Category: Competition


Qualifying for the World Championships



So after finishing 4th place at the British Nationals pulling 230kg @74kg BW, I was a little downhearted to think that I had missed out on a spot at Worlds by only one place. However to my delight I have in fact qualified! This is down to being part of the Scottish region and so I now have 2 months to try and add some more kilos to my deadlift and hopefully finish in a respectable position.

In my lead up to the Nationals I decided to do a bulking cycle, upping my body weight to 78kg and then spending 4 weeks cutting it back down to 74kg. Due to having an insane metabolism and also training twice a day, I was having to eat 4000 calories a day and only through choice (so as to not get too fat) the majority of these came from clean foods. It’s a lot of eating!

During my cut I went down to 2800 calories a day and this surely showed with me becoming agitated and snappy the majority of the time. Apologies to all those who it affected!

My training focus on the lead up was mainly targeting my hamstrings and glutes as this is where all my power comes from. I have seen huge improvements in both my squat and deadlift and so I’ll continue to do this while its working. Although I deadlift with a conventional style I still like to train sumo, I feel that this really hits the hammys and glutes and also other muscles and tendons that don’t get worked during a conventional deadlift. Along with this I worked hard on my back squat, front squat and also front rack lunges and then accessory work such as single leg press and kettle bell good mornings.

With only 2 months to prep for the Worlds I am doing another 4 week bulk and with any luck I will improve on the Nationals. This has all come around in the space of just a year, after making the decision to step back from football and focus solely on lifting. I do miss the game, however my decision mainly came from a lack of discipline from team members in terms of training and nutrition. My decision was based on the fact that this is a solo sport and the effort I put in will hopefully show, and I’m pleased to say that it has.

Those of you who are avid trainers like myself know only too well the sacrifices that you make in order to achieve anything within your chosen sport. The hours of training in the gym, the nutritional discipline and the lack of social life because of it can often become a burden and I have found myself asking why I do it. Until you’re on stage and achieve something you have been working towards for so many months, when it all comes together, you realise why you’re there and that it was all worth it in the end.


Combined services powerlifting champs 2016

The combined services didn’t go as well as I had planned. I weighed in @73kg and opened with a successful 200kg my second lift was again successful @215kg for my third I tried to break my own Navy record with a 225kg. Although I managed to lift it, it was a fail due to a slight hitch at the end.

Looking closely at the video my feet are just slightly too far apart, causing my knees to come in and lose power. However, I know I can lift it! Navy champs in December, I’ll get it then!



Four Nations Powerlifting Championships

Wow, what a weekend! Sam and I travelled to Cardiff, Wales to compete in the Four Nations Powerlifting Championships for Team Scotland.

I am so grateful to the Scottish team for selecting me and giving me the opportunity to compete at a high level competition. It was a real privilege to compete alongside the best Powerlifters in Great Britain. I have learnt so much in just one weekend. Both female and male athletes on the Scottish team were supportive and encouraging. Just what I needed to soothe those nerves, I felt like such a rookie standing beside World, European and British record holders!

What were the scores on the doors..? Well! Irish team (by default) placed last. Scotland 3rd, Wales 2nd and England 1st by 0.4 of a point. Competition was extremely close! The standard of lifting was truly inspirational.

Now I have had time to reflect on my performance, I can say that I am very happy. Despite an early error of mine in the squat, overall I felt I performed to my best.

My lifts were as follows:

Squat: 1. 105kg 2. 115kg NO LIFT 3. 115kg

Bench: 1. 75kg 2. 82.5kg NO LIFT 3. 82.5kg

Deadlift: 1. 140kg 2. 150kg 3. 155kg

My first squat attempt went smoothly – I made the decision to open with a weight I know I can rep comfortably for 3.

Sadly, my second attempt did not go to plan. I let my nerves cloud my focus and I re-racked the weight (after a successful squat) before the judges command which meant I failed the lift. This made me feel uneasy. I was tempted to go for a 120kg final lift but felt this was too risky, and I had to think of the team first! So I finished with a 115kg. I know I have more in the tank there…

My first bench press felt very easy. I felt that I got my body into a great position. My shoulders were tucked under, my arch felt strong and my feet were sitting flat and comfortable. So, for my second lift I decided to go a lot heavier than first planned. Sadly, another NO LIFT. The judge informed me that my right arm dropped slightly meaning my left arm locked out first. For my final attempt (with the team in mind) I stuck at 82.5kg and I was successful. I didn’t feel too disappointed as this had been my planned 3rd lift despite the no lift. I tried very hard to get my head back in the game and remain confident.

In the warm up area prior to my deadlift, I suddenly became very fatigued. I had snacked little and often throughout the day. I felt I had maintained my sugar levels and had given my body enough carbohydrates to perform. Perhaps I had eaten a little too much or perhaps the intensity of the day was starting to take its toll. Either way, I was looking incredibly tired in the warm up meaning Sam and I decided to drop my opening lift from 145kg to 140kg.

Amazingly (perhaps due to adrenaline), the 140kg flew up! We decided to take a risk and make my second lift 150kg. Again, it felt comfortable! I got a great confidence boost. My head was in the game now, my sickness and fatigue slowly disappeared and I felt that I could set a new Personal Record at 155kg – and that I did. Final lift successful.
This weekend has taught me a lot. It taught me how to erase the doubt in my mind after the no lifts. It taught me to keep pushing through the sickness and the fatigue. To switch off the negative niggling thoughts in my head and to focus. For the first time in competition, when I walked up to the platform I knew that I was going to lift that weight. Now I must work on tuning in to the judges commands! Practice makes perfect I guess.

Finally, I must say a huge thank you to Sam for being the best coach and supporter I could wish for. From making sure my water bottle was always filled, to helping me mobilise to being the mastermind behind my opening lifts – without him the weekend would have gone very differently! Thanks coach.