 referees. Nothing else is any concern.
Whatever happens now I have to deal with it. Stay in the moment. I now go through the checklist 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!
I am delighted that I managed to sneak in a quick chat with the crazily nice Donna Moore before she goes off to her next competition. So without further ado here is my first ever ‘Jacked & Classy’ interview, I hope you like it!
TG – So tell me the Donna basics. Age, where do you live? Attached? Kids? Pets? Where do you train?
DM – 35 North Yorkshire 2 kids 2 dogs I’m a single parent And I train in quite a few places to fit in with my job where I work shifts and my kids etc
Powerburn with Gemma Magnusson Spartan Performance Consett with Jenny Todd Absolute Fitness with Darren Sadler The Shed with Gary Gardner Grants Gym Darlington All over!!!
TG – Wow you really do get around. So for those that don’t know tell me what your chosen sport is and why?
DM – I get around in a good way!
My chosen sport is Strongwoman. Strongwoman is a challenge. It’s fun and empowering all at the same time. There are so many different events it’s never boring and it’s accessible to everyone.
TG – How long have you been strong womaning?
DM – I have been strong womaning since 2012. That’s when I did my first strongwoman competition
TG – So this is you 5th year competing. How did you get into Strong Woman?
DM – My first lifting comp was a deadlift only challenge held at my local gym in Inverness where I lived. I had been training there after previously doing regular gym classes at the local leisure centre. I absolutely loved the gym classes but felt like I wanted to lift a bit more. One of my friends Peter, showed me how to deadlift and I fell in love with it. I went to The Forge and trained there. I entered the Deadlift challenge and really enjoyed myself. I was then approached by Louise Blades who was running a strongwoman comp and asked if I wanted to enter. I spoke to the guys at the gym. We did a plan and off I went. I competed in that in April 2012 and loved it, really loved it and I knew it’s what I wanted to do.
Nothing as bad-ass as pulling a truck!
TG – Do you have a sporty back ground?
DM – No not really.
I used to swim on the school team and I was quite good but I never wanted to really take it up at a higher level. I had a horse I was more interested in looking after him and competing with him than swimming.
TG – So what made you go to the gym in the first place? And how has that initial reason changed if at all?
DM – Ok so after I had my kids I was very obese. I was sad and depressed and I just couldn’t seem to shift my mood or my weight. I went to the doctor for help and she suggested that I should go to the gym, that doing more exercise would help me on all those things. I just had to take the initiative to actually go! It helped me no end. I met new friends, I lost weight I felt happy. I really believe that exercise changed my life for the better.
TG – How has being strong changed the way you feel about yourself? Because you are fucking strong!
DM – That’s hard Can we come back to that?
TG – We can….
From what I can tell from the very little I know about you, your rise in SW has been pretty meteoric. What exactly is you comp history? Hit me with the highlights.
DM – British International (Scotland ) 2012 4th Progressive training systems comp 3rd British International (Scotland. Qualifier for World’s in Finland) 2nd World’s Finland 7th Britain’s Strongest Woman 2014 1st Europe’s Most Powerful Woman 2014 1st Midnight Sun Comp Norway 1st Sweden’s Strongest Woman Open 1st Arnold Strongwoman Championship 5th 2015 Britain’s Strongest Woman 2015 1st Bodypower 2015 1st Norway Invitational 1st Queen of the Vikings Sweden 1st Europe’s Strongest Woman 2015 1st
DM – I think that’s it
TG – Wow that is pretty impressive! And you next big outing is in a week right?
DM – Yesssssssss
DM – And where is that?
DM – I leave for the Arnold on Wednesday 2nd It starts on the 4th
DM – BOOOM!!!!!!! And what will be happening there?
DM – Arnold Strongwoman World Championship
TG- I take it you are pretty excited about this one then?
DM – Yes I am
TG – I know you have been training really hard. How do you run into and prepare for such a big comp?
DM – I was pleased with last year but now I know what to expect it’s not like any other competition I have been to It’s quite overwhelming
Well basically since I got back from last year my goal has been to qualify to go again. Everything i have been doing is with that goal in mind. It’s been a busy year for me competition wise and the last one was only in December. I have been consistent across most events training a variety and of course regular gym work and conditioning it was just a case of tailoring the training to the specific events when the list was published.
TG – How far in advance are the events published & what are they this year?
DM – I think it was about November time. The Europe’s Strongest Woman was December 13th so after that work was started on planning Arnold
This year it’s Log for reps 84kg ish Frame Carry 225kg Loading Medley 2 x keg 1 x Sandbag Deficit 4″ deadlift on an axel 181kg ish (It’s all in lbs)
That’s day 1
You must be in the top 4 to go to day 2
Then it’s a mystery event
And a stone of steel over a yoke for reps 92 kg ish So an atlas stone made from steel No tacky allowed
TG – They all sound really scary to me lol. What is your favourite event and what is your least favourite?
DM – I don’t mind any of them this time. Not crazy about sandbags but thats just 1 implement. I’m curious as to what the mystery event is but I hope that I’m now rounded enough that I can do most events quite well.
I like a deadlift. Deadlifts make me kinda happy
TG – You sound like you feel really well prepared for this competition. How have you mentally prepared?
DM – I have talked A LOT with a few people mainly about controlling my nerves and negative thinking. I have also been to a few competitions alone including overseas ones. This has made me have to get a grip. I had to deal with it all…getting to the comps, preparing, getting all supplies together, paying attention to warm up, listening to rules and watching other competitors so I knew what I had to do. Be self sufficient Visualise all the lifts, all the cues, all the training points. I’ve learned a lot about competing as you can lift all you like in the gym but if you don’t know how to compete then you have already lost.
TG – That is so true. I am getting really excited for you now too lol
How many competitors are there and who are the big players? I am totally clueless as t who is who in SW so talk me through the top 5 in your opinion.
DM – In my weight class I think everyone is a contender. We all had to qualify to get there so must have placed in national comps so I wouldn’t like to say. Top 4 go to the final and I want to be in that this year.
TG – I will be keeping everything crossed for you that is for sure.
Who has been your biggest influence?
DM – Thank you Oooooooo… Well the first Strongwoman I ever saw was on TV and it was Jill Mills. She was squatting some keg loaded rack and I remember thinking that it was so cool and that she was amazing. So firstly her but really all the strong ladies I have come across have influenced me. I train with Gemma Magnusson and she is also a very successful strong woman. Also Jenny Todd and Kikki Berli-Johnsen. I watched Kristen Rhodes in Finland in awe of her total power. So I can’t really say just 1 person.
Donna with one of her coaches & fellow Strong Woman Gemma Magnusson
TG – What about influences outside of the sport/gym? Is there anyone that you really admire or are inspired by?
DM – Iv come across many people I admire, people who have worked hard to overcome adversity and I can’t just pick one. I am daily inspired by my kids. They bring me such joy and make me want to be the best person I can be for them and my Mum. My mum is an amazing lady.
DM – How do you fit training in around family and work commitments? I mean you are training for something at a very high level. How the bloody hell do you do it?
DM – I plan it all around it all. If something is important you make time for it
TG – So like a big wall planner type of thing? My saviour is Google Planner lol
DM – Lol no I just know when I’m working When the kids are doing stuff and I plan it that way
TG – Man you are GOOD! Lo Go on and hit me with your best lifts?
DM – 240kg dead 125kg bench 111kg log 115kg oh press And let’s not talk about squatting it was 175kg last time I checked a 1rm
TG – How have they progressed over the years? I mean where did you start weigh wise?
DM – At the beginning I my first pb deadlift was 125kg Then 137.5kg After that I’m not sure but it just gradually increased. I kept consistently on with it I remember I was stuck at 160 for a while then I went to Finland and pulled a very ugly 190 where I thought I was going to die but that was the Turning point/ plateau break for me. I got the biggest wake-up call in Finland. The other ladies were sooooooo far ahead of me. After that I really knuckled down. Paid attention to nutrition, rest, and conditioning. I saw the bigger picture. What it took to actually compete at that level and I worked towards it with the help of my coaches. I researched stuff I asked questions. I tried different methods till I found what worked for me.
My 125kg bench came as a surprise. I don’t train flat bench often
Il keep on with my oh press and o hope to get nearer to the record log press after Arnold
TG – Your hard work and dedication really are paying off.
Getting back to how you fit everything in, talk me through a typical day?
DM – My training up to Arnold has been hectic as I’m all over the place to fit it in. I do strength and conditioning type training with Gemma usually 3x a week. I deadlift/squat another day, o/press another and then events. Sometimes I have to train twice a day to fit it in with work and family. It’s not ideal but right now it’s the only way.
Deadlift makes Donna Happy
TG – A little bird tells me you have been bullied into trying some powerlifting this year :0) would you care to elaborate?
DM – Yes bullied is a quite an accurate description…Tania!!!!! And basically, I know I will not be left alone until I do get on the platform.
I have thought about having a go at Powerlifting for quite some time but this past year has been so busy with Strongwoman I never really got the chance. I wasn’t even sure how well I’d do with the technicalities of powerlifting but I am going to give it a try and see if I can set a decent total.
TG – Well I for one can’t wait to see you on a powerlifting platform.
Thank you so much for taking the time for a chat and I hope we can catch up with how you did at the Arnolds?
DM – Definitely I’d really like to meet you in real life
TG – Yes let’s definitely make that happen.
If you want to watch Donna at the Arnold’s then there is an FB page link to live stream below.
Time and time again I keep finding things to do to keep myself busy, to give myself the excuse that I haven’t got ‘time’ to keep this Blog updated. It is of course utter rubbish. All I am doing along with what seems like the rest of the planet is losing my life on social media. To be fair to myself last year was crazy busy for me and I had a really successful year’s lifting, became a national and international referee and very heavily involved in organising some stupendous competitions.
This all gave me a plethora of great stuff to write about and yet I didn’t. Instead I chose to waste countless hours ‘relaxing’ scrolling through miles and miles of meaningless shite. Like most things that you put off, once I actually get started I quite enjoy the writing even though I don’t particularly think what I have to say is very interesting or important. Maybe there-in lays the secret. It doesn’t have to be important and whether it is interesting is up to you, the reader, to decide.
I have never really been one for making New Year’s resolutions. I do however like me a good list and on my 2016 ‘to do’ list (along with play more Ukulele, start sketching again and learn 4th language) is to blog more. Now that in itself is such a vague goal. Blog more? More than whom? Blog more what? Write longer Blogs? Write more frequent Blogs? And what the fuck do I Blog about?
Simple ‘blog more’ as a goal is meaningless. It has no plan. It is not measurable. It gives me no idea what I am working towards or how to break it down into bite sized chunks that I can tick off my beloved lists. Yet I know the importance of planning, of having a structure, of having set goals that I can accomplish along the way in order to achieve what I ultimately set out to do. I do this week in week out with my training program.
As I said last year was pretty special for me in powerlifting terms. I became the first UK female to hit a 500kg raw (with wraps) total. Now it just didn’t ‘happen’ and when it did I didn’t even know how momentous it was. 500kg was a target I had in my head and my 12 month plan was to come as close as I possibly could with each platform outing. I knew exactly what numbers I needed to get and I knew I had to really put the work in to get them. These numbers were as far as I was concerned just out of reach for the time being but I was putting the work into the plan to get me there.
All that changed on 9th June 2015 at GPC European Championships when I hit 180/115/205=500. I will leave the details of this day for another post. The point is once you commit to something, have a plan, a way of working through the challenges and a way of monitoring your progress. Then you have to be prepared to put in the time and effort. Even though you may not really know where to start you just have to do it. You will learn as you go along. The only wrong way is by not starting at all. Remember plans can be changed if it doesn’t work for you, they can be adapted and tweaked. You HAVE to be willing to start and give that plan your all.
Every training session I have a plan. As part of my plan I have a target rep range for my main lifts along with how I would ideally like to hit that target. So for example the plan may be:
4 sets of 3 reps
Total = 12 reps.
So ideally this is how it would go to plan. Some days though things are not ideal. So for me the target rep range is what I want to walk away with and it is irrelevant whether I get that volume in;
What is paramount is walking away positively because I can adapt to suit the body I have on that day. Without the set target I have no direction. Without the set plan I have no structure. Without the adaptation I set myself up for potential failure. Delroy McQueen, my much suffering mentor and I called it ‘getting the job done’ and boy did we get the job done last year.
Now just by writing this I have started to formulate a plan, I realise that I have some good transferable skills that I can put to good use here. I have also identified at least 3 more ideas to write more about. I know that just like my numbers on the platform something magic is not going to just miraculously happen. Just by starting I have begun to formulate a plan with set targets. And that plan may not be perfect but I have to be willing to commit, put in the time and the effort, be willing to adapt and find what works for me so that with each entry I hit ‘upload’ with a positive feeling of getting the job done.
A few years ago in the days when the heaviest thing I lifted was a pint of Guinness and ‘sport’ of choice was pool I decided that I would enter Race For Life. I did a pitiful amount of preparation for it. I probably started doing a bit of running 4 weeks before the race and when I say run it would have been more a walk-jog-blow out of my arse kind of interval cycle. Still I had sent in my entry, collected money at the pub I was lodging in. The hairy Glass Barrel rocking patrons believed saving tits was a good cause and so generous donations were chucked in a pint pot that was passed around whilst the bands took a piss break on Friday & Saturday nights.
The day came and off I toddled with Mr G and two friends who waited for me at the end with an ice cold can of the black stuff as a reward. The sun was shining as I ran a bit, and walked most of the 5km, with an additional flurry of speed up to and across the finish line. I, along with hundreds of other women, that day took on a challenge as had thousands before us and have thousands after.
I am sure many reading this have done the exact same or similar race. I will also presume that, for some, the preparation was a shit as mine. I can’t even remember how long it took me but I do know I wasn’t in the front ‘serious runner’ group. Nope, I was like most, in the serious plodder group and gave no thought at all to who would be the fastest.
I hadn’t researched what an average time was for 5km and certainly not what the British, World, European records were over that distance…or how fast I would have to be to get on the next British Athletic team for the next Olympics. I just turned up. I plodded round. I finished. Just like everyone else. I enjoyed the atmosphere which was a nice collective of personal achievement, individual survival, elation and sadness.
At no point did I know that Paula Radcliffe could run this distance in 14:29:11. I didn’t know that Tirunesh Dibaba holds the World Record of 14:11:15. Why would I? That would be silly right? Me, a complete novice compare myself to some world class athlete or even the ones in the ‘serious’ runner front group. That would be like telling five year old primary school child to compare their reading abilities to a university graduate. Stupid right? So why then do ‘primary school’ lifters compare their abilities to lifting graduates? It’s just nuts.
There is an amazing buzz at the moment in strength training with ever increasing numbers of women getting bitten by the lifting bug. Not for aesthetics but because they like feeling fucking strong. They enjoy the focus of the training, the grunt & grit that comes with lifting heavy shit. They go to the gym, do all the training, watch all the videos on You Tube, follow and interact with other female lifters on social media.
They do searches for other lifters who they perceive to be at their own level. Searches for women at the same weight, same age and then watch video after video and they will often leave jaws dropping with the weights that some incredible female lifters are doing and then the niggling thought ‘I can never do that!’ rears its’ ugly head. And here in lies the problem.
Why the fuck are you comparing what you are doing in the gym with no or little competition time to lifters who have more experience, training, coaching, AND who have put in thousands of hours of training? Athletes who have tried and tested training methods, some with success and some not so successful, to get to the point in a competition that you are now seeing in a 2 minute clip?
By all means use these great strong women as inspiration, use them to kick the glass ceiling royally in the bollocks so that you can really see what is within the realms of possibilities when it comes to strength. BUT DO NOT compare yourself! DO NOT clip your lifting wings before you have even hatched out of the egg with these unfair comparisons. We all have a starting point so ask these lifters what theirs was, I can guarantee it won’t be anywhere near the numbers they are lifting now.
The amount of times I hear that someone would love to compete but then say they aren’t lifting enough or they will look for a competition when they are strong enough. Compared to whom? Where is this lifting measuring stick? I must have missed that meeting. I can honestly say I had no idea what anyone was lifting when I turned up to my first comp.
What I do know is, as a new lifter everyone took care of me, encouraged me, advised, people shouted my name and cheered when I lifted well. I saw some awesome strong women like Hanne Bingle, Angie McNamara, Monique Newton & Emma James who really opened my eyes to what strong can be. I made some great friends of these women and their support is invaluable as is their brilliant competitive spirit. Best of all I have no idea who won on that day or can recall what my lifts were!
So I guess the whole point of this ramble is if you want to compete the just bloody do it. Don’t wait for the day you are breaking World Records. Just do it. Get a total on platform. Get 27 white lights. That will be YOUR starting point and from there you can only improve. With your own personal results you will have your own lifting measuring stick and not someone else’s.