I came across powerlifting when this new guy, strength and conditioning coach, Will Wayland (check out his blog http://williamwayland.blogspot.com) started working at the same gym. I started to take on information, a lot of information and decided it was time to take a change from my conventional bodybuilding body part split to a program designed by Will. I was working towards my August 2008 bodybuilding competition and doing this, what Will called it, a hybrid Westside Barbell regime. This was a mix of max effort and repetition effort days for the lower and upper body. I was thinking what the hell is this Westside Barbell stuff.
The training was great, my strength went up and up and up. At the start of april 2008 I was struggling to get a 100kg bench press, by mid june 2008 I was benching 120kg. My squat had got deeper and I was lifting heavy on my deadlifts again. This change in outlook had a negative effect on my bodybuilding contest prep as I was now more interested in getting bigger and stronger and didn't really do my best with my pre-contest diet. I didn't place in my bodybuilding competition, which I was not too bothered about, I was already contemplating stepping on stage at my first powerlifting meet.
September/October 2008 rolled around and I had been reading a lot on both strength and conditioning and powerlifting. I had found and had been directed to sites such as tmuscle.com, elitefts.com and authors' sites who wrote on these website.
I begun a full Westside Barbell routine, which took me up to xmas 2008. This consisted of training 4 days a week:
- Monday: Max Effort Method Upper Body Day
- Tuesday: Dynamic/Repetition Method Lower Body Day
- Thursday: Dynamic/Repetition Method Upper Body
- Friday: Max Effort Method Lower Body
For more information go to www.westside-barbell.com.
I found this new style of training great, enjoyable, intense and super heavy, which I liked. Not only did I get stronger, I became bigger and more dense looking. The days of single body part training were now long gone. Around this time I had also cited a regional powerlifting meet with the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association (BDFPA) in February 2009. I wanted to compete in a drug tested meet, to make it as fair as possible. I now had a goal to hit, get as strong as I can in 5 months.
The start of 2009 brought a change in training. I switched to a 3 day week schedule, which was designed by the former Russian powerlifting coach, Boris Sheiko. This was done on percentage of your 1 rep max. The split was:
- Monday: Squat and bench
- Wednesday: Deadlift and bench
- Friday: Bench and Squat
For more information, check this article out: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/sheiko_shakes_up_powerlifting
This allowed more time to recover and took a bit of getting used to due to only lifting on 3 days instead of 4. This program led me up to the Southeast of England meet and British qualifier. I was competing in the 76-82.5kg body weight class. This meant I needed to drop some excess body weight to get to the weight.
Southeast of England:
I walked on the scales at 82.5kg. I then had a major feed and re-hydrated as much as I could. I totaled with a 510kg (165kg Squat, 125kg Bench and 220kg Deadlift). This placed me 2nd to my surprise and got me an invite to the British championships in April.
I took a week off and ate my ass out. I had 6 weeks after that to prep for the British. I went of my eating a bit too much though and I paid for it come contest time. I had gone up in weight to 87-88kg and had about 4-5 weeks to lose it. I continued with my Sheiko training and my strength was good and going up.
At 8am I walked on the scales at 83.7kg, 1.2kg over the limit. I had 1 1/2 hours to lose the weight and there was no sauna. I was dehydrated, so going to the toilet was out. I had to run it off. I headed outside onto a near by playing field, with about 4 layers on and proceeded to sprint about 70 meters and then walk back 70 meters. I did this for about 45 minutes and re-weighed, 82.9kg. Still 400g to lose, so it was back outside for another 15-20 minutes. I re-weighed with about 5 minutes to go and hit the 82.5kg.
I had plenty of time to eat and recuperate as I was the last flight of the day, lifting about 4.30pm. I totaled with 532.5kg (172.5kg Squat, 130kg bench and 230kg Deadlift). My goal was to qualify for the Worlds. I came 4th in my age and weight category, missing out on the 3 spaces for the British team. I was told though that the English don't have their own championships like the Welsh, Scottish and as the 3rd place guy was from Scotland I placed 3rd in England. I got my invite to the World Championships, representing England.
I am now sitting here, 3 days out from the World Championships weighing 82.5kg with more weight to come off, just to cover myself. It has been an interesting journey, considering 20 months ago I had never even contemplated doing powerlifting meets, let alone be about to step on the world stage in my rookie year.
I will keep you posted on the antics of the World Championships this weekend in a review, which I will post next week.