Hey friends! I’m reallllly excited that Liz is sharing another article with you guys. If you missed her first post, definitely make sure to go back and give it a read. It’s called, “Gym Etiquette 101: 5 Rules You Shouldn’t Break,” and it’s a must for you gym-goers. Today, she’s sharing something that’s a bit more personal – her own journey to the Charm City Strongwoman Final – so you’re in for a treat. Happy reading, friends.
My name is Liz and I’m a Certified Personal Trainer at Under Armour Performance Center. I’ve competed and placed in the last two Strongwoman Contests and I hope to place again this year as well! I’m very passionate about fitness and love setting personal fitness goals and working to surpass them. It hasn’t always been this way though.
In 2011 a friend encouraged me to compete in the Charm City Strongwoman Contest, hosted by Fivex3 Starting Strength Affiliate Gym in Baltimore. The contest is a fundraising event for the Ulman Foundation for those battling colon cancer. The contest consists of multiple divisions by weight class, and several dynamic lifts that challenge your strength under time.
My first thought was that there was no way I was capable of competing. I didn’t think I was strong enough and felt it was out of my league. However, I was encouraged to try because my training could easily carry over into contest events.
The events change every year but there’s always a carrying event, a pressing event, a pulling event among other gnarly ones like gripping a heavy weight for time or throwing various weighted medballs over a 10’ bar. One of the challenges of training for Strongwoman is that most gyms might not have the equipment used on competition day (think atlas stones, log presser, axle bars). This means getting creative about training. Note: This is my personal experience in training for Strongwoman and is just one of many ways to train! I’ve also had great coaches to give me that extra push when I needed it.
Start by breaking down the movement of each event. If it’s a pulling event, train up your deadlifts and rows. If it’s a pressing event, bench presses and overhead presses. If it’s a carry event, do more heavy goblet carries or farmers carries. By getting stronger in these movements, you’ll know that you can pull/carry/press the weight designated for your weight class. Technique adjustments will come later down the line.
Fivex3 hosts two training camps prior to competition day. This gives participants the opportunity to practice with the implements and be coached on technique. I always take advantage of these days in order to adapt to technique adjustments. That way you won’t have to figure it out when it counts.
Training for a competition can be very challenging and fun. It pushes you to create a plan, train with intention and set goals. For me, I love striving to get on the winner’s podium. However, if I don’t, I’m still so proud of all the hard work I put in to prove to myself that I can get out of my comfort zone and put it all on the line. No matter if I place, I’ll have come out stronger than before and that’s a win in itself. Plus, you’ll feel all the strong female vibes as your fellow Strongwomen cheer you on like never before.
I highly encourage checking out this year’s competition Sunday, September 15th from 9am-2pm. It is free to spectate! Click here for more info. See for yourself the tremendous feats of strength from women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. Good luck to all of this year’s Strongwoman contestants!