The CrossFit program was designed by Greg Glassman with the intention of best preparing trainees for any physical contingency. To prepare people not only for the unknown but for the unknowable as well. In my past experience, it’s a method that (when programmed well), incorporates almost everything physical. In stark contrast to that method of training lays my own training of the last year…
For the last 12 months, my training has consisted of three powerlifting cycles. First I ran a 5 x 5 program where I performed each of the main lifts as heavy as I could for five sets of five. Each week I would try to increase the weight. This is a great beginner lifting program by Mark Rippetoe. When my gains started to taper off, I moved on to the Texas Method which is a variation of the 5 x 5. This program includes a volume day at a reduced weight for your 5 x 5 and an intensity day where you try to get one really heavy set of 3-5. I didn’t have a lot of success with this program but I was eating almost no carbohydrates (a hang over from CrossFit). I don’t think how I was eating was supportive of my strength gain goals. Most recently, I’ve completed a 10 week cycle of Brandon Lilly’s Cube Predator, and upped my carbohydrates primarily around training to a comparative whopping 150-300grams per day! I’ve gained weight, which I think has benefited my squat. I tested my 1rms last Friday, and squatted 120kg, I got a 80kg bench and 140kg for my deadlift. The squat was a 2.5kg pr, the bench was equal to my comp pr and the deadlift was a gym pr (comp pr is145kg). In the year since I began powerlifting, I’ve added 24kg to my bench, 20kgs to my squat and 24kg to my deadlift.
I started powerlifting after 2.5 years of CrossFit. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that one of the main things I liked about the switch was discontinuing intense conditioning sessions. Since I began the powerlifting journey, my goal was to beat the current Australian women’s master’s records. I took part in all of the competitions required to qualify to compete, just after I turned 40, at The Arnold Sports Festival in Melbourne next month. I was surprised and incredibly disappointed to see that the master’s division for the women was dropped from this event…Upon enquiring, I was advised that this was due to time constraints. The men’s masters division is still happening, so I’m enjoying a lot of personal satisfaction in the fact that me not competing is allowing the men to go ahead.
I’m feeling a little lost and partly that 12 months of training, although very enjoyable, has been for nothing…I’ve been sitting with my disappointment for about a month now and have decided all will be well, I’ll just aim for those records at another comp somewhere else. No Arnie.
And in the meantime, I’ve decided that I’m going to participate in the Crossfit Open because? Why not? If training CrossfFit prepares you for anything, how prepared for anything does powerlifting make you? Well I don’t know much, but I know I lov…I do know some things.
I know that powerlifting makes you strong and when you eat right, it makes you jacked. There are few activities that being strong does not help you with, in one way or another. So, it’ll be interesting (to me) to see just how far I can get with brute strength alone. I have zero conditioning at this point in my fitness journey so, it’s going to be interesting (to me) to see just how bad I suck, when I want to quit and I’m sure my coach – if he is still talking to me- is looking forward to seeing just how much I whine (he loves that). As of this week, my dirty gains have brought me an additional 4-5kg in bodyweight so, it’s also going to be interesting (to me) to see how I handle intense conditioning and body weight movements as a heftier lass.
I’ll compare some of my results with whatever details I can find in my old training diaries and from 2 years ago when I last took part in the Open. Join me if you are also a loser whose dreams were destroyed by Arnold Schwazenegger. It’s going to be not fun.
15.1: Feb. 26 -March 2
15.2: March 5-9
15.3: March 12-16
15.4: March 19-23
15.5: March 26-30
Anna Brown is an average though super keen