Even if everything made me want to, I felt very far from being able to do such things. Too technical and out of my physical reach. And yet I’ve never been wrong …
It was right there, deep down. June 2017 I accidentally came across the website of ffforce (French Federation) and realized that in France this discipline exists and is beginning to develop. I also found that people talk about Force Athlétique in French. The more I look at the site, the more I understand that powerlifting can be done in France, and that I can also, why not.
Not knowing where this would lead me, I decided to try this experience! So, the first step is to find a room where I can study and practice. I will choose Haltéro Club Lyonnais from a very limited list, because there are very few equipped halls and branches in Lyon.
At the beginning, I tell myself that I will spend 1 year training to progress and get to the right level before participating in my very first competition, this seems like a good plan to me. But this does not include meetings with athletes in the gym. Eventually, I made sure that the coach would follow me and prepare for what we call Step 1 (intended for real beginners). By October 7, I have 11 weeks to prepare! Oh oh oh, that I’m still coming in …
I am quickly given the technique for each movement, I take the first week to start working on it, and do a maximum of 1 rep per exercise.
So, here’s my starting point:
40 kg TD
90 kg TD
190 kg TD
I take this opportunity to take a look at the minimums that correspond to the levels we are testing in the competition, compared to the total achieved.
For this season in my category (for adults-63 kg) it looks like this:
Goal for step 1 = Reach the interregional level (IR) in the amount of 230 kg.
Eccentric, gap, triple gap, deficit, growth … all options and methods go there! I remember the first sessions. It was hot (it was summer) and I think I never sweated in training again. To be honest, I started sweating during the warm-up, aah.
The tutorial is very different from what I’ve done so far. We are not looking for muscle overload or failure. We focus on technique, repetition after repetition. The sensations are different, and even the fatigue after the session is different. For the 3 movements, the loads (or intensity level) are always pre-determined. The rest of the classes will focus on strengthening small muscles, building and expanding major muscle groups.
I’ll always remember my first time back from the room: sitting on the subway, exhausted, looking a little empty, with headphones in my ears. I felt good, satisfied, almost proud that I had done everything right, with only one haste: to be at the next session.
Week 1. I start with 40 kg squats, 50 kg deadlifts, and 30 kg bench presses. Well, it’s not crazy, but it’s a good start. And then I worked so hard on the technique that it didn’t get any harder.
A few photos of my first workout, in addition to framing the video, I had a job in terms of mobility:
Week 10. I finish the 1-rep squat with 77.5 kg, the 1-rep deadlift with 105 kg, and the 1 – rep bench press with 47.5 kg.
It’s D-Day !! I will participate in my first sports competition. I am stressed and look forward to both. I do not put any pressure on myself, my main goal is to discover, observe how the competition goes and have fun. I am also lucky to have people around me.
I can’t sit still, I run everywhere, but I stay focused on what to do. My biggest fear was the squat. Not necessarily my favorite move at base, but above all I’m afraid I won’t go down enough. Fortunately, I mentally prepared for a whole week. I visualized my squat forcing myself to go down as low as possible. And it worked well.
TEST 1: 70 kg
I feel pretty confident. I felt light and happy.
Squats – TEST 2: 77.5 kg
It is quite quiet here too, unfortunately I misinterpret the start and start squatting before the signal from the referee.
SQUAT – TEST 3: 85 kg
Yes! I’m so happy. What an inexplicable feeling … I felt relieved, and at that moment the pressure subsided: mostly I was squatting. I’m in good shape for the future.
SUSPENSION – TEST 1: 45 kg
Not at the highest level of stability, I can not keep the bar straight, but it does pass. Well, this is often the case with me when the bar is too light …
UNKNOWN – TEST 2: 50 kg
Yes! I am happy because I did not manage to pass this bar in training with the correct hit (= pause time at the bottom of the movement).
BED PRESS – TEST 3: 55 kg
I am not passing it on (sniff). Maybe I should have tried 52.5 kg. I also suspect a lot of mistakes in my technique
LIFTING THE EARTH – TEST 1: 95 kg
LIFTING THE EARTH – TEST 2: 110 kg
Satisfied, but tiredness begins to feel … oh.
LIFTING THE EARTH – TEST 3: 120 kg
I only lift the bar a few cm … I ran out of juice (didn’t eat enough during the competition) and I gave up before I even tried
FIRST STEPS RESULTS :
SQUAT SURFACE DEVELOPMENT LIFTING LAND TOTAL 85 kg50 kg td
110 kg td 245 kg
Therefore, I reiterate my Inter-Regional (IR) goal, which was 230 kg. I gained + 55 kg of the total weight. I also prepared and ran a competition with the following features:
– Squats with a high barbell
– Without belt
– Without knee pads
I am leaving this competition completely exhausted, happy to have this unique experience. I liked everything, and I confirm my desire to continue practicing this sport. I also met other athletes and it was great. Contrary to what I thought, I didn’t feel any competition per se. Because, in the end, everyone is competing with themselves. This leaves room for mutual help and a great atmosphere.
PREPARE THE 2018 WINTER CHALLENGE – 10 WEEKS
Okay, I said that this year I will only compete in the First Steps. Once again I found myself convinced to take part in the Winter Challenge (formerly called the Interregional Championship), which will take place on January 13, 2018.
Target : to confirm the lows of France, which is 295 kg. Thus, I have less than 3 months to gain 50 kg of total weight … oh oh oh.
But this time I will love a few new things: I will learn to do squats in a low bar, buy a belt and knee pads yes!
1st week. I start with the 70kg squat, 85kg deadlift, and 42.5kg bench press. I love the feeling with knee pads! And the belt really helps me get the most out of my deadlift.
Week 10. I finish the 90kg triple squat, 1-rep deadlift at 125kg deficit, and the 1-rep 55kg bench press.
I’m planning more food this time. I’m looking forward to getting started, although I’m just as tense. My goal of checking the French minimums is achievable but not guaranteed. The organization is a little different, serious things can start.
SQUAT – TEST 1: 95 kg
I feel at ease, I’m sure.
SQUAT – TEST 2: 105 kg
It is also quite quiet here, unfortunately, it has not been confirmed due to insufficient reduction. Dilemma: I have 1 minute to decide my next bar. I was planning to try 110 kg in the third bar, even if I feel it well, I know that if I miss it, it is over for my goal of a total of 295 kg. I am careful and prefer to redo 105 kg … too bad.
SQUAT – TEST 3: 105 kg
I support the descent as much as possible to test it this time. It’s okay, ugh!
PRESS COVER – TEST 1: 50 kg
DEVELOPED BODY – TEST 2: 55 kg
Confirmed, but feels a little harder than in training. I planned to try 60 kg in the third bar, I decided to change to 57.5 kg.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE BED – TEST 3: 57.5 kg
I can not walk by. I am very disappointed because I feel that my technique was not perfect. But first of all, in order to reach my goal, I must confirm the 135 kg deadlift … I hold my tears to myself, regain my mood and leave to isolate myself, to focus on the last movement.
LIFTING THE GROUND – TEST 1: 115 kg
LIFTING EARTH – TEST 2: 125 kg
Even if it goes smoothly, I feel that 135 will be difficult to reach. 130 kg yes. 135 kg will have to go after them …
LIFTING EARTH – TEST 3: 135 kg
Ok, and this is missing. However, this time I didn’t let go (my lower back will remember this for the next few days) … I lift it off the ground and remain motionless for a few seconds. But this time it won’t be enough.
SQUAT SURFACE DEVELOPMENT LIFTING LAND TOTAL 105 kg55 kg125 kg285 kg
I end up with 10 kg from the France lows, which I am not checking. After disappointment, I am happy with my progress (+ 40 kg in my last amount) and use the rest of the day to support friends who have not yet passed
MY BALANCE SHEET
What a challenge! I really enjoyed these 6 months of unleashing athletic strength, but above all, I’m not going to stop there. I think this discipline is really good for women. We learn to transcend ourselves, we doubt, we fear, we persist, we enjoy ourselves and we learn about ourselves.
I have to admit, I never thought I would be able to progress so much. To tell the truth, the approval of the French minimum was originally my goal for 2019. Even if I don’t feel like I have crazy potential, I am very diligent, persistent, and don’t let myself miss out on any improvement. . And this is perhaps the most important thing for progress at the end.