New deadlift PB whoop, whoop.

So yes today I threw down a little bit of awesomeness, I managed to get the starting weight for the next comp. It felt like it was going to be a good gym session and it was. The music choice wasn’t mine.

Today’s session
Axel Deadlift
Good Mornings
Step-downs – body weight. I get pain in my knees when I do lunges, squats, prowler work and this is a vague attempt to try and sort them out.

Any of you smashed out some PBs recently?

Stephen Hawking vs Victoria Secret Models.

I am not sure where I am going with this so stay with me, there may or may not be a point.

This morning Fit and Feminist linked to these tweets

Tweets from the Victoria Secret Show

They made me sad (and also fucking furious depending on gender of the tweeter), but thanks to Gogglebox last night showing the reaction to the Stephen Hawking programme it also made me think. No-one looks at Stephen Hawking and thinks if I just studied a little harder, read a few more books then I would be able to be as clever as him. The tweets that went out about the Victoria Secret Fashion Show read as if we (women) all just exercised more and ate less we would be able to look like Victoria Secret models. We wouldn’t, we would need their genes as well, just as if we wanted to be able to be as clever as Stephen Hawking we would need his brain. Which sentence last went on in your head ‘I need to eat less and lose weight’ or ‘I need to read more and become more intelligent’. We accept the fact we can’t all be Stephen Hawking yet blame ourselves for not looking like models, and what’s worse punish and abuse our bodies for not being model like.

I am not saying we shouldn’t seek to improve ourselves, we should read as much possible and move in ways we enjoy, but we should do it for ourselves and not an unrealistic ideal that we will never attain.

What’s new pussycat?

I am still here, and I’m still training hitting new log press and axle c&p PRs and I have a new goal.

So. New Goal. Firstly to drop 6kg so I can enter the under 75kg class, if I want to take the next step up regarding weights I need to be in the lower weight class.
Secondly, the comp. Britain’s Strongest Woman 2014 Saturday, 1 March 2014

Event 1:
-Max axle bar deadlift (30 seconds per attempt)
3 nominated lifts after the starting weight (No straps or suits!). Starting weight is mandatory. Deadlift will be from normal height.
U75kg starting weight – 120kg

Event 2:
-Floor to overhead reps (75 seconds limit)
U75kg Women – 50kg thin log 1 point, 60kg Axel 3 Points

Event 3:
-Rope pull to prowler push (75 seconds limit)
Seated pull for 15 metres straight into a 15 metre push back.
U75kg Women – Prowler + 100kg

Event 4:
-Keg carry and lift (75 seconds limit)
This event is a bit different! This will involve carrying a keg 20 metres and then lifting it overhead, and repeating this without putting the keg down. Maximum reps in the time limit wins, reps will be split timed in case of ties.
U75kg Women – 40kg

Event 5:
-Tyre flips to farmers walk (75 seconds limit)
5 flips of the tyre and then 20 metres of farmers walk.
U75kg Women – 180kg Tyre, Farmers 75kg each hand

Event 6:
-Crucifix hold (No time limit)
U75kg Women – 8kg per hand

Am I peeing my pants a little? Oh yes.
Here is where I am at the moment.
-Max axle bar deadlift -starting weight – 120kg I can get 110kg off the floor about an inch
-Floor to overhead reps50kg thin log 1 point, 60kg Axel 3 Points Can press 50kg fat log, current PR for axel is 52.5kg
-Rope pull to prowler push (75 seconds limit) Prowler + 100kg it’s not fast but I can do this.
-Keg carry and lift (75 seconds limit)U75kg Women – 40kg I can carry but not press.
-Tyre flips to farmers walk (75 seconds limit)180kg Tyre, Farmers 75kg each hand. Yeah, just no.
-Crucifix hold (No time limit) 8kg per hand haven’t actually tried!

There is a lot of work to be done and Christmas is kinda in the way. Just to prove I am still training have a short video of me moving Atlas Stones at the weekend. This one is only 50kg, I managed 60kg a couple of times as well but only for 1 rep at a time.

Hope your training all going well, whether it’s for a goal or just for health, hope it’s fun.

Don’t believe the headlines….

Being lazy I have stolen something I wrote for my work blog today. As you may know there is  new research out which has caused the following headlines…

  • “Being fit is no help if you’re fat as well: Scientists say healthy obesity does not exist”   Daily Mail, December 3 2013
  • “‘Healthy and overweight’ is a myth, study suggests.”   BBC News, December 3 2013
  • “Obese but healthy? It’s a big, fat myth.”   The Times, December 3 2013

Lovely dramatic headlines which drew the reader in. However

  • “Being fit is no help if you’re fat as well: Scientists say healthy obesity does not exist”

Fit was not measured, fit implies physical activity. Research has been done recently which shows the most important factor in living a long life is being physically active independent of BMI.

“‘Healthy and overweight’ is a myth, study suggests.” BBC News, December 3 2013

Overweight is defined as a BMI between 29-30. The research actually found that overweight, healthy people’s risks were so similar to the control group’s risks that the difference was statistically insignificant.

  • “Obese but healthy? It’s a big, fat myth.” The Times, December 3 2013

The highest risk group for cardivascular disease was the metabolically unhealthy but normal weight participants (BMI of between 18-25). Apparently that is not as appealing as a media headline however.

Here is my opinion on the whole thing.

  1. Weight shaming is not ok, ever. It doesn’t help anything.
  2. Physical activity is always good.
  3. Move more, try and eat fruit and veg, be nice to each other and don’t base a persons worth on what they weigh.
  4. Liking yourself is the healthiest behaviour of all.

Two more articles which go into greater detail.

Worthing’s Strongest (wo)Man 2013 recap

I have had complete mental block when it comes to writing about the competition whatever I have tried to write sounded boring, or trite, or clinical. It didn’t convey how great the day was, how amazing it was to have all these strong women together supporting and shouting for each other despite being competitors.

I woke up as nervous as fuck and needing to pee every 30 seconds but within one rep of the first event I remembered I was doing this for me, not to compete against other people, but to see what my body could do and from that point on it was fun.

Of course the longer I leave it the harder it becomes to write. Instead I thought I would do the day in the photos I have.

My no.1 supporter who was later caught trying to deadlift his 3yr old sister.
First event log press ARMAP 75 secs@40kg 6 reps completed and one dropped on the bloke behind (sorry about that!) 3/6

Log Press AMRAP 45kg in 75secs

Second event trap bar deadlifts AMRAP in 70secs @ 100kg 16 reps completed 3/6

Third event yoke 130kg 20m drop/turn 20m 3/6

Forth event farmers walk 50kg each hand 20m drop/turn 20m 4/6

Fifth event sled pull 20m/prowler push 20m/prowler push 20m  3/6

Sled pull/Prowler push set up

Sled pull/Prowler push set up

Me with Lloyd Renals who came down to help ref at the comp.

Me and Worlds Strongest Man athlete 2013 Lloyd Renals

Me and Worlds Strongest Man competitior 2013 Lloyd Renals

Me with amazing strong girlies. (Meg on the right is off to the Arnold Strongwoman Championships in USA next year if anyone who reads this knows anyone who can get her help with sponsorship you can get hold of her @Megrstrong)

Worthing's Strongest woman comp 2013

Worthing’s Strongest woman comp 2013

I would like to say thank you to Matt Szczerbinsk and his team at MaxStrength Gym. The day ran smoothly and was a lot of fun thanks to their amazing efforts. Thank you to Phil Horwood at Bridge Road Barbell who continues to tell me to just pick up the weight. And of course my gorgeous family. #breakdsintooscarworthysobs

My gorgeous family, including my mother who continues to ask why I am doing this but always wishes me luck.

My gorgeous family, including my mother who continues to ask why I am doing this but always wishes me luck.

That was my last competition this year (yeah I know I said that last time but I mean it this time, only 6 weeks of 2013 left and Christmas is coming). There are plans in the pipe plan which basically terrify me but I’ll post about those soon.  For now I’ll leave you with this….


3rd place. Not bad for someone who has to wee before they deadlift.


The week before the first comp I had a tummy bug which meant

  • no training
  • no drinking
  • bed at 9:30
  • eating bland and sensible food

My main focus was just making it to the competition,  of course at the time I was bummed that I had been ill before the competition but because of the above I made it to the competition relatively (for a mother with a 2&5year old) well rested and feeling ready to lift compared to what has happened this time.

This time I have been fine (thankfully) but this has meant preparation to feel my best on Sunday hasn’t gone so well. My week has proceeded as normal with a glass of wine in the evening, bed at 10:30 (which I regard as late) and my diet which veers from vitamin rich kale to doughnuts. I admit this is down to me having the willpower of a ravenous crocodile and an inability to go to bed at 10pm.  I woke up this morning (6:05am, thanks for the lie-in 5year old) and despite what I wrote in my last post about not being the best, or even my best, I felt guilty for not preparing better (not the training part, I’m happy with my training) and also NERVOUS.  That butterflies in my stomach, the my god why the hell am I doing this feeling. Which I am currently trying to drown with tea. Maybe it’s because I didn’t come last and therefore this time I actually feel pressure to do ok (or at least not come last?) , maybe because I haven’t got the excuse well it’s my first competition, maybe it’s because I am slightly competitive even when I know I am not going to be the best.

There is a lot of maybes, despites and nerves in that above paragraph. Oh well, in 24 hours I will be eating a carb happy breakfast, probably going for a pee every 10 minutes and spending the day with ladies who like to lift, interspersed with doing short amounts of exercise  lifting heavy things.  But today I am going to get my children dressed, go watch Monsters University and then spend the afternoon by the seaside. Two very different but equally great days.

I hope you all have happy weekends.


Quick update.

Last week was intense, I trained 6 times which is a lot for me. I lifted a LOT of 50kg med balls and pressed a lot of logs including resting a 47.5kg one on my forehead. Graceful is my middle name.

I also got a 110kg PB. Go me! :)

By Sunday my body was TIRED, luckily the weather was gorgeous so I just went for a beautiful autumn walk with my family..(I love photos, they don’t show and you can’t hear the screaming 3 year old in the background)

Me and my gorgeous boy

Me and my gorgeous boy

S0 I’m on countdown to the next competition. It’s in Worthing on Sunday and whilst I don’t think I am at the stage where I say I am looking forward to it I am starting to get excited/nervous butterflies in my stomach! It will be nice to see some faces I met at the Northampton competition. I think the best lesson I learnt at the last competition is that if I fail an event the world doesn’t end.  Some people think there is no point doing sport or being an athlete if you are not in it to win it, if you don’t want to be the best. Realistically I am never going to win or be the best but you know those platitudes that it doesn’t matter what happens as long as you do your best? This might be slightly controversial but I am not sure I want to be my best at it either.  I don’t have the drive, dedication or the determination and do have a healthy dose of laziness. I am enjoying the journey, I am enjoying meeting new people and I enjoy (most of the time) the type of exercise and that is enough for me (right now)

I would like to leave you with my current favorite ecard, I stole this from twitter without noting whose it was so no credit, please let me know if it is yours!



I need a new pair of tracksuit bottoms for the class I take on Friday morning. I have this pair of tracksuit bottoms that I love, worship and adore. They are flattering and comfortable and make my butt look amazing. Unlike the rest of the worlds tracksuit bottoms which make me look like a sack of potatoes and have elasticated waists. UGLY. Of course Nike has discontinued selling the Worlds Most Comfortable and Lovely Pair of tracksuit bottoms. So I am desperately hunting for a new pair however I really can’t go on wearing my tracksuit bottoms to my class. I have a pair of yoga pants, they are also comfortable and make my butt look amazing but whenever I look at myself in the mirror in them all I can see is THIGHS. THIGHS. Big, fat THIGHS. Now I have talked about my rugby thighs before and most of the time I am happy with them, especially flaunted in skinny jeans or cut off denims however I still have this block about MY THIGHS in yoga pants. This is my worry – if my class see my THIGHS in these yoga pants they will instantly think FRAUD! They will think that someone with those thighs does not have any business teaching fitness.

This is nonsense. I know my exercise classes have helped them. I know deep down inside that they will not look at my yoga pants and think OH GOD THE THIGHS they will look at my yoga pants and think oh Helen is wearing a new pair of yoga pants and please god don’t let her make us do too many squats today.

So, today I am going to wear my yoga pants to my class.

Inspired by this blog post

Close the Thigh Gap

And this amazing Ted talk.


P.s I HAVE been training, lots and I will write it up soon!


Hope you all have a good weekend.

Cheques away!

Hello, please bear with me life is a little hectic at the moment and this blog comes under the luxury column (or course I am still training that comes under the My Sanity column) however there are 3 things I want to post about.

1) 9 Fitspiration posters corrected. This is my favourite (I also like no. 7) but go see the rest.

2) This amazing post from FitVillans – Mocking, criticizing and shaming overweight individuals has done WONDERS to curb our current health crisis – Said NO one. Ever.

3) I sent the cheque in for the Worthing Strongman competition. Bring. It. On.

The gym is my….



….therapists chair


It’s where I want to go when I’m stressed, unhappy or angry.

It unravels my mental knots and it soothes my tense shoulders.

It makes me strong in more ways than physical.

The gym doesn’t care what I wear or what I look like. It doesn’t believe in small talk and it doesn’t measure my worth in terms of mother, wife, woman.

All the gym cares about is picking the fucking weight off the floor.

What’s your release mechanism?