Friday, August 31, 2007

What is cupping Therapy?

Cupping is an ancient Chinese method of causing local congestion. A partial vacuum is created in cups placed on the skin either by means of heat or suction. This draws up the underlying tissues. When the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed and localized healing takes place.

Cupping therapy has been further developed as a means to open the 'Meridians' of the body. Meridians are the conduits in the body through which energy flows to every part of the body and through every organ and tissue. There are five meridians on the back that, when opened, allow invigorating energy to travel the whole length of the body. It has been found that cupping is probably the best way of opening those meridians.

Cupping has also been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, help activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks and improve varicose veins. Cupping is the best deep tissue massage available. Cupping, the technique, is very useful and very safe and can be easily learned and incorporated into your family health practices.

Now plastic cups based on the traditional cups by applying the traditional cupping therapy together with the magnetic therapy. The new cups have done away with the traditional firing. This has made the application of the cups more easily and safely. It has a good penetrating effect and a big drawing strength. It has not only improved efficacy but also simplified the procedures of cupping therapy.

I had some cupping on my shoulders as they are starting to get very tight and a little painful again. As you can see there was quite a bit of stagnation under the right scapula!


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Powerlifting = Pain

I have decided that there is no aspect of powerlifting that doesn't involve pain. I am mid way thru a 6 week training cycle that started with speed reps, which always seem like incredible torture while performing them. There is nothing fun about doing 50+ reps of squats or deads in 10 minute period. I am now moving into more traditional strength training, so the weight lifted has from 55% of max 1RM to 75% 1RM. Today I sit on the couch suffering DOMS from squatting 55kgs one week to 70kgs the next (plus the addition of power cleans and pistol squats). Just to top if off I have had a core and shoulder stability session added to my training and my mid section is a little tender too :-(

In the next 3 weeks the weight lifted will increase to finish with a week of doubles - and we all know the pain of very heavy lifting and the associated equipment.

I do love my sport - but I am just having a bit of a pity moment. On the positive side I am off to have a relaxing recovery sauna session right now.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

After the comp on Saturday I had a few day's rest from PL training, although I did a spin class and a couple of cardio sessions. Yesterday it was back to squat training for sets at 70kgs. My legs were rested and it was a strong session, although by the end I was pretty whipped. My legs are a little sore this morning.

Right now I am off to the gym again to do a core and shoulder stability session, then I will do a sauna session for recovery from yesterday's squatting.

I have been enjoying my food as well as my rest time, and I have added 1.5kgs to my usual training weight. I have 3 1/2 weeks before I go to Italy so I will pull my weight back to where I should be as I never like to get too far off my competition weight category.

I have enrolled in the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) to complete my level 1 coaching in October. I am really looking forward to it, and after I have completed it I will be helping out at my daughter's school in their rowing program on a voluntary basis.

Time to go and torture my mid section (must remember no chocolates today!).


Monday, August 27, 2007

Video from saturday's comp

Here is the You Tube link to my 3 lifts

If you can view blogger video here it is below.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

QLD Bench Press record

I found out on the weekend that I hold the QLD bench press record for the 56kg division. In fact I broke it at States with 62.5kgs, and then again at Nationals with 67.5kgs.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Quick Comp round up - new PB!

It was a very good comp with 3 successful lifts, and a new PB of 70kgs. My issues and concerns from nationals are now just a memory and my 70kg lift was the best lift of my life. I had more in the tank, and I know I will only continue to improve.

Very happy right now.

Last night was the best night's sleep I have had before a comp. It was a combination of less nerves, and not worrying about making weight; experience is invaluable. It does feel a little weird doing a comp out of the usual preparation cycle, and in fact temporarily interrupting the beginning of a new training sequence. I can't complain about getting some reprieve from the speed training I was doing as my poor body was really suffering. I have had Thursday and Friday off, so combined with Sunday I will have 3 rest days week.

I now have 4 weeks until we go to Italy, then on my return it is 9 weeks to Comm Titles.

However right now I am off to take my daughter to rowing ( I can complain about the pain of powerlifting, but I really pity poor those rowers on the water in the early winter mornings.)

I am off now and looking forward to the back end of competition stress for a while.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bench Comp tomorrow.....

Fortunately I have the day off work, as part of my stress recovery program, so I will stick to a pre comp prep as much as I can. I have already dropped my daughter at rowing, and after I pick her up again I will go to the gym and do a final light bench technique session. After that I will jump into the sauna. I am competing up a weight category in the under 60kgs, but the lighter I am the better overall bench ranking i will get, so being a few hundred grams lighter will be beneficial. The sauna and steam will be good recovery too.

I am nervous about competing, as I always am and I am very keen to get a 70kg+ lift on the board. It is 4 weeks exactly since Nationals, so it will be interesting to see how my bench strength has recovered after some time off and then straight back into heavy work. I guess it can't hurt the body to throw something different at it.

This will be my first comp without Nic. Rod is a great coach and trainer, but doesn't have the comp experience that Nic does, and I have always had him there thru my entire lifting history. I have competed in 5 comps now so I do know what to do and I guess I just need to take more responsibility for my own preparation. After I come back from the gym today I will spend some time making sure that I am in the right head space, and then do anything I need to do to be prepared. This will include checking and packing equipment and food.

Oh well...into the day.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I did the right thing today and got into the relaxation area of the gym for a steam/sauna and cold therapy. I always feel so much better and it definitely speeds recovery. I do need to go 2-3 times a week and I have to be more disciplined about it.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Work, training, sleeping, eating, resting......nothing much to blog about these past few days. I have been struggling to recover from my training sessions so I have been lying low. I have really learnt that power lifting does require a significant amount of rest to be ready for the next session. I have been a bit too slack and have missed a couple of sauna sessions, however I am going to rectify that today and will head up to the gym soon to do a short cardio session followed by a steam and sauna. Naturally this will be topped off by a 3-5 minute session in the cold room, although that depends on how long I can bear to stay in there. I also have a massage and acupuncture session today. I will be in great form for my last bench session tomorrow before Saturday's bench comp.

My sister has agreed to be the Project Manager of my Commonwealth Titles campaign, and she is coming over tonight to collect all the info I have and take the burden of organising details from me. Now all I have to do is focus on training, eating well and resting. This is such as relief.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

I feel that it is my duty to share this book with every chick I know...

I have bought a copy for my daughter and I am going to get one for my sister and a couple of girlfriends. It is straight forward, uncompromising, and tells you all the things you know but like to make excuses about. It is also gives you a few laughs. I consider myself to be a "skinny bitch" = healthy.

Happy reading!


Yes, it is that time again when the bench shirt comes out to cause pain and bruising. I am doing a bench only comp next Saturday and I wore the shirt today for the first time since nationals. I benched 62.5kgs for 3 sets of 5 reps. I am very happy with that I have been concerned that I may have dropped some strength over the past 3 weeks. However it all looks good, and Rod managed to get me into the shirt with no drama - I am a very happy power lifter tonight!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thanks Rog!

My step Dad (and my biggest fan) wrote an article on my recent win and selection in the Aust powerifting Team, and it was published in the local paper of my home town. I will scan a copy and publish it here.

I awoke this morning in pain. There is nothing like speed training to bring on DOMS within hours of training, and it lasts for days. Yesterday I did speed squats @ 50% of my max 1 rep (52.5kgs) for 6x6 with 30 seconds rest x3. That was followed by a 3 sets of good mornings, 1 set of speed deadlifts of 67.5kgs @ 3x8, and 3 sets of power shrugs. Needless to say I woke at midnight starving and scoffed a toasted muffin to get me thru the night.
As I was away earlier this week my training has been squashed into 3 days, which means I have to go thru a very similar torture today but with a deadlift focus - ouch!

I'm back and have lots to blog about.
I spent a few days in Melbourne away from work, phones, laptops and stress. I had time to de stress and relax. Now I am home I am all ready to refocus on my training.
I have done a few training sessions with Rod, and was back training today for a punishing squat session. I am still planning on benching in a PL comp next Saturday, although I am a little concerned that I have dropped some strength in the last few weeks of irregular training. I will bench this Saturday with my bench shirt on and see how I go. If it all looks good I will lift the following Saturday. My goal is to lift my comp PB to over 72.5kgs, taking another step toward my goal of breaking the Aust 56kg bench record of 80.5kg within the next 12 months.
My children, Mum and sister are going to come to NZ and watch me lift at the Commonwealth titles. It seems really weird booking their flights for the competition and it makes it very real and very scary. I haven't even organised my travel as I am not sure when I am travelling yet. I am now starting to realise how much work I have to do between now and then, and how much pain I will be going thru to get there.
I need to get back to proper nutrition and supplementation (Hi Liz!), and really get my mind back into an athlete mind set. I have about 6 weeks until I go to Italy for my 40th, so I am will train for some strength increases, then holiday, then come back for a 10 weeks cycle to Comm Titles. Woo hoo!!!!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I am taking a few days to go away. I have been a little unwell, and the Dr has ordered some rest. I am really looking forward to a change of scenery to de-stress.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Today was my first day training with new coach Rod. I was suprised at how "normal" it felt. I am feeling very confident now.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I will be doing the bench press only in a competition August 25th at QLD Uni. Given the issues I had at Nationals we have decided that the more experience I can get the better. So from tomorrow, I am doing a very focused 3 week cycle on the bench. Nic said I should be able to get back to full strength very quickly, and now that Rod is coaching me it will give us a chance to work out how he manages me under competition conditions. Not that it will be overly stressful and I will go in at whatever I weigh on the day and will compete in the under 60kg category (assuming I stop all my post competition celebrations soon).
So, from tomorrow it is on!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I have ended my rest week today with a very relaxing day. The Bridge to Brisbane was on here today, and it finishes in New Farm Park which is 2 blocks from my house, so I put my backpack on at 8am and walked over to Paddington to have breakfast with friends. After a good catch up I then walked the 70 minutes home again. It turned out to be a great choice of travel, as the roads into and out of New Farm where in absolute gridlock for hours.

Last night was Nic's farewell party in the Valley. I didn't stay for too long as I had already had a few celebrations during the week, and my poor body doesn't hold up too well to alcohol and late nights. However I believe it was a great send off!

I am not sure how to describe my emotions around him leaving; other than I am very happy that he gets to have a great adventure. I guess 90% of my powerlifting experiences have been as a result of Nic. After all not only did he suggested I give it a go, he taught me how to squat, bench and deadlift powerlifting style. He has taken me from complete novice to being a member of the Aust team in 20 months, which is a great achievement for both of us a coach and athlete. So I guess this is change, and a challenge for me.

The team I have going into Commonwealth Titles with Rod and Liz, and Nic via e-mail is very strong and I have total belief I will thrive.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Recovery week..

This week I have been visiting my new gym, doing a couple of spin classes, light cardio and a light work out. I have followed these sessions up with a relaxing steam before I come home and go to work. I have done quite a few lunches with clients and business partners that I have been putting off for a month, and a couple of drinks with friends. My tummy has struggled a little coping with the reintroduction of richer food and wine, however I have been moderate with my food, just the occasional treat and I am pretty happy to go back to my training plan from the weekend. My weight has gone up only1kg, so I am the same weight I was about 10 days out from Nationals. This is all goodness.

I am about to go and get my long black coffee, make my oats for breakfast. I am then catching up with Nic and Rod (new coach) for brunch. I am having lunch with one of my favourite girlfriends and I think we will go to a lovely vegetarian restaurant in West End. The afternoon is being spent with a business partner I really enjoy working with. Then an early dinner and off to bed.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

4 months to Commonwealth Titles.

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