Strength Training 66. Weeks 82-87 ... turning 50, new PBs and the wife registered for her first comp

Plenty of news to report on over the past 6 weeks. I enjoyed spotting at the British Women's Champions at Manchester Grammar School on 25 Feb. There was some great lifting going on and it gave me a feel for the venue, where I hope to be competing in July.

My bodyweight seems to be sitting reasonably comfortably between 84 and 85kg despite treating myself to more crap than usual and feeling like I am actually consuming quite a few more calories (though it has been my birthday and Easter during this period).

Did I mention my birthday? I turned 50-years-old on March 29, so no longer feel like a Masters 2 imposter! My wife surprised me in the gym with a super-cool cake, which I ate far too much of ... with double cream!

In terms of training, this has continued without any problems and I am now back to the stage where each week seems to be bringing new PBs! To summarise:

Bench press: Previously my max was 110kg for 2 reps, but that was at 10kg heavier bodyweight. I have been driving my bench forward with some serious volume three times per week, dropping down to my work sets after first warming up to my next competition openers of 110kg followed by 112.5kg (new PB achieved first on 26 March, then again on each bench training session: 28, 30 March, 1 April - each time done without any help from a spotter and it felt relatively easy). I am very happy with this, considering I failed 105kg twice at the comp in January.

Squat: My max has increased from 150kg for 2 reps (again at 10kg heavier body weight) to 157.5kg for 5 singles ... and I hope to hit 160kg later today! As these singles move forwards, so do my back off sets that follow (currently 142.5 for 2 sets of 5 reps). The depth of the singles is not yet of competition standard, but that of the warm ups and back off sets is.

Deadlift: Training has been going well, but on 23 March I was unable to get my last warm up of 180kg off the ground and my back off set of 165kg felt too heavy to complete. I listened to my body and took it easy, coming back the following weekend with a new PB of 192.5kg (at 84.6kg body weight).

Finally, my wife and our friend Chantal have both registered for their first competition which will take place at Fighting Fit, Manchester on 17 June. This is one of the new GP club comps organized by Jon Wilkinson, aimed at giving new lifters a taste of what a real comp is like, but in a more relaxed kind of setting. I did one in February and really enjoyed it (see last blog post).

As always, thanks for reading ... enjoy your Easter Eggs!