Strength Training 68. Weeks 97-98 ... a first attempt at coaching

Following on from my dismal performance at the weekend, I jumped straight back on the bike and have registered for bench only at the Northwest Powerlifting Championships competition at Manchester Grammar School on July 7th. I will enter at -93kg so there is no need to worry about cutting calories to make weight. I will just walk straight in as I am. However, the main purpose of this post is not about me (for a change), it is about helping others at the recent Club competition held at Fighting Fit, Manchester two days ago (17 June, 2018)!

On this occasion I was not lifting, but had the pleasure of 'coaching' two ladies, my wife Zahida (Masters 1) and our friend Chantal (Senior). I use the word 'coaching' very loosely for the following reasons. I had given both of them pointers on their lifting techniques and set them off on their novice stage linear progression program and had also given them pointers on what to do once they had plateaued. However, I did not provide them with strict programs to follow, so in this regard my coaching was somewhat hands off and irregular. What I did do was to provide both with a 'peaking' routine to follow, starting from around 6 weeks pre-comp … but neither of them followed it properly! Zahida was fasting for Ramadam, which finished just two days before the competition, so she did barely any training during the four weeks immediately pre-comp. Chantal followed it to a degree. My most important input happened on the day, making sure they were in the right place at the right time for weigh in, warm-ups, lifting, etc., running their numbers for them and making sure they remained confident, positive, and didn't forget the commands and other rules. Regardless, the primary aim of this competition was never going to be about totals, it was going to be about getting on the platform, performing to competition standards and enjoying it on the day and these aim were certainly achieved!

Zahida weighed in at 55.2kg and completed the following lifts: Squat 45kg, 55kg, 57.5kg; Bench 30kg, 35kg, 37.5kg (failed); Deadlift: 55kg, 65kg, 72.5kg, for a total of 165kg.

Chantal weighed in at 64.3kg and completed the following lifts: Squat 80kg, 90kg, 95kg; Bench 40kg, 47.5kg, 55kg; Deadlift: 90kg, 100kg, 110kg, for a total of 260kg. Chantal's second deadlift (100kg, which was her current PB) went up so easily, I managed to convince her to attempt 110kg, which she also made with relative ease, adding a massive 10% to her previous PB!

Both Zahida and Chantal did really well and I enjoyed looking after them on the day. They can now be happy in the knowledge that just by stepping on that platform they have upped their game from just being a regular gym goer. This competition formed the next step in becoming a competitive strength athlete, something that is within the grasp of both of them should they choose to pursue it. I would hope to see them both at the next informal club competition due to be held at the same venue in November, followed by a more formal Northwest Powerlifting sanctioned competition at some stage next year.

Thanks for reading