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Blog by: Colette Haddon
After competing in powerlifting at the European Masters in Hungary where I was successful in winning three medals and Gold overall, I knew that I had to make some changes in order to progress as an athlete and achieve my future ambitions in powerlifting.
Working IT I had a little checklist in my head on what I was looking for in a coach – this included adding kilo’s to my total weight, improving my technique, gaining experience and maybe the most important: trust.
Like with everything, the ”powerlifting world” is what you make of it. I did have the pleasure of meeting a lot of people whom I not only could look up to but also with whom I could communicate, laugh, uplift and talk all things powerlifting and beyond. In a conversation with one of those athletes I mentioned the above and as we talked further she mentioned ‘Wim Wamsteker’. I knew of Wim through his reputation and brief contact – a couple of “hello’s” and a “congratulations” in passing at a meet. Of all the names mentioned Wim stayed in my head so he was the one I contacted in regards to becoming my coach. He agreed.
Fast forward six months
The following six months involved getting used to a completely different approach to training. This was a game changer. Here I went from killin’ myself each and every session to relatively lighter (but never easy) weights session followed by one heavy day… and yeah, that heavy day is HEAVY! It took me a while and several successful meets to get my head around this programming setup, and I had to build my willpower to overcome my impatience about peaking and not be worried about my kilos. But I hung in there (and so did Wim!) and the payoff was worth it! ☺
That little checklist I had in my head… how did that turn out? Wim met my expectations and so much more. Wim not only helps with a program, technique and a ”GET IT” on GAME DAY, he provides a mirror and many lessons that expand to daily life. He showed me to trust the process, to live in the now and work from the ‘this is what I can do now while working to what’s ahead. He watches your lifts, technique and mental setup. A mental coach as well, if you will.
On meet day my mind can now shift to a relaxed state. This means having some laughs and even doing some singing and little dance movements on competition day, followed by a huge FOCUS when it’s time to have that minute on the platform. This resulted in winning the Gold and taking home the Best Lifter award on all of my last three meets.
Three meets in 10 weeks, improving each meet ‘til I had my current best at the third meet (a total above the current world total M1).
Wim has helped me tremendously, allowing me to achieve improvements in kilo’s, technique and focus. I look forward to many more improvements in my lifts and life on the way to upcoming (International) competitions.
Blog by Alwin Tan (instagram)
I contacted Wim for guidance in Powerlifting, since he is a well-known (international) Powerlifting coach . He asked me about my goals and ambitions. Well… my biggest ambition this year is to qualify for the open raw Nationals in 2020, I realized however that I had to gain 80kg competition PR since my last meet in February. My best lifts were: 177,5kg squat- 127,5kg bench-175kg deadlift. “Ok, we will work on it as long as you can commit yourself to my program”, he told me. Well let’s give it a try then. But how on earth am I going to gain 80kg in just 4 months (since my next meet was in December)? I have been struggling with my deadlifts for more than 1 year, plus I was suffering from a lower back injury and my squats weren’t improving that well.
I sent him my current PR’s, goals and next meet. After a couple of days he replied my e-mail with an Excel attachment. One full SBD training and 3 training sessions with a variety of exercises… After having survived the first full SBD training, my quads and wrists were cramping.. What is the point of this heavy training session? I was spending over 4 hours in the gym!! How on earth am I going to survive this for the next 7 weeks?! Wim told me that the point of this, is to get used to the load of a full competition. In order to achieve that, it is not wise to “maximize” a squat, bench or deadlift session on separate days. It seemed to work for me, since my deadlift (my weakest lift) slowly increased from 175kg to 185kg conventional after 2 weeks. More importantly, I wasn’t cramping anymore.
Of course it wasn’t all about gaining weights, I had one training session where I failed two sets of deadlift (192,5 kg and 200kg) and I suffered a shoulder injury during the bench press. At that point, I thought that my qualification for the Nationals in 2020 is over.. If I even can’t pull 200, how can I gain 80kg total PR required for qualifying? Wim, however, showed his ‘coaching’ skills by letting me realize that failure is the best method for improving both physically and mentally.
Two weeks out from the DRC Cup I was pulling 215kg deadlift, squatted 192,5kg and did a 135kg bench press (with a shoulder injury), meaning a 542,5 kg total. Instead of gaining 80kg, I “only” had to gain 17,5kg. That gave me a lot of confidence.
At the DRC Cup I was a bit worried, because I woke up with a bit of a cold, plus my shoulder wasn’t feeling that great. However, I surprised everyone (except Wim perhaps) by squatting 195 kg (+17,5 competition PR), benching 140kg (+ 12,5kg Powerlift match PR) and a 225 deadlift ( +50kg PR!!), meaning a 80kg total PR and thus qualified myself for the open Nationals!
I still don’t know why I gained so much in such a short period of time. But I think that the combination of one intense training session a week, lots of variety work with lighter weights and mental coaching works well for me.
Wim can convince his athletes to overcome their fears and turn them into positive, lifting energy. Together with Wim, I am looking forward to set some new standards 🙂
Finally, the moment I had been looking forward to for a while; an equipped training at Wim’s in his exclusive one of a kind Wim Wam Gym.
This was my second equipped training in preparation for the SBD cup, while it was my first training using my bench shirt.
First things first…
We started with squats, and after an easy raw warmup, I suited up. Today’s plan was one heavy set after warmup. Wim instantly noticed I was going to need to make some technical adjustments to reach depth without losing power. So we decided it would be more beneficial to keep the weight relatively low and do a few more sets to get used to Wim’s technical adjustments. Wim’s adjustments made squatting equipped feel much better and less strenuous.
I’m too $. € . X .Y. for my shirt…
After squats, we wasted no time and proceeded with bench press. Before equipped bench, I prefer not to do too many warm-up sets; as too much pump makes getting into my shirt a real challenge ?. Hence, after two warm-up sets (70 and 100 kg), I proceeded with equipped sets. My sole goal today was to get the bar as close to my chest as possible. At set five, the bar was a mere centimeter away from my chest, so I was quite satisfied.
As I will be deadlifting equipped next week, I decided to only do a few easy sets this training.
Gains and Fun…
All in all, I am very happy with today’s training at Wim’s. We had a great time, and I gained many useful technical and mental tips. I’m thankful to know someone who can offer me such great support when I need it, and I was very impressed with Wim’s resourcefulness and training intensity.
On top of that I’ve gained an amazing experience and new inspiration that I’ll ad to my preparation for competing at the SBD CUP in the weekend of 22th – 23th September 2018. Make sure to follow me via the livestream.
Untill we meet again
Joost de GROOT
Blog by: Ricky Bakker
As you maybe know or do not know, I will not compete at the SBD Cup classic… No I will compete Equipped. Or according to the coach; I’m really going to powerlift. Of course Wim speaks from his experience and perhaps also from nostalgia.
I and many ‘new’ powerlifters with me, only know powerlifting as classic. Because that the way we started. We ‘know’ only from instagram or people we have seen doing equipped powerlifting. And that is why our opinion is based on that. At least that’s for me. Well I came up with the good idea to run the real race, including preparation as equipped lifter.
Let’s face it. We all think that in once 30/40 kilos comes with your squat, when you wear a squat suit. That your bench press is increasing at least easy 15/25 kilos. Okay, hold that thought, because I’ll come back that.
My preparation: The classic part is not going even that bad. It can be better on points. I am satisfied because I learn to lift, learn to think and especially learn to feel. If it goes a day or even a week less, then you can adjust the weights. The main thing is that you train not how heavy, just how you train.
So that’s fun. Nice to experience that when we talk about ‘light weight’ training. That this is also a way to become stronger.
After a number of half suited squats training and with kneewraps. Last week I got finally my first fullequipped training. Man o man. I can tell you that it’s no fun and added 30/40 kilos on your squat you have to work for it (maybe harder … what do I say? You should hear me) .
As my title says breath in and breath out, is difficult already. Wearing a squat suit forces you to squat like you’ve never experienced before, unless you’re used to it. It’s weird annd quite nice experience.
Well to finish this story I will do this with a little honesty.
Is this fun, so far I find this 50/50. Why? For a number of reasons. But one of them is: I can not get used of the pain.
Will I advise you to give this it a try? Yes certainly! Why? You have to experience full equipment powerlifting. And whether you like it after that or not, that is up to you to judge. But then you have it tried and experienced.
I continue with equipment powerlifting now step by step. First I will performe on the SBD cup.
Well I go to bed with my knees nodded, because tomorrow I have my first full-suited training with Wim. And that is usually for one person party.
Happy Weekend All!
Oh and if you have any questions, if this has aroused your interest. You can always send me a message via IG (click here!) chat. Because maybe I can tell you the slightly less pleasant side as a starting euipped lifter. Just say it.
There is no growth in being comfortable. But being comfortable is what most of us feel @ their best. The last couple of weeks I came to figure out once again that needing, wanting or waiting for external forces to kick me in the but is not going to happen. So I’m opening myself up to face different things that make me feel (very) uncomfortable.
Like not pressing that snooze button when the alarm goes off. Cycling to where I need to be. Swimming, using the car less and walking to the grocery store. But what has this to do with powerlifting you may think? Well even changing my grip, stance in the gym and wearing other shoes. Why? Just because I can, and It will introduce me to new things to realize and experience.
Of course I will not do all things named above at once, but for sure I’ll be specific on what I will focus myself on the coming period. Letting go of the old….making room for the new. Back it up and try again.
Sometimes you have to do transitional jobs/ things to get to where you want to go. But that doesn’t mean that it has to kill your dream or the path that you are on. Act the way you want to feel and soon you feel the way you want to act is what a wise individual once told me. I am willing to experience if things really work that way – for me -. Rome wasn’t build in ONE day. Neither am I.
Don’t wish for less problems but wish for more skills !!
Funfact: I am Four weeks out of competing at the West European Championships and picking up Equipped lifting again.
Have a nice week everybody.
Blog by: Ricky Bakker
I do believe that powerlifting (sport in general perhaps) is indeed a metaphor for life. I think what Wim means by this is that when you put structure into your sport. Formulates & strives for a goal and makes adjustments where necessary.
To build a schedule with nice figures, everyone can do that tells my coach. I think so. Only a good coach makes sure that the adjustments fit with the athlete. Not the athlete at the schedule.
This process, however funny, is actually applicable to my life so far. Only I am the coach. Wim helps me with this, like he does with powerlifting to apply structure and rhythm. This may sound very heavy, but actually it is very nice and something that maybe many of you already can.In this process I find difficult to describe and that is also one of the reasons I do these blogs now and then. Not as frequent as in sports, but it will come in the future. Because the consciousness grows.
Back to our hobby, our passion, our love .
The training is nice. Wim’s ‘lightweight’ method is starting to have a nice effect. No, no new PRs (in training then) but the same numbers run with much more ease. To describe it in the trendy way, RPE 8 on old PR numbers. Technically much better higher numbers of lifts! I really like that, I really like that and it gives me energy to continue.
Progression is in every corner!
Thanks for reading and fast!
It’s almost that time to rumble again. One and a half week out. What was on my mind and schedule this week?
There are moments that my body already wants to compete feeling all fired up. Combined with moments that I am stumbling around, and feeling like a very, very, very old lady. When that happens most of the time the alarm goes off ,and I know it’s all a dream. Lucky for me it’s than time to kick off my day. Coach laughs at me when I give him my feedback of how I’m doing. And really cracks up when he sees me squat with an empty bar. I am not joining a gymnastic club anytime soon :-/
This week’s central training at the WimWam gym was the icing on the cake for me. I know what needs to be done. All the tweaking, adjusting and fine tuning we have been doing the last half year has to show for itself the 16th of June. So time for me to call it a wrap, trust the force and let go.
Some people asked me lately how I’m able to compete ‘that much’ and If I’m not ‘over doing’ it? The people who really know me al so know that I’m not the right person to ask such a question. It amazes me that we live in a world where people think it’s necessary to question someone’s actions and intention when they are doing something they love. Especially in my case the people who are donating to the gym instead of actually being an active member. Is there something in ‘over doing’ that?
The fact that I’m leaving to Calgary still seems unreal but It’s a fact for sure. I get reminded to this upcoming event by my surroundings. Mostly by asking me when I am leaving. Whishing me the best and trying to meet up. The restless part of me is already busy packing my stuff. And the layed back part of me is like….naaah keep on chilling like a villain. I know for sure that the bags are not going to pack them self and that laundry is not going to wash itself either. So this girl has some stuff to do.
If you want to see me compete at the Worlds Powerlifting Championships in Calgary make sure to tune in on time. You can watch the meet at www.goodlift.info
What competition(s) are you attending or competing in this year? Let me know in the comments below!
I wonder how my sister @ilyscious is able to get a long with me. Speaking of her…..she has not written a blog for a long time now. I’ll remind her of it when I’m done writing mine. That’s now, cause I need to hang some laundry ?
Untill we meet again….
Days fly by as I’m getting closer to participate at the Worlds Championships Powerlifting. And every day and step a long the way I’m still learning, failing, building and fine tuning things.
It even got more clear to me after last weeks central training. Meeting the other members of the Dutch team, training together and the reveal of the new costum TITAN Netherlands Singlet??. I’m very pleased being part of the team and feel honerd to wear it ?.
This week was one were I made long hours. Off and on work. That’s good for my sleep cause during bedtime I was out of this world. I didn’t just wake up but really awakened around the same time without the alarm going off…wondering what day it was.?
The transition from equipped training to classic training is a fact. Already I am noticing some changes. I actually can say…I miss my suits. Not for the fact that the suits make me lift heavier. And It’s not because I’ve forgot how to lift classic. But for the mere fact that the equipped training challenges me to get in a different zone and mindset. Now I’m invited back to digging deeper in to my self to turn on that other switch again.
After competing in Pilsen @the EK Equipped Powerlifting Championships the (local) media picked up on my achievements. Some fun stuff happened relating to that. I got recognised in the grocerie shop where I get all my food. At work when answering the phone people congratulated me. Even there I’m noticing some differences and it makes me switch between random getting the job done *classic* versus getting the job done with a twist *equipped*. It’s all appreciated and makes me place things in perspective.
People seem to understand a little bit more why I’m always carrying so much stuff around.
One of the lovely ladies of the gymstaff showed me that there are lockers you can claim forever (24/7) in another part of the gym. If I’d known that since 2015 my bagcollection would not have grown so much the last 3 years ??. It’s about time to sort out my stuff ??♀️.
Yesterday’s central training showed me why I’m involved @cardiopowerlifting training. It was one for the books again. Light on paper but heavy on the ‘mind’ body and soul. On my way back home with @ilyscious I even had to stop at the gasststion to get some fuel myself ?. When finally home and eaten dinner the lights went out ?. I planned on watching TV but eventually the TV was watching me.
Today I have a restday and I am going to enjoy it to the fullest. Wishing you a lovely day as well.
Untill we meet again
So here it is, my throwback to competing at the European Equipped Championships Powerlifting. Let’s get ready to rumble!
Trainer and coach Wim together with assistant coach Joost de Groot picked me up. For every day I was staying there I decided to pack a bag. What’s a girl to do without all her stuff? I’m used to take half of the house with me if I leave it for a couple of days. Including my weighing scale and all the food I can carry for a whole village. Coach Wim took my scale out of the bag with the message: there is no room for it in the car. Like really…….!!! Oh Lord…how will I survive this journey starting like this.
After a nice roadtrip from +/- 7 hours we arrived in Pilsen, Czech Republic. I met all the other lifters from the Dutch team and was ready to unpack my bags. Get settled in my hotel room and roar for the first athlete that would be on the platform on Wednesday.
Early in the morning I went to weigh myself. Good results: Still in my weight class! Coach comforted me by saying that everything would turn out right and I should JUST EAT. I managed to be less strict with cutting down on my big appetite. Cause the scale showed me that there was enough room left to eat & drink for the day.
After lunch I installed myself in the competition area. Seeing all the lifters from different countries was an epic experience. I realized that the language we all speak “together” is Powerlifting and that brought such a variety of people at the same time and place. I was nervous to see @sandrawildeman compete because I wanted her to succeed. And so she did!! She showed me what a fight looks like when things get heavy and what determination is supposed to be.
Input: set the bar high
Outcome: get the job done
Needless to say that I got more excited to have my own meet. But do I still know how to squat? Am I really prepared for this? What If I am not able to hit depth in my suit? And will I manage to get on the platform on time with the knee wraps? All these thoughts crossed my mind.
Seeing the equipped lifters shuffle their way up the ramp, trying to walk the stairs and lifters get carried on and off the platform amazed me. It looked like I need to walk a mile before I get up there. CAUSE WHO’S GOING TO CARRY ME? I went to bed on time hoping that meet day didn’t came too early.
Woke up feeling good! Eager to save up energy for the big day 2morrow. All this waiting feels like forever. Why am I feeling so restless and tired at the same time? And then it hit me…. All the impressions cost energy too and I want to hold on to it for the meet.
First and for most I decided to enjoy this day to the fullest and even indulge on some good food.
My taste buds needed some P-food: Pizza, Pasta or Potatoes. Also known as CARBS. It was a blast to do so. Coach asked me what time I needed him in the lobby on meet day. We agreed on 6.30 in the morning, before that I had a date with the scale again. I packed my bags before bedtime and made sure I took some much needed quality time with myself.
This is the day I was waiting for. And my oh my….I’m ready! I went to date the scale and….81.92KG is what it said.
Time to EAT. After that Wim and I did the clothing check and I could get the official weigh in: BOOM 82.25KG I got to eat some more, not too much cause that would only get in the way during lifting.
All I could think of was: How do I make sure that all the pieces come together? The answer was simple: trust the force and myself. Lees “HEADSTRONG” verder