Jen —  August 26, 2013 — 4 Comments

The national competition is roughly seven weeks from now. Powerlifting meets are a different type of competition. There may be other people in your age and weight class and you definitely want to lift more than them, but the main point is to lift more than you have lifted in the past. Setting personal records is just that, personal. As the meet draws nearer, my anxiety has increased and I’ve found myself wondering why I’m so torn up about it.

I’m worried about making my desired weight class and worried about making any gains at all in my bench press. Bench is notoriously hard for females and some more so than others… I’m in the “more so than others” group. Making weight brings up a whole host of issues that I’ve talked about in the past. You can read about my scale hatred here. I have some recent personal issues which will alter my normal training schedule temporarily, and that is also adding to my overall stress about performance.

Some of us have big goals for the upcoming meet; setting and breaking national records is kind of a big deal. One of the many amazing traits of our trainer Jim is his ability to chill us out when we are getting stressed. When he heard several of us expressing concern during training today, he calmly and quietly reminded us all that we are doing this for fun. Hell, in his mind we are doing this strictly for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory after weigh-ins (I’m definitely excited about cheesecake, don’t get me wrong). None of us are professional athletes for crying out loud! We are normal everyday women who happen to love lifting weights. We need to allow ourselves the grace to enjoy training and the competition without getting an ulcer in the process.

Jim is the best trainer ever! He's super special to be able to deal with us :)

Jim is the best trainer ever! He’s super special to be able to deal with us 🙂

Since bench is my weakest lift, I’m sharing my most recent bench training log:

Foam roll and dynamic floor warm up per usual

Extended warm up: one-handed carry 70lbs x3, glute-ham raises x12x3, inverted row x8x3


45lbs (bar only) x8

55 x5

65 x5

85 x3 x 4 sets

*Band pull aparts between sets


Full kneeling plate raise 20lbs x10x4

Full kneeling chop and lift 25lbs x12x4

Flat Dumbbell press 30lbs x12x4

Band tricep extensions x15x4

Kettlebell/ rope curls 40lbs x8x4

Chin-up hangs x3x4

Finisher: Heavy prowler x6


Remember guys, we are starting a question/ answer section on our website. If you have any questions or want to see some demonstrations, just let us know!





4 responses to Grace

  1. Thank you for being so honest!! I really needed to hear this today. Especially about the upper body strength. I’ve steadily seen my deadlift and squat # go up and up and up but bench just stays the same! I can’t break past that 3 reps at 85lb mark! I guess it’s good to know I’m not alone and maybe cut myself some slack. :/ Thank you again!

  2. Jen

    Thanks Ang! Definitely cut yourself some slack 🙂 Bench is one of those love/hate things. I completely believe if you keep training it, surely it will get better. Its just not the big jumps we see with the other two lifts…which makes it really annoying.

  3. I’m loving this blog! Thank you for this post as I can so relate. My first powerlifting meet is in 6 weeks, and the anxiety is definitely creeping in. 🙂

  4. Jen

    Thanks Leah! I think the anxiety is totally normal. I just try to take a breath and remember why we’re doing this in the first place 🙂 Good luck in your first meet!!

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