Oh man, is this post overdue or what?! I have a half written blog post about how I was planning to “ease myself back in” after the lockdown eased in the UK and gyms re-opened, but that didn’t happen: the post or the easing in!

Once the gyms were re-opened I threw myself back into lifting, and having just about hung on to some cardiovascular fitness by the skin of my teeth, made it to regular runs with my local run group too. With netball not on at the kid’s school, I re-started my pole lessons, which I’d not been to for over 18 months. It’s still just as hard as it ever was, although apparently I’m not completely useless at it…

Taekwon-do has just this week opened back up again, which has thrown me in the deep-end with my schedule a little, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Hopefully. My days currently look a bit like this:

Mon: Bench sesh AM, squat sesh PM
Tues: Mobility AM, Taekwon-do PM
Weds: Squat sesh AM, pole PM
Thurs: Back/shoulders AM, Running PM
Fri: Bench sesh AM, squat sesh PM
Sat: Taekwon-do/squat & deads sesh AM
Sun: …die?

The big news though: I entered another powerlifting competition. I was supposed to compete for the first time in June of this year, but it was cancelled for obvious reasons. When news surfaced that West Midlands Powerlifting were holding a small socially-distanced open comp in November, I asked for more info but convinced myself I wasn’t good enough to enter – especially with around 6 months without any ‘serious’ training. I posted on Instagram that the comp was happening and SO MANY people pushed me to enter that I went for it, and so I’m going to lift (unless the covid sitch changes) on Nov 21st.

(And now the crazy schedule makes sense…)

Of course, even with a crazy schedule, it’s not quite that simple. Finding the balance, especially this week, has been really difficult. I’m not currently tracking macros and haven’t been for a while, relying on a more intuitive approach to my food. This has been absolutely fine this year — once I got over the initial early lockdown bumps — but meant I definitely have not accomodated the kind of fuel I’d need to fit in double session days every day. I think the demands on my body ramped up faster than my appetite, but I’m learning: it only took a few days this week for me to notice where I was slipping and get some more food down me.

Training is going well though, and today I accomplished a huge rep PB for back squat. I managed 3 sets of 3 at 100kg, which is a weight I’ve only ever had on my back for singles before. I am utterly buzzing that I managed to get each rep, although I was surprised how big a difference a spotter made in sets 2 and 3. I am beginning to wonder if my stubbornness about working out alone is massively holding me back on my squats. It’s always been my favourite lift, it was THE lift that got me started on this road, so I feel like I could have made more progress by now. Not shitting on today’s achievement by any stretch of the imagination, but if I’m holding back my own progress I definitely need to address that.

Anyway there’s a (terrible) vid of set one on instagram, if you want to catch me in action:

(Apologies for the faff either side of the set; despite telling Instagram to trim my video, for some reason it didn’t..?!)

Anyway, all I need to do now is maintain the progress with the lifting, continue to eat the right balance of food (while not eating too much and pushing myself out of my weight class that I’m only just teetering on the edge of) and not die.

Doesn’t sound too hard?

Lead photo by George Pagan III