So what is it like to enter your first strength competition? I interviewed my personal training client Louise, who entered Britain’s Strongest Woman 2014 for her first strength competition, to get some insights.
It was a big step for Louise to commit to a major strongwoman event as her first competitive outing, especially as we were rehabbing a back niggle that had persisted for a while.
My priority as a coach was first to do my best to get her through the training and the competition without injury – which I’m happy to say I achieved!
Her training had to change, of course. We needed to get her strong enough to lift the prescribed weights in the competition – the opening weight for the axle deadlift, for example, was 100kg and when we started Louise was nowhere near this number. Not being used to the thick grip on the axle, even 80kg felt too heavy. She made great progress however, and on the day lifted a PB of 107.5kg!
Louise also had to master event-specific skills such as log clean and press and tyre flips.We did plenty of technical work to build confidence in these movements.
As well as planning her training cycles for this competition, we worked on Louise’s mindset, developing strategies both for training and for competition day itself to increase confidence, self belief and resolve.
Louise said afterwards: “I started this process not fully believing that I could do this and your belief in me got me over that line and pushed me when I needed it in this competition; I really needed it when I flipped those tyres.”
Needless to say, she has caught the bug and has future strongwoman competitions planned!