Game Day Has Arrived
I've not had the best prep for this, I've treated any sport the same way a fighter would prepare I've watched countless training videos from people I'm up against and I don't think I've ever been in a tougher group.
A learning curve certainly happened when it comes to maintaining weight I had 2 choices:
1. carry on as normal and the last few days cut weight to where I need to be for the comp
2. Cut weight and train at comp weight to be used to how strong I was.
I decided to go with option 2, I've seen many people carb deplete and water cut on the build up to a comp then on the day injure them selfs or give a shoddy performance from malnutrition. But I've really struggled with maintaining my weight, almost daily I've been both above and below where I need to be. So I've eaten less or had less to drink to make sure I'm under for the next time I step on the scale, I made the decision to go in the u80kg (176lbs) sometimes I've weighed in at 81kg in just shorts, Then the next day 78.9kg fully clothed with shoes on. So my food intake has been really up and down and I havent enjoyed the last 10weeks AT ALL. I think this may be my last comp at this weight, maybe try the UKS as it'll be nice to get a national ranking but I think I'd much sooner enjoy my food and my training and just aim to go up.
After all, nobody really cares about the strong small guys anyway it's always the biggest and the best that draw people's attention, I mean I personally couldn't tell you who won the champions league last year but I know who won the prem, the same goes across most sports. I think I could ask 20 people that like strongman who won worlds strongest man last year and I'd say 19 of them would say Eddie Hall won... But if I asked the same 20 people who won the u105kg group the very next catergory down, I'm willing to bet maybe 2 people could do it and both of those guys would be in that weight group.
So to get back on track I've been awake for 3hours (since about 3:30am) and couldn't get to sleep till around 1 being too antsy, too nervous and I really, REALLY shouldn't be! this is my hobby, my life doesn't depend on it, I'm not going to find out I have moments to live if I don't take that number 1 spot, but to me it still matters. I have a lot of people that don't necessarily expect me to do well but ill still feel that I've let them down if I don't. I also have the team here watching and it'll be my first comp under their flag and wearing their colours. Don't get me wrong the guys are great and they'll give me nothing but cheer and praise even if I drop to the floor and come dead last in every event, fingers crossed that won't happen and I'll leave with a pretty little trophy (actually really hope it's a Rebel Strength Axe) although taking that back across the country on public transport could be entertaining......
Turning up to the venue.... Super hungry... Pretty thirsty and still no real idea when I'll be able to replenish either, no scales in sight and I'm pacing around with literally not a slightest inclination on how much I weigh... Am I over? Will I be told I couldn't compete? Was I really under and starved myself for no real reason. Anxiety was positively winning this battle without much of a fight back from me at all.
I made weight!
The guys here are incredible. At a questionable 5'10" I was the tallest guy so everyone was short and stacked. I came out on head to head log press against someone I've followed for awhile and the one guy I was most concerned about being against. Pressure, food and general fatigue got the better of me and I came almost last with only 2 reps on the log press one of my best events!! That threw me off for the day, next came the yoke, an event I've grown to quite like but really havn't practiced much so would like to see how much better I could get at it. I made a small stumble and then darted to what i thought was the finish line... It wasn't, rookie mistake. Conans wheel.. I done really good first time I tried it so figured I was pretty safe. I went quick as I could to get it done but just felt so ill I put it down on 2 revolutions... Onto "silver dollar deadlift" for those who don't know the event it's like a high start deadlift or "rack pull" normally from 18" high so all glutes, hips and hamstrings. 200kg for reps I've never done more then 7reps before and I got 17!!..... This still got me DEADLAST! And finale wheelbarrow loading race, by this point I didn't want to be there anymore so it was just an interest of finishing the comp. I've no idea how I done I was behind the guy I was racing but I think I over took him on the last leg. Overall I feel I failed.... I didn't come last place, but my way of thinking is that if you don't win, you lost. I couldn't of given anymore my body was battered, I was throwing up outside after each event.
The comp was over for me. But the weekend was still in its early stages, I got to mess around doing little comps run by other stalls as well as some we ran ourselves.
I got to watch my teammate and idol compete on the Second day after only even signing up to the comp on Thursday evening when we were setting up so NO prep what so ever and still smashed 3rd place against some stupidly strong guys!!
I got to feel like a celeb having one of the best fitness/physique photographers in the U.K. taking my pics throughout it all.
I met Olympians, strongman celebs, bodybuilders and various other sports and tv personalities but the best joy was spending time with the team.... The family (Corney I know but the level of acceptance rivals that of blood) so from it I think I've decided that if I want to carry on enjoying this sport the way I do now I can't sacrifice my happiness to make a weigh in...
Its time to move up a weight class.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS.... Nothing has ever been achieved without the first step being made, and nobody makes it without falling down a few times on the journey of discovery.
Written by: Toby James Chiverton
Photography: Max Ellis