The Scottish Juniors & Bench Press Powerlifting Comp on the 13th April was going to be my last competition before the IPF World Championships on the 4th June in Johannesburg, South Africa. I had significant momentum leading up to the two weeks before it, using a standard linear periodization style of training which I really enjoy, while my strength levels were rising rather nicely.
I also was doing well to sort some form issues that most, if not all, powerlifters have. Perfect form is a constant quest for me, I fare well at lighter weights but when I get up to a max I still want it to look good! But it is difficult and I certainly still haven’t mastered this yet. But I know the more I work on my mobility and my movement patterns in the lifts, it will come with time.
This is also why I started to film everything in my training – to be critical of myself to give way to more productivity in my lifting. Here is some footage of my training in the lead up:
Above I say ‘up to the two weeks before the comp’ for a reason – I started to get pain in the greater trochanter of my left hip at this point indicating a slight overuse injury in the form of glute medius tendonopathy.
I then started to get regular pain while walking up the stairs, squatting or deadlifting. I tried an array of approaches for the fast recovery of the tendon in this area – ice, physiotherapy, acupuncture, soft tissue work, taking NSAID’s (ibuprofen) like they were sweets (bad idea), Epsom salt baths and ‘Mint Ease’ cream before training, extra mobility and corrective exercises performed as often as possible and even complete rest for more than a week.
I also received great weekly sports massage work from Kevin from Helping Hands Therapy who, along with Deluxe Nutrition, are supporting me up till the Worlds. But due to this being a tendon issue and the short timeframe I had to work with, there were going to be no quick fixes which I was so gutted and down about. I then made the decision to not be foolish (and risk further issues with the hip) and to pull out of the ‘full power’ comp and into the Bench Press Only on the 13th April.
I was competing in the morning session and finished with a bench press of 115kg at 74.3kg, good enough for 1st Place.
My bench is my weakest lift out of the three but this was a 5kg competition Personal Best (PB) for me so I wasn’t too displeased at all. I had benched a 117kg and 120kg in training so I know there’s great potential to get my bench in the 122/125kg range at Worlds.
I then kicked back and enjoyed watching the Aberdeen University Weightlifting Club dominating the rest of the competition. 11 Scottish Junior records between 8 lifters and lots of podium placing’s!
At the time of writing, I have since managed to work around my injury for most aspects of my lifting and have been hitting weekly PB’s in bench and deadlift. Squats are still lagging behind my best as I cannot train them with the volume I would want without significant pain.
Although I had lost that precious momentum I had leading up to the Scottish Juniors and Bench Press Comp, and was very down about the prognosis of the injury, I have since picked myself up and refreshed my ambition in moving forward.
I am 5 weeks out from Worlds right now and I am simply just focusing on stringing together day after day of efficient effort in recovery and strength. The image of being on that world stage has not left my mind and I will make sure to savour the experience when it comes.