Returning to the Powerlifting Platform

Early April I made my return to the Powerlifting platform after an 18 month hiatus to have both my hip labrums repaired. So a little bit of history – I had a little bit of an accident Nov 16 and my left hip cartilage got caught so needed to be repaired because I had an America trip planed in Jan 17 (also…it hurt…all the time), then in May 17 the right needed to be repaired after compensating a bunch for the left. Each time I took a solid 6 weeks off any lower body gym work and was only doing prescribed rehab exercises but I continued to train my upper body. After the last surgery I was able to actually rebuild my squat form and use my leg drive for bench press.

So the past 18 months has allowed me to really work on my arms and build huge guns (jokes…they’re still iddy biddy) but I did focus on my bench press and accessories and it did allow me to get a 2.5kg personal best in the gym of 55kg. Then rebuilding my squat form allowed me to personal best my squat at 117.5kg before going to Japan.

Then it was game day – I was, for the first time in a long time, nervous. I had set three goals for myself though to keep me focused on why I was there.

1. See if competing was still something I loved (no point spending so much time on something I don’t enjoy)

2. Total a conservative 300kg (this was my last comp total in 2016 – I just wanted to match it),

3. Keep my ego in check (I’ll always want to push for more to win but reality was I had to weigh up the risk vs benefit post injury, is a medal really worth risking re-injury).

Game day was awesome – I had 3 other 52kg girls to compete against in my weight class which very rarely happens for me. I missed my first squat due to not achieving depth but that didn’t worry me because the weight on my back didn’t feel heavy so I chose to increase the weight for my next attempt and smoked it. By the end of squats I was ahead but bench is not my strong point and that’s where the girls came catching up. By the start of deadlifts I was tied for first place – by end of second attempts I was placing second and by the end of third of attempts I had matched my total with another girl but she happened to be 0.05kg lighter then me in body weight which ment I placed third.

I’m pretty stoked to have achieved third place for my first comp in 18 months especially with the exhilarating competition I had on the day. It also placed me 6th in Australia for GPC 2018 rankings in the 52kg class and qualified me for an invite to Nationals. So the take outs from the day…

1. I still love competing

2. My body held out and my head stayed in the game

3. I chose the conservative attempts that coach suggested and with lots of deep breathing, was able to keep the adrenaline under control to achieve those attempts

Coming back from surgery / injuries can sometimes be daunting but I’ve enjoyed the challenge – it’s not just about the rehab, it’s about setting goals, having a good support crew and working within your limits. Even small steps still move you forward.

To watch Deb’s comp day video click on the link GPC State Comp 2018

Deb Chen, Physiotherapist