Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Singapore Powerlifting Alliance Championships 2019 - What's a Powerlifting Meet Like??

The boy took part in Singapore Powerlifting Alliance {SPA} Championships 2019 - his first ever powerlifting meet! It was my first experience at a powerlifting meet too!

Since we had to leave home around 7.30am, I went for a very early 5am morning training at the club gym because I didn't know what time we'd be home, and I'd probably be too tired to train in the afternoon too.

We reached around 8am but registration only started around 8.30am. After that there was a lot of waiting around until about 9.30am when the meet started so I took the time to do my own foam rolling and stretching since we brought along a roller and mat hahaha

The boy introduced me to his personal trainer/ coach, Clinton, and his gym mates from Elevate Barbell Club, that was founded by powerlifting enthusiasts turned competitive atheletes. They specialise in powerlifting weight training so programming is pretty different from what I do with Superman {my personal trainer}.

Since it was my first time at a powerlifting meet, I was pretty confused with the format but thankfully, Hayley gave me a crash course hehe. Yunie and her were there to help Clinton support and take care of the other Elevate gym athletes taking part in the meet.

Apparently different powerlifting meets are run differently, although the format is mostly the same. I'd just be talking in general how SPA Championships 2019 is like in this post. Just blogging to note this down in my memory, and also if anyone is thinking of joining a powerlifting meet for the first time, I hope it will be useful (*^▽^*)

First, you have the weigh-ins

SPA Championships 2019 was done over 2 days - Sat 3 Aug {males} and Sun 4 Aug {females}. Weigh-ins are 24hrs prior to the start of your flight. Soooo, if you're competing on Saturday, then weigh-ins are on Friday and if you are competing on Sunday, then weigh-ins are on Saturday. If you do not make weight, you can still compete but will not be eligible for any prizes. Also, you can weigh-in as often as you like up to 30 mins before your flight commences, although some other meets only allow one weigh-in.

Note: A group of powerlifting competitors is called a flight. Usually, a flight consists of 10-15 competitors. Flight "A" will normally consist of lifters in one body weight category. Flight "B" the next higher body weight category, and so on.

Weigh-ins are done in a private area and lifters are weighed only in their underwear {briefs for men, sports bra/bra and panties for ladies}. 

During the weigh-ins, lifters also have to declare a first attempt for all 3 lifts i.e. the opening weight the lifter will lift for squats, bench press and deadlift.

Since the boy competed on Saturday, he had his weigh-in on Friday at Strength Yard {another powerlifting gym}. He had already tested and decided his first attempt weights on Tuesday with Clinton. 

Then, you have your warm-ups and flights on the actual day.

I reckon preparing your body to be in peak form before each lift is pretty tricky at a powerlifting meet, so thank goodness the boy had Clinton and the Elevate team there to support, be his "handlers" and strategise his game plan. If you were an individual lifter without any handlers there, I'm sure it would be quite mentally challenging, on top of being physically challenged.

By right, I should talk about warm-ups first as that's what you do before competing, but to fully understand how warm-ups are done at a powerlifting meet, you should probably know the order of competition.

Competing at a powerlifting meet consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. The lifts are done in that order too.

In the boy's morning session, there were 2 flights - Flight A and Flight B. Where there are multiple Flights, all lifters in Flight A will complete all 3 attempts of a lift, before Flight B takes the stage i.e. Flight A will squat their 3 attempts from lightest to heaviest, rotating through the order until every lifter has had 3 attempts, then Flight B will go.

After each attempt, the lifter has a minute to submit their next attempt, or the decision will be made for them {at least 2.5kg heavier I think}. A lifter will not be allowed to attempt a weight lower than the attempted in the previous round i.e. if you chose to squat 100kg in your first attempt, you have to go higher than that, and cannot go lower than 100kg in the next attempt.

For each attempt round, you might not go in the same lifting order as that is determined by the lifter's choice of weight per attempt because the bar must be loaded progressively during a round on the principle of "a raising bar". For example, in the first attempt round you might go 4th in your Flight, but for the second attempt you might go 9th if you are going to attempt to lift heavier than 8 other people in your Flight.

Having said that, each lifter probably won't jump weight too drastically from how you would, so you probably won't move in the lifting order too much.

However, this lifting order is important as it you need to know when you are lifting to time your warm-ups and rest properly.

To know how to time your warm-up takes experience, and that's why it's important to have good handlers with you at the competition. You don't want to warm up too early and cool off before your lift, and you also don't want to not warm up enough or warm up too late so that you'll be too close to your lift and not recover in time.

Not only can the handlers help to time your warm-up, they can check your form/ technique, advise on weights to use as well as help you load your warm-up weights so that you don't lose extra energy. Every extra bit counts during a meet, yeah?

At SPA Championships 2019's competition site, there was a warm-up area that was separated from the contest platform. At the warm-up area there was only enough space for 3 lifters to warm-up with weights at the same time. You can't "chope" one rack/bar/platform to use throughout your whole warm-up session, and have to work it in with other lifters at the meet.

So not only do you have to time your warm-up according to your lifting order, you have to time it so that you can actually do so with others using the same equipment. In addition to all this, since the boy is in Flight B, which is after Flight A, he has to factor in the pace of lifting for that group of competitors too since he is only competing after them. 

Tricky, huh?

This is really just the basic of how a powerlifting meet is like. I can't even go into details on how to plan your weight attempts to try to win your opponents {if you're aiming for a medal} or calculate the total to determine the placings as that's too complicated for me to understand at the moment heh. 

Anyway, the whole meet for the boy lasted around 6hrs. Fwah!!! Pretty long but I managed to keep myself busy watching some others lift, helping the boy to take pics/vids of him and his gym mates, and walking around the small Aperia mall sometimes haha.

Stayed out of the way from the boy so that he can focus more on the competition.

At the end of it all, he managed to come back with a medal for all his efforts and despite some injuries! ( ᐛ )و So proud of him!!

It was an enjoyable and enriching experience for him, and definitely an eye-opener for me!

Will share more on how he did for SPA Championships 2019 in the next post. Meanwhile you can check out his squats, bench press and deadlift attempts on my YouTube channel. 

P.S. If I get any points wrong or if there's anything else to add on to this post, feel free to leave me a comment!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Fitness Diary :: Powering Up for His First Powerlifting Competition!! ೕ♥

This Saturday, the boy will be competing his first ever powerlifting competition - Singapore Powerlifting Alliance {SPA} Championships 2019.

This is his second competition, the first one being CrossFit Opens 2017.

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It has been a year since the boy took up powerlifting and no matter what the results may be at the competition, I'm already very proud of him for what he has achieved ೕ(˃̵α΄—˂̵ ΰΉ‘)

He has always been my inspiration to not give up on my training, not give up on getting stronger, no matter what injuries I may have or whatever setbacks come my way {see Lessons Learnt from Being Injured}.

I mean, speaking of injuries, the boy suffers no less than me. Actually much more.

He had surgeries for hernias , laberal tear and calcium deposits in the shoulder, with recurring pain in his back and both knees too. If he has reached a plateau or gets stuck in any way, he doesn't wallow in sorrow. He tunes his mindset and finds ways and means to solve the problem and get better.

This can be seen in the way he has shifted through the different forms of weightlifting from body-building to CrossFit and now, powerlifting to adapt to his injuries and body's needs.

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With powerlifting, the boy can now enjoy the simplicity of just focusing on the 3 major lifts {deadlift, squats and bench press}, which he has always liked anyway, and the powerlifting exercise forms are more forgiving on his injury-prone body.

Thankfully like me, the boy has also found a knowledgeable coach {Clinton, from Elevate Barbell Club} he trusts to efficiently plan his powerlifting programming so that he can improve consistently cycle by cycle, without beating himself too hard or traumatising his old injuries too much.

Being relatively injury-free enables him to continue to train hard and do what he likes without any worries.

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Growing up, I've had my fair share of competitions as a competitive swimmer so I don't find any sense of joy in joining them now. I find a better sense of accomplishment if I can just "compete" with myself to improve and be better than who I was yesterday.

It doesn't even need to be about numbers on my weights. If I can do one more rep, or do the exercise with even better form even if I can't increase the rep or weight, I'll consider that a progress and small win too. (*•̀α΄—•́*)و ̑̑

Nonetheless, I'm very happy to see the boy push past his comfort zone and see how he fares amongst others in front of a crowd. Knowing the boy's character, this is not an easy thing for him to do too.

All the best, Poogeo!! 頑弡ってね~!Lil Pumpkin and I are behind you all the way!!

P.S. If you're coming down to support him, you can look out for the guy wearing the suit that looks like a tiger with green stripes.. or maybe a watermelon?? hehehehe..


One-on-On Personal Training Updates:

Genesis Gym Personal Training Updates:
The Beginning - Signing Up for Personal Training

Friday, July 19, 2019

My Darling Mini-Me ღゝ◡╹)γƒŽ♡

Lil Pumpkin got a new pair of spectacles from Mujosh {at Wistma Atria} last week and I must say, she looks more and more like me, doesn't she?? (●´∀`)γƒŽ♡

The boy certainly thinks so... and says especially now since Lil Pumpkin is catching up with me in height {she's up to my nose level now!!}, she will soon look more like my "little sister" than daughter. Well, if I can still look young enough to look like her older sister, I'm not complaining haha! 

We don't wear matchy-matchy as much nowadays, but at least this is one thing we can still be matchy-matchy about!

Don't grow so big so fast my little darling...

P.S. W Optics Suntec City has a Kids Myopia Control Centre. It offers information on myopia causes and management, kids games & activities, as well as a full selection of over 150 children eyewear choices that come in different colour, fitting, hypoallergic material to cater to all kids. Do check it out if you want to give your kids a comprehensive eye check too!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Le Chef Korean Restaurant @ Sotetsu Hotels The Splaisir Seoul Dongdaemun

We stayed at Sotetsu Hotels The Splaisir Seoul Dongdaemun hotel {what a mouthful!!} for our summer hols and other than their gym, the other hotel amenity I like is their in-house Korean restaurant, Le Chef.

Open daily just for breakfast and lunch, hotel guests get special discounts of 20% off for buffet breakfast {KRW11,400 / S$13.20, U.P. KRW14,300 / S$16.50} and 10% off for lunch and beverage. The public is welcome to dine there too.

Actually we weren't thinking of eating there but kept seeing their lunch menu posters in the lifts heh ( ◞・ΰ±ͺ・)  They have set meals for Bulgobi Bibimbap, Grilled Rib Patties, Bulgogi Beef, Tempura Udon, Short Rib Soup, Samgetang {Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup} and Grilled Samyeopsal {Pork Belly}.

Decided to give it a go since the food looked so tempting and prices were pretty reasonable haha..

{source: Sotetsu Hotels The Splaisir Seoul Dongdaemun website}
We had lunch at Le Chef one lazy Sunday before we headed out to the Jimjilbang {Korean Bathhouse} - more on that later! _へ__(‾◡◝ )>

The restaurant is very clean and welcoming. I love the spaciousness and huge floor-to-ceiling windows that give a pleasing view of Dongdaemun and its surrounding areas.

{source: Sotetsu Hotels The Splaisir Seoul Dongdaemun website}
This must be the area for the daily buffet breakfast.. too bad we didn't have a chance to eat that. Perhaps during our next stay?

The boy had the Grilled Short Rib Patties Set Meal {KRW12,000 / S$13.85} that came with rice, miso soup, fried egg, pickled spicy radish, pickled garlic {love!!} and soy quail eggs side-dishes.

I chose the Grilled Samyeopsal {Pork Belly} Set {KRW13,000 / S$15} where the meat was very juicy and tender... just the way I like it.

I'm still salivating about it even as I'm typing this post haha...

Lil Pumpkin had the Bulgogi Beef Set {KRW13,000 / S$15}. That girl loves her meat too, just like her Mummy and Daddy! (❁´▽`❁)*✲゚*

Sometimes I hear parents fret about bringing kids to Korea because they worry that the food there will be too spicy and it'll be hard to find kids-friendly meals. I really find such concerns to be very needless..

Like in many countries, Korea's cuisine is very diverse and uses a wide variety of spices, meat, grains, and vegetables. Sure, there's stomach-scorching dishes like Kimchi, Buldak {spicy chicken} and Ddeokbokki {rice & fish cakes in chili sauce}, but there is definitely also non-spicy dishes like Bulgogi, Gimbap {sushi rolls}, Pajeon {savoury fried pancakes}, Samgyetang, Jjajangmyun {black bean noodles} etc.

In any case, kids shouldn't be bubble-wrapped and given only what they are comfortable with. One of the key benefits of traveling is the opportunity to have new experiences and witness different cultures... to be able to get out of our comfort zones and try new things, and yes, this includes even food that we may not like, or may not have thought to try.

Even in Singapore, I often encourage Lil Pumpkin to try new food and eat things she thinks she may not like to expand her palate. In doing so, I also hope that she will grow to be more open-minded in other ways and be more adventurous in her thoughts and actions (*^▽^*)

Anyway, if you happen to be in Dongdaemun and are looking for a comfortable and family-friendly restaurant with delicious, inexpensive food, you can give Le Chef restaurant a go. The hotel is conveniently located next to Lotte Fitin mall {opposite Starbucks} and will be a nice, quiet place to rest your feet at too.

Le Chef Korean Restaurant @ Sotetsu Hotels The Splaisir Seoul Dongdaemun
Level 2, 226 Jangchundan-ro, Jung-gu, 04565, Seoul, Korea
Open daily 7am - 10am {breakfast}, 11.30am - 3pm {lunch}

Other Korea travel posts: