Earlier this year I interviewed several contestants at Simply Gym’s strong competition in Cheltenham. The event made press coverage with the Gloucestershire Echo, and all in all was an incredibly successful day with many spectators enjoying the events.
On the 12th November 2017, I entered in for the Strongest Woman at Trojans gym in Bristol. Observing the Simply Gym’s contest inspired me to push my own limits and challenge myself in ways I would never have even considered before. Taking part in the event was one of the best experiences and most sensational feelings I’ve had to date.
My good friend Hannah Loughlin, joined me on my journey to becoming a competitor for Strongest Woman. If I’m being honest, we doubted ourselves right up until the day of the event. If I’m being brutally honest, we doubted ourselves seconds before making our first lift.
We trained for a whole 7 weeks. Which in fact, is the shortest period of time for any two people to be training for an event such as strong woman. We struggled with self-doubt throughout our training, we probably didn’t eat what athletes should eat leading up-to an event (unless a giant chocolate cupcake is considered healthy?) I’ll admit I threw several strops when I couldn’t get a lift right. I stomped off when I couldn’t get the dumbbell over my head, and we missed copious amounts of strength training sessions at Knights gym. You may be thinking, how in hell did you girls even get through this competition? Well the answer is quite simple, and thats sheer determination, huge support from our family and loved ones, a soar of adrenaline, an element of stubbornness and a fabulous friend.
Death by deadlift
To begin with, Hannah and I endured a wonderful event called ‘Death by Deadlift’. Which was my least favourite. I have not quite perfected the technique for a deadlift, and by that I mean my deadlifts are rather horrendous and I pulled my back on the third lift. However! I got 110kg off the floor, and I have never lifted that much weight before.
Zercher walk (yoke)
After our warm-up, we then moved onto the zercher walk. How delightfully painful that was. A giant yoke (thick black steel bar) sitting on your chest, restricting your intake of oxygen. Although we couldn’t breathe whilst lugging a 90kg yoke, this was the easiest of the events.
The one event I thought I would smash, I actually ended up smashing myself in the face with a 40kg log. It began so well. I was so confident I would get all the lifts, but then I hit myself in the face on the third lift and it threw me off for the 45kg axle press. A lift I had done a few times before, but failed to carry out on the day.
Fantastic work to Hannah who got the lift and smashed the medley.
This event was our biggest obstacle and the one we were most apprehensive about. I let this event defeat me mentally before I even attempted the lift, I was certain I would not get the weight up off of the floor…
Not only did I lift that weight, but I finished the event in 27 seconds.
(70kg in each hand)
Stone over yoke
Last but not least, stone over yoke. In other words, a giant ball of concrete being thrusted over a steel bar. I managed four in one minute. Never again will I wear tacky and a hoodie, big mistake. Unfortunately, Hannah didn’t wear any tacky at all and couldn’t get a grip of the stone. I think we both learnt from this one.
I am so proud of what we accomplished that day, and even though both of us failed at an event and both of us came last, I couldn’t feel more like a champion. If there’s anything I learnt, it’s never to doubt yourself.
Donna Moore was the judge. FYI – Check her out on Instagram. She holds several world titles for strongest woman, and what she can do is insane.
This whole experience has inspired me to run my own event which I have organised at DW Fitness in Cheltenham and I will be raising money for Help for Heroes.
I plan on entering into another strong woman event for under 63kg in January at Genesis gym in Wembley.