So, I missed my last few entries on prep for The Jenn. This was my fifth meet. Some things that I had noticed with previous meet prep's had begun to happen. With the exception of my first meet (only 5 weeks into powerlifting training), I had become run down, weak and very sick with the flu. About three weeks out of this prep, I noticed I was needing to sleep a lot more and wasn't recovering. I had increased my food (and ended up gaining weight). I decided to cut out everything but my main lifts. Then I de-loaded for two weeks, doing active recovery and massage. I achieved my goal of not getting sick but my shoulder/scap isn’t giving me any relief. I felt fine after the meet. (I always do). But since I’ve been back to training, it’s not happy. I’ll train around it for now. Might even get it looked at. If so, I’ll need to soon. I’ve got plans and they are lofty!

Meet Squat:391lbs. Previous Max: 424lbs, 33lbs under my meet max but earned 90kg Master's National and FL State records. I got red lighted on my first attempt for not hearing or looking for the call to “rack” and jumped the gun. I didn’t want to waste a lift so I low balled the second and consequent lift. It gave me confidence though and I felt really good.

Meet bench: 270lbs, Previous Max: 281lbs, 11 lbs under my meet max. It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. This also earned 90kg Master’s National and FL State records. From the beginning of my powerlifting journey, more than anything, I’ve wanted a 300lb bench. Now, I honestly want more. It’s so disappointing I have an injuring holding me back. I am ready to work for this!

Meet deadlift: 380lbs, 435, 55lbs under my meet max. This sucked. It did. I am disgusted when I watch the video. The photographer we had here is amazing! I had the opportunity to communicate with her beforehand when I pre-ordered her photos. She approached me afterward and in the discussion, she mentioned she knew I wasn’t getting that last deadlift because she could see in my face I had “given up.” This wasn’t the first time I’ve done this with the deadlift. I have a great story about Dave telling me I pussied out on a deadlift and turned around and hit the previous max of 435. I had another judge approach me and tell me I need to have “faith” in myself. BOOM! Again, I’d let myself down.

I have weaknesses to work on. The main one is mental. No shocker here. My body is beaten up too. I have old injuries that have manifested into new ones. So, programming is difficult. I can expect to hurt pretty much all of the time. I also allow self-loathing thoughts to creep into my mind. It’s like a scentless gas that creeps into the air and I slowly inhale into my head and it clouds my mind, so it goes dark. The examples of what runs on replay are too dark to even share. This is depression. The feeling of being terrified to die, while wishing you would. It’s awful. I have addressed this issue many times. I’ve ridden this bull and won, time and time again but just because a battle is won, doesn’t mean the war is over. Not by a long shot and when everything thing is going well and you’re doing the best you can and living a good, honest life that fucker comes knocking at your door. If we don’t take the time to tend to our mental “fitness,” it will atrophy. See, my life is going great. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, aside from a few strained relationships I hope to continue to work on. Business is picking up. I’m attending Mass. Reaching out to family. But I am staying so busy doing that I am not spending any time NOT doing. Not reading healthy, mindful literature. Not meditating. Not praying as much as I could or should. Not getting still. It catches up. It eats at the foundation. I can’t just work on my training program and not my alcohol recovery program too. Finding balance at the same time as reaching elite powerlifting goals is challenging. First thing I need to work on, “mental fitness.”

Speaking of programming, I’m back to training and after discussing my first steps back with Julia Anto, I’m excited to be focused on hypertrophy for this cycle. I’ll still be using the Conjugate Method. I’m excited to train again. I will be hitting a variation of my main lifts twice a week:

  • Mon: DE UPPER
  • Tues: DE LOWER
  • Thurs: ME UPPER
  • Fri: ME LOWER

So how I plan to set it up is:

  1. Tissue prep: banded exercises/ roll out
  2. Main lift: Pin press, floor press, box squat, block pull
  3. Secondary strength lift: Good mornings, Stiff legs, Overhead press
  4. Hypertrophy accessories: NO HOLDS BARRED!! Everything from adaptive resistance, partner resistance, bands, partials, isoholds, bfr training

When I did my first meet, I had been doing Mountain Dog training. I did so many programs, I either re used them or I took my favorites from one and added them to another. But, all of my training was inspired heavily by John Meadows. That’s how I got strong. So, that’s what I’m going back to. But I need to keep my main lifts in. I know this. I didn’t focus enough on deadlift leading up to the Jenn. That was a mistake I won’t make this time. Just like the mistake of writing this up three times and accidentally deleting it without saving it.

My goal is to also add in yoga and some cardio. I’m 190lbs. I’m 5’2”. I’m dense and I love my muscles. I love being a little monster too. I’m not worried I have zero gaps between my legs down to my knees, but I am concerned about what that is doing to my heart. My recent blood work and physical were all good (except low testosterone which I found very ironic). I am a big, thick woman. I am not looking to cut, or anything like that. But I could use to drop some bodyfat and my heart and joints would thank me. I have no goal weight. Never have. I just want to be strong and muscley. I gave up any chance of being taller. Maybe yoga can help prevent me from shrinking at least. I have seen many “mobility specialists.” I think they’re great, but they are all doing some form of yoga. There are reasons why yoga has been around for thousands of years. I’m just suggesting it’s worth the $10 to 20 for a yoga class to help with mobility as well as mental and many other physical benefits.

Finally, I would like to say this meet was fantastic to participate in! Three sports, one roof, all women. The only female event in south Florida that hosts powerlifting, strong man and CrossFit. I look forward to being a part of this Women’s Empowerment weekend in the future. It was very well run and excellent for first timers and experienced athletes. Funds were raised for a local women’s shelter and it was in Tampa, minutes away from the beautiful coast of St. Petersburg beach.