Strongwoman training diary – week 7

A second week of resting my back from deadlifts meant some more time to concentrate on upper body strength. So that’s what I did. Here’s how week 7 unfolded.

20160215_070845Monday 15th February – Julia Buckley workout

Ignite #1 which is a High Intensity Intervals session. I am nearly able to do all the moves again – first set of burpees this year without knee pain. I never thought I’d see a day when I was happy to be able to do burpees!

Tuesday 16th February – PT session

We did a similar session to last week, working on legs and upper body and avoiding anything that would put too much strain on the lower back.

Elevated split squats @ 25kg, 30kg, 35kg, 37.5kg 6 each leg per set

Assisted pull ups. Worked down from 33kg assistance to 26kg assistance on pull ups (new PB), then switched to neutral grip chin ups and got down to 19kg!! Tried one at 12kg and got halfway up – so so close to an unassisted chin up :thumbsup:

Cable pull downs super sets with Hunter presses – my back was on fire!

Wednesday 17th February – rest day

And I took it as total rest

Thursday 18th February – upper body strength session 

20160218_070149I’ve been working up to a 55kg overhead press for a while now. This morning was the morning it finally happened. I also got a PB on the single arm dumbbell press – I’ve been struggling with 24kg for ages but this morning it went up without too much trouble. I added in some Lat pull downs, back extensions, side bends at the end of the session.

I am very pleased to get to 55kg on the barbell – that’s the weight I need on the log press – it’s a different implement but now I know I can get the weight overhead I’ll be more confident on the log.


Friday 19th February – rest day

I woke up with a very sore throat – this usually means the start of a cold so I decided to take it easy and started the day with one of Julia’s Sustain sessions. These are focused on mobility and body weight strength so a great complement to weight training and a nice gentle way to start the day.

Saturday 20th February – Strongwoman training

By Saturday morning the sore throat had developed into full on head cold. I woke up feeling tired, dehydrated and far from 100% and nearly decided to give Strongwoman training a miss. OH talked me into going, said that I could take it easy and that some fresh air and getting my blood pumping might make me feel better.

And it did! I had a totally brilliant session.

Started with single arm dumbbell press – I have never tried these as my first exercise and it turns out that I’m much stronger in them when I do. I got 25kg quite easily which really surprised me since I’ve only just got the 24kg on Thursday. Then the 27.5kg went straight up as well. I decided to try the 30kg which is my competition target – it took 3 attempts to but eventually it went up too.

This progress has genuinely taken me by surprise. Just 7 weeks ago I struggled with the 20kg and had no idea how I would ever manage 30kg. But I’ve just done it and there’s still 8 weeks to go until the comp :thumbsup:

Then we did some tyre flipping outside, I wasn’t at my best for this but I paired up with the other woman there and we flipped the 250kg tyre together a few times.

20160220_115729I asked if I could practice axle presses as it’s something that’s been niggling at me. The axle is a thick bar which means that you can’t clean and press it like a normal barbell as it falls out of your hands. You have to use a switch grip and find a way to get that grip back to normal halfway through the move.


I had really struggled with it the first time I tried and couldn’t get beyond 27kg. I decided to try out a different technique which I’ve been watching on You Tube videos – low and behold I can do it! You can see the technique that I used in this clip – there wasn’t quite as much whooping going on for me.

I worked up from 17kg to 47kg which is 2kg above my comp weight. It wasn’t pretty, but it went up and that’s all that matters.

I am SO glad I went along – two of my potential demons conquered :strongbench:

Sunday 21st February – Julia Buckley workout


Still not feeling 100% today but since my symptoms are still all above my neck I decided to do a workout and see if it helped me feel better again. It did! I did Heatseeker #3 from Julia’s website – this one is a mixture of HIIT cardio with strength moves. I modified it a bit to include some moves that would be helpful for my strongwoman training (that’s a kettlebell windmill in the photo to get me used to being stable with a weight overhead in one hand) and also to make use of the equipment in the gym.

I love these sessions when I do them on a Sunday – gym studio to myself and I can just spread out, turn the music up and dig in.

So that’s the end of week 7 and the halfway point in my training. The competition is 8 weeks away but I’ll mostly rest in the week leading up so I’ve got 7 weeks of training left.

Looking back at where my weights started just 7 weeks ago I’m absolutely delighted with the progress I’ve made so far. I’m now feeling confident that I’m going to be able to complete 3 out of 5 of the events and that confidence will grow as I get to practice more in the coming weeks.

Now that my back is better I can turn my attention back to those deadlifts.

120kg I’m coming to get you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s