Long time no see or hear. Hope you have been well and so are your loved ones. I just pop on here to say hi! A lot has been said and written already on social media on how to ‘keep going’ or take a step back from whatever you used to see as normal ((during this pandemic)).
I can say that I’m still adjusting to the new normal and have been using this time to reflect even more on all the blessings I’m surrounded by (health = wealth) and the fact that being able to stay safe and sound is a privilege. Just putting up this post to remind myself – and anyone who is in need of hearing so – that this to not only a time to look back but also look forward. Forward to whatever may cross my path or I’ll actively look for.
Being active these days gives me a better understanding of how the passion + love for sports all started (dancing, athletics, basketball, bootcamps, kickboxing you name it). Just a way of dealing with situations in any shape or form. A way to relax, destress, find a piece of mind and get to know thyself and others better. With or without social distancing!
If you mind please leave a comment below and share how you are doing these days? Looking forward to hear what y’all have been doing the last couple of months to keep yourself going.
Leaves me with no other thing to say than; stay safe and until we meet again.
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 🙂