January is almost coming to an end and I am still checking my boxes. Beating PROcrastination is rewarding. The last two weeks I have been working on strengthening the adductors and my buns (the latest I’d love to turn into steel ;-)). I am happy to already see some changes in how I approach the programme and even the bar.
Sunday’s I take the time out for my weekly review on paper and digital. The biggest ‘ahaah-thing’ I can say is…..I’m loving the mornings. Being on the go from 6.30 o’clock is challenging and once you get the hang of it the nicest flow to be in. Seeing the sun come up and noticing that I’ve already indulged some ME-time and brace myself for the tasks that are there for me to take on or even tackle. It gives me more time and focus to enjoy the things I do in my spare time.
This “check in” is quick so there will be more to tell and show next week. Let me check what’s on my ‘I will be doing’ list for the coming week!! How do you prepare yourself for the week and keep your focus? I am curious to know how this time of the year and season is treating you and what you are putting in to it.
Yes, we made it to another week this new year. This week the focus was on recovery. While typing this a saying I once heard goes through my head: Recovery is not for people who need it, it’s for people who want it. And it’s never too late to join the party.
For me this also raises the question: but what does recovery actually means? Is that;
taking rest; doing nothing;
still being active but with another intensity and intention on the outcome? ;
fill in the blanks yourself ****
Whatever recovery means for you; I find it important to make the time for it and be consistent in applying this in my active lifestyle. The way you deal with muscle aches, preventing injuries (big and small), lowering your stress levels..…it’s all important and will benefit you in the long run if you have a plan by hand.
This week celebrating the existence of recovery meant treating myself to an acupuncture session to release the soreness and stiffness in my legs. And going back to the gym (since they reopened last friday here in the Netherland). I found myself doing way overdue assistive work. And I can honestly say….I enjoyed it. Not because of the fact I wasn’t moving loads and loads of KG’s. Mostly because my focus was solemnly on strengthening overlooked and underdeveloped parts in my body in addition to my overall FIT_ness!
I’m curious to hear what your recovery(plan) looks like. Feel free to share
Nine days have passed since I was in Stavanger Norway and participated in the World Equipped Powerlifting Championship of 2021. Looking back at this experience I can say that I am still in awe of the fact that it was possible to be there. My last memories of an equipped Championship goed back to 2019. A whole different time frame, state of mind, state of the world we are living in and a lot has happened in those last two years. Nonetheless the people were so supportive and wanted everyone to succeed. The pleasure of experiencing this was all mine.
I want to share a little bit on how, for the last 1,5 year, I managed to hang in there when “The going got tough and the tough got going”. During the preparation of this competition things didn’t go as easy or structured as normal. Don’t get me wrong I am privileged; having a roof above my head, clothing on my back, access to food and water, feeling healthy, a job to pay the bills and loving people around me. And on top of that I have access to workout stuff and just train. At the same time a lot didn’t feel as “just”.
For a long period things felt as a must…..things felt slow…and at the same time, the time was flying by. There were many times that I asked myself the question ‘what is the point in lifting’ if there is no competition or higher goal foreseen anytime soon. I had to go back to basics in my mind, in my approach of ‘being active’ and in how I trained.
The conversations with the coach, who noticed I was not in my happiest element gave me a new outlook on things. He invited me to only focus my energy on the things I could influence and can take responsibility for. That was the beginning of letting go and trusting the process.
It took 10 weeks to find some structure and I managed to keep it like that. After those 8 weeks work became busier, and consumed more of my spare time leaving a little bit of energy left to unwind. Lifting heavy weights was not something that came to mind. And still….within the circumstances I dusted myself off and did what I could to maintain a minimum of form and work on my technique. And the beginning of another training approach was born. Also introduced to me as: Training like an old man. Sounds strange does it not?¿
This preparation and competition showed me that what you do in the dark comes to the light. You never know for how long someone is running if you see them passing by on the street. You never know how many miles someone has traveled if you see them sleeping at the bus stop or in the train. And you don’t know what someone has endured in training/off the platform when you see them competing. That’s something I keep in mind when looking at other people and being amazed by their performances (in life), and discipline to keep going or change their course if necessary.
So for the coming weeks and entering the new year I’m training in a way I am not yet used to and am curious where this will lead to.Hopefully a road of more adventures and great memories off and on the platform lay ahead.
Do you ever look back at how and when you started doing something that you love?Was this a choice – after some long thinking – or did you grow into this naturally? Whether it’s in sports, work, reading, painting, gaming, planning quality time, learning a new language. Developing a new skill or improving the skills you already have? YOU NAME IT!
For me…. doing something that I love did not come naturally! I had to go out and look for it, because something just felt off and I needed to do something that only involved being with me and learning more about myself.
Maybethe fact that it will take only 119 days before 2021 ends and Christmass is around the corner makes me appreciate the past, cherish the now and embrace the future.
I’mjust getting used to the crazy feeling of this year and reviewing if I met up with the things I took upon myself to do. More about that later.
At the same time those (un)friendly Google reminders show me pictures around this time last year, two,3 and even 5 years back. And my oh my……I’d lie if I tell you that a lot has changed or that everything stayed the same.
Mostof the clothing I’m wearing in those pictures; I can’t even tell you where they are. It’s not that I lost them…it’s mostly because they don’t fit anymore or because
I’m hardly leaving the house to dress up. Throughout this year materialism and wanting more has gotten another meaning to it. Don’t get me wrong: I still love and like to purchase things to please my soul, eyes and sometimes deal with a void that I try to fill.
Because if I’m honest: I don’t need anything that is out there for sale. It’s a privilege to be able to do so and it’s even more satisfying not to buy something, because it doesn’t add value to me or how I feel in the long run.
In no way, shape or form, I am anything near to becoming a minimalist….although the view of an (almost) empty space or just starting over with a clean slate is tempting. On the other hand, the energy it takes of getting rid of all the things I accumulated in those 25+ years…….is overwhelming. And that’s why things stay the same, and I’m operating in my comfort zone.
When it comes down to powerlifting,,,,I’m learning that less is more and that sparks my interest in being more intentional with what is already there.
A true lesson that I’m slowly but surely am incorporating in my non-lifting activities.
Please feel free to comment or share if you can relate to anything I mentioned. I’m curious to know how you view 2021 and have been taking yourself through this year and into the next one.
Since 2019 I am waiting for the latest Bond movie to actually come out in the cinema’s. Well yesterday that wait was finally over as I played a part in my own movie of trying to stay alive during my first central training of the new training cycle. I didn’t even have to audition. I just seem to get casted for the role. Let’s call this the golden ticket that everyone who participates in a talent show wishes for.
Being known for my talent as ‘The one with no clue what to do’ we got the show going. Produced by trainer/coach WimWam. Starring; ‘The somewhat confused powerlifter’ (moi). I saw some 🌟🤩 alright!
Yesterday’s training humbled the hell out of me and gave me a new 💡 perspective on how to approach the current training cycle. No matter how motivated 💪 or pumped I am to start this programme, being efficient and effective is the main goal.
Looking back at my latest competition, the EK EQUIPPED Powerlifting Championships in Pilsen, I am proud to know where I stand, after almost 2 years. The things I need to work on became more clear. I am still looking forward to growing into a more skilled powerlifter. This comes with exploring my potential and applying the ‘PhiLiftsophy’ to this journey. I’ve got my work cut out for me as shown here 🙃😉.
Leaving me with nothing more to say and get back to work.
If you made it to the end of this I blog thank you for 📚.
Isn’t it funny how you can long for the weekend and once it’s there time flies when you are having fun?
I’m still thinking about last weekend and the highlights of another equipped training. Believe me when I say that Monday follows way too soon after that. Makes me wonder how other people enjoy their weekend and how long the feeling of being free lasts? And if having some leisure time on your hands shifts your mood?
I’ve noticed that I’m switching between moods, energy levels and roles every day. One example that comes to mind is that I’m so used to being in calls and online-meetings during the day. And on top of that even more aware of my posture and facial features in this digital workspace. Whilst during training I can just let that all go and be my unbothered self. The contrast between those two is so so big.
When coach Wim edits the video of our central training I’m always stunned and positively surprised by the expressions that are made by me. I can guarantee those are not intended to be funny. It’s just how I look and how I’ am. And it makes me unique, something to be proud of. We can agree to disagree ♥. Just see it for yourself (without a smile).
With that said I hope most is well and this week brings you enough energy and time to complete all the things you’ve planned to or are about to schedule in.
Its’s been a while that I’ve reflected on the special things I’ve achieved this year with the guidance of the one and only Wim Wamsteeker. Being in my own bubble; of eat, work, gym, eat some more, sleep and repeat does that sometimes. And to be honest – this time– for way too long.
With that said I find it important to keep myself on track and look back on this crazy journey and adventure I’m still on. Today finally I take some time to sit my butt down and create room for NOT (over)thinking and letting things flow and grow.
The (almost last 365 days) in 2019 has been all about making C H O I C E S and being P A T I E N C E. #OHLORD, #MYOHMY, #PREMIERE, #ITOLDYOUSO.
C H O I C E S At the end of 2018 Wim asked me to write down what I wanted to focus on in 2019. For the people who know me, or are about to, my first answer to his questions was: HUH…..why should I, I still want to focus on everything that’s possible and comes my way. Thinking that if I keep my options open there will always be enough to achieve, do and see. I was about to find out that that I’m not a superhuman nor a robot so that I needed to narrow things down, to be more and highly effective in the things I’m wishing for and am able to achieve.
P A T I E N C E Wim warned me that 2019 would be a difficult year training wise. Meaning: Working harder for every (kilo)gram. Not by doing more but by sharpening my technique. That included a lot of patience (not my first nature when it comes down to myself) and therefor a lot of downs and ups. More ups and downs because, as you might have seen and noticed…the fruits of all this labor payed of big time by begin able to set a new world record on the deadlift at the World Open Championships in Dubai.
D R E A M S VS R E A L I T Y Still at this point I can’t believe that all those training hours spend in the gym and all the tears shed, aches and pains have led up to (and as I like to say and see it) USachieving this.
It’s been 4 weeks and exactly 3 days POST meet, and I still am afraid that someone will pinch me and tell me it was all a dream.
I’ve come to the realization that being an athlete is not something that you do part-time besides your job. It’s something that you are and If you pay close attention to it you can feel it in your bones.
THANK YOU IS NOT ENOUGH – NOT ONY THE GOLD –
A NEW WORLD RECORD Thanks to Wim I’m still learning how to CHECK IN instead of checking out, or not even showing up at the bus stop. Especially when I’m getting too much caught up in details rather than zooming out and looking at the process = progress. Will I ever be able to love the 1sth word :-0).
Wim shows me that ‘Failure is instructive’ : even when things don’t feel right, being an athlete makes you look in the accountability mirror and pick yourself right back up.
Meaning: you get up, show up and get the job done. ALL WE HAVE IS NOW and COURAGE over COMFORT is what makes you GROW.
NO, not only when I’m feeling sorry for myself and doubting if I’m doing things right; NO, not only in the gym, and on the platform; YES, pretty much in general!
>>□ These are the live lessons by Wim I take by heart □<<
Philifsophy says it all: It’s BEYOND the program and more about YOU.
Want to read more about what Philoftsophy and all the lifters touched by Wim are up to?
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.
Checklist 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.
Powerlifting world 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! ☺
Training/Coaching 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.
Results 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).
Bottom line 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.
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 🙂