Progression……

Blog by: Ricky Bakker

I do believe that powerlifting (sport in general perhaps) is indeed a metaphor for life. I think what Wim means by this is that when you put structure into your sport. Formulates & strives for a goal and makes adjustments where necessary.
To build a schedule with nice figures, everyone can do that tells my coach. I think so. Only a good coach makes sure that the adjustments fit with the athlete. Not the athlete at the schedule.

This process, however funny, is actually applicable to my life so far. Only I am the coach. Wim helps me with this, like he does with powerlifting to apply structure and rhythm. This may sound very heavy, but actually it is very nice and something that maybe many of you already can.In this process I find difficult to describe and that is also one of the reasons I do these blogs now and then. Not as frequent as in sports, but it will come in the future. Because the consciousness grows.

Back to our hobby, our passion, our love .
The training is nice. Wim’s ‘lightweight’ method is starting to have a nice effect. No, no new PRs (in training then) but the same numbers run with much more ease. To describe it in the trendy way, RPE 8 on old PR numbers. Technically much better higher numbers of lifts! I really like that, I really like that and it gives me energy to continue.

Progression is in every corner!
Thanks for reading and fast!

F U E L | ⛽⛽

Days fly by as I’m getting closer to participate at the Worlds Championships Powerlifting.  And every day and step a long the way I’m still learning, failing, building and fine tuning things.

It even got more clear to me after last weeks central training. Meeting the other members of the Dutch team, training together and the reveal of the new costum TITAN Netherlands Singlet💃🏾.  I’m very pleased being part of the team and feel honerd to wear it 😇.

This week was one were I made long hours. Off and on work. That’s good for my sleep cause during bedtime I was out of this world. I didn’t just wake up but really awakened around the same time without the alarm going off…wondering what day it was.🤓

The transition from equipped training to classic training is a fact. Already I am noticing some changes. I actually can say…I miss my suits.  Not for the fact that the suits make me lift heavier. And It’s not because I’ve forgot how to lift classic. But for the mere fact that the equipped training challenges me to get in a different zone and mindset. Now I’m invited back to digging deeper in to my self to turn on that other switch again.

After competing in Pilsen @the EK Equipped Powerlifting Championships the (local) media picked up on my achievements. Some fun stuff happened relating to that. I got recognised in the grocerie shop where I get all my food. At work when answering the phone people congratulated me. Even there I’m noticing some differences and it makes me switch between random getting the job done *classic* versus getting the job done with a twist *equipped*. It’s all appreciated and makes me place things in perspective.

People seem to understand a little bit more why I’m always carrying so much stuff around.
One of the lovely ladies of the gymstaff showed me that there are lockers you can claim forever (24/7) in another part of the gym. If I’d known that since 2015 my bagcollection would not have grown so much the last 3 years 🤣😂. It’s about time to sort out my stuff 🤦🏿‍♀️.

Yesterday’s central training showed me why I’m involved @cardiopowerlifting training. It was one for the books again. Light on paper but heavy on the ‘mind’ body and soul. On my way back home with @ilyscious I even had to stop at the gasststion to get some fuel myself 😩. When finally home and eaten dinner the lights went out 😴. I planned on watching TV but eventually the TV was watching me.

Today I have a restday and I am going to enjoy it to the fullest. Wishing you a lovely day as well.

Untill we meet again
Xoxo
IRIS

HEADSTRONG

So here it is, my throwback to competing at the European Equipped Championships Powerlifting. Let’s get ready to rumble!

Tuesday
Trainer and coach Wim together with assistant coach Joost de Groot picked me up. For every day I was staying there I decided to pack a bag. What’s a girl to do without all her stuff? I’m used to take half of the house with me if I leave it for a couple of days. Including my weighing scale and all the food I can carry for a whole village. Coach Wim took my scale out of the bag with the message: there is no room for it in the car.  Like really…….!!! Oh Lord…how will I survive this journey starting like this.

After a nice roadtrip from +/- 7 hours we arrived in Pilsen, Czech Republic. I met all the other lifters from the Dutch team and was ready to unpack my bags. Get settled in my hotel room and roar for the first athlete that would be on the platform on Wednesday.


Wednesday

Early in the morning I went to weigh myself. Good results: Still in my weight class! Coach comforted me by saying that everything would turn out right and I should JUST EAT. I managed to be less strict with cutting down on my big appetite. Cause the scale showed me that there was enough room left to eat & drink for the day.
After lunch I installed myself in the competition area. Seeing all the lifters from different countries was an epic experience. I realized that the language we all speak “together” is Powerlifting and that brought such a variety of people at the same time and place. I was nervous to see @sandrawildeman compete because I wanted her to succeed. And so she did!! She showed me what a fight looks like when things get heavy and what determination is supposed to be.

Input: set the bar high
Outcome: get the job done

Needless to say that I got more excited to have my own meet. But do I still know how to squat? Am I really prepared for this? What If I am not able to hit depth in my suit? And will I manage to get on the platform on time with the knee wraps? All these thoughts crossed my mind.


Seeing the equipped lifters shuffle their way up the ramp, trying to walk the stairs and lifters get carried on and off the platform amazed me. It looked like I need to walk a mile before I get up there. CAUSE WHO’S GOING TO CARRY ME? I went to bed on time hoping that meet day didn’t came too early.

Thursday
Woke up feeling good! Eager to save up energy for the big day 2morrow. All this waiting feels like forever. Why am I feeling so restless and tired at the same time? And then it hit me…. All the impressions cost energy too and I want to hold on to it for the meet.

First and for most I decided to enjoy this day to the fullest and even indulge on some good food.
My taste buds needed some P-food: Pizza, Pasta or Potatoes. Also known as CARBS. It was a blast to do so. Coach asked me what time I needed him in the lobby on meet day. We agreed on 6.30 in the morning, before that I had a date with the scale again. I packed my bags before bedtime and made sure I took some much needed quality time with myself.

Friday: MEETday
This is the day I was waiting for. And my oh my….I’m ready! I went to date the scale and….81.92KG is what it said.

Time to EAT. After that Wim and I did the clothing check and I could get the official weigh in: BOOM 82.25KG I got to eat some more, not too much cause that would only get in the way during lifting.


All I could think of was: How do I make sure that all the pieces come together? The answer was simple: trust the force and myself.  Continue reading “HEADSTRONG”

KNOCK KNOCK…..

> Who’s there?

It’s me?
> Who is me?
>> Well…

It has been a while since I took the time to write some of my adventures down. All because I didn’t schedule the time to keep on my writing skills.

At this moment I am 4 days out of competing at the EK Equipped Powerlifting competition in Pilzen.

It would be an understatement if I would say that I am looking forward to it. Time flies when you are having pre-fun. At the same time it seems to take forever for this day to present itself.

A lot of thoughts have crossed my mind lately; how will I preform? How will an international competition like this be? How do I make sure I don’t forget to pack all my stuff? Cause It’s a lot!!

Coach Wim is as relaxed as can be and I am all over the place. I already know that it will be a roadtrip to never forget.

The fact that I competed 3 weeks a go at Dutch Nationals was al so part of the preparation for this upcomming competition. I’m not even totally used to the fact that a competition is a preperation for another competition. So adapting to this style of training and athlete mentality is what I’m doing and learning lately.

My goals for this competition are: finding out where I stand in my equipped journey, learn from this experience, last but not least go with the flow and enjoy.

Do you remember that I had trouble getting in my new squat suit? Well I never got in it eventually. Apparently I am too sexy for my suit, cause the suit can’t handle all this meat. So I am on the look out for a new one. At least I know how it feels to be a sausage and what it really means to squeeeze yourself in to uncomfortable positions and situations. Eventually it brings clarity and a (free) pass to something new. 

If you have the time make sure to watch me compete this friday 11 May around 10 o’clock at goodlift.info. Click here for the direct linkDon’t forget to cheer while you are at it. It’s much appreciated. 😘

Untill we meet again.

I AM DOWN WITH F.V.T. YEAH YOU KNOW ME

Ola!
They say time flies when you are having fun. Well I found out  time also  flies when you decide to do make choices for yourself  that differ from everything you have known untill then.

These past 8 weeks I put myself through the wringer. And even tho it is nothing new , I had a few very important things that helped keep me #insane and #inthegame.

FUN. It is really easy to loose the fun of things when you attach  competetive GOALS to certain things. So for me having fun , even tho I feel like I can not see another barbell  is key. Training at coach his house was mostly fun this cycle….. for him that was… 👺

VALIDATION. Some will agree and other will say  I am crazy  but I believe  validation is a big player when it comes  to being  competetive in anything in life and achieving results of and kind. That being said, I also believe one should only look for validation  within their  own mirror.  You validate you… AND when you do that loads of things will fall in place.

TECHNIQUE.  A things that takes practice,still ,patience and drive.  I am not a perfect lifter and to be honest I do not know anyone who is. But I have learned that besides  being strong , TECHNIQUE can make or break you. Time spend in the gym dedicated to bettering flaws kept #myheadinthegame and  have me hungry for more… because we are never done.

Well this is all folks. Nationals  is around
the corner and a new week emerges soon.  Lets get to it !

ILY

OH MY PMS!

Still 13 days and 13 hours to go before I am allowed to hit the platform. Yes I sad allowed to. Because coach @wimwam1 is no joke. Within his trainer/coach philosophy I am introduced to the realisation that competing is something you need to earn.

You might be thinking what is she going to talk about this time. Well….I think it’s time to share something very personal, yeah something about my PMS. Most people know that PMS refers to a group of changes around that time of the month. Yeah that period when some females might experience mood swings, become cranky, fatigue and irritability. 

Well for me PMS stands for Personal |Managing | System | 😊. I seem to forget that I have one and using it the right way when things get hectic is still a struggle. It would make life much easier if I’d open up to doing so.

You probably have seen that @cardiopowerlifting is hitting us up with real quotes and knowledge every now and then. Those quotes can mean something to someone! Sometime real life takes over and asking help “in time” is not something that comes to (my) mind. Even if that can be the easiest and smartest thing to do. But how do you figure that out when you are used to figuring everything out by yourself? And are not used to people being there or wanting to help you? That’s still something I’m learning.

Simple example: when things get hectic @work, people want to meet up, or you have to attent family matters. How do you keep on track with your personal needs and the (urge) to do something for others?

A. Only please yourself

B. Only please others
C. Alter your schedule and try to please everybody
D. ?

I am interested in what your answer is to that situation. So please leave a comment below. It may not be all black, white or grey. Maybe there are some other flavours to choose from. In the meantime I’m still looking forward to attent the next meet. Seeing where I stand 4 months after the last Dutch Nationals will be very interesting if coach lets me do so.

*Untill we meet again*

ME, MYSELF & MY SISTER

Ola!

You surfed over here to get some intel right? Well get some tea and enjoy  I’d say because for everybody who did not see the GWPL interview we did last year or doesn’t understand Dutch and can’t read some of the online articles that were published about our powerlifting journey recently,  I did a lil’  searching, some updating and mashing up and turned it in to this post right here full of things about me myself & my sister Iris. Voila!

An introduction of us !

BOTH: We are sisters who happen to have set out their goal to become the strongest sisters in the world.  We hope we are able to inform and inspire as many people as possible to keep pushing and work towards their own goals in lifting and in life!

ILRISH: I am a theatremaker & professional by day, a soy-no-water-chai-tea-latte – addict by night and a certified powerlifting fanatic all day, every day.  But first things first #inmyJayzvoice: please allow me to reintroduce myself. The name is ILY, that’s short for Ilrish and an anagram for I love You : –)  I’m 31, hail from Utrecht, The Netherlands and have a bloodline that goes all the way back to the borders of Senegal & Gambia, as both of my parents are of Creole – Native American – Surinamese descent and the Dutch and the Surinamese share a long history between one another.

Theatre is my middle name and when I am not making it, teaching theatre class or directing theatrical plays you can be sure to find me either in your nearest Starbucks, shopping mall or if you are lucky, at the gym where I’m likely bending some bars. London & Jamaica are my favorite places in the world, I love me some hiphop, gangsta rap and poetry  and I have made it into an art to workout anywhere, whenever I can so do not be surprised if you see me and my sister Iris getting a workout in anywhere outside of our hometown.

IRIS: My name is Iris, I’m 34 and I’m from Utrecht, the Netherlands just like Ily. I am a dreamchaser by day and a vampire by night who eats kryptonite for breakfast :-). Although I consider myself as being strong there is one thing I can’t conquer or overcome and that is sleep!

Besides my love for powerlifting I’m also into dancing, especially Latin-American styles. The sounds of bachata, merengue and samba music always make me want to get up and move as listening to such tunes, and being able to dance just gives me life.  Even when I should be acting all civil and business appropriate I always feel the need to take out my 15 seconds of fame and bust a move on-the-spot, even after completing a heavy lift.
I think I got it from my momma :-

About our relationship. When did we start lifting individually and then together?

ILY :  I’d love to tell you I have been a sports fanatic my whole life and have always had a lot of role models, but I would be flat out lying to you so let me be real. I grew up being the fat kid. I use the word fat on purpose because that is the best way for me to describe how I felt back then. Since the age of six I had always been obese and when I turned 16 this spiraled into the morbid version of that disease. Call it genes, call it nutrition, call it a combination of both but weight, body image and depression (because of it) controlled a big part of my childhood and adolescence.  When I was in my last year before graduating high school and got my class picture, a picture where I was sitting on a chair, looking more like one of my class mates mothers or aunts, I died a little inside. I looked at the picture and saw a person I didn’t want to be anymore. From that day on I made a promise to myself to change my habits and be the best possible version of me, I possibly could be.  This promise to myself did come at a price, though. I had setbacks, lost tons of weight being a ‘ cardio bunny’  for ages, gained all of it back, lost it again, developed an eating disorder, went to therapy, trained with a personal trainer, lost the weight again, gained some of it back and at one point almost gave up. I say almost and I say it proudly because during these years of struggle there was one person who kept me going and never gave up on me; my big sister Iris.

During all of these years, Iris supported me. She therefore was and still is my biggest inspiration.  Even when I was at my lowest point, emotionally not stable, tipping the scale at almost 120 kilo’s and barely hanging in there, she was there. When I was down she always picked me up, made sure I worked out, worked out with me,  drove me to my appointments, sat on my couch, made me eat food; even when I didn’t want to and above all, she never, ever judged me.

As of December 2014, I can proudly say that I have been able to maintain a stable and healthy lifestyle that allows me to live, enjoy life and be successful in all endeavors I take on. And this only got better when both of us decided to take on powerlifting in January 2016 and put all of the strength we gained over the years to work.  For the first time in my life, I enjoy being active, feeling soar, putting my body to work, eating healthy, being competitive at sports and taking responsibility for my health all by myself. I take just as much pride in my work accomplishments as I do to the one regarding my athletic accomplishments and have come to the conclusion that I feel more comfortable being ‘strong’  than I have ever felt while I was trying to be ‘slim & normal’. I approach powerlifting as taking care of myself and see my training sessions as appointments I’m in control over, just like a boss. And you know this thing about bosses, they never cancel on themselves.

IRIS: For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in various kinds of sports. I ran track, played basketball and took on kickboxing for a while.  Doing the exact same thing over and over again though has become something I’m allergic to. That is why in the beginning of 2016 I  was in an everlasting searching for a sport or activity that could keep me entertained and challenged for a longer period of time. I found what I was looking for when I decided to join  Ily when she approached me and said she wanted to take on powerlifting seriously and started to train for it specifically. We went and jumped in to the adventure together, – then coached by Floris van Melis  (@nursefloor) from whom we learned a whole lot-  and quickly realized ; Being a powerlifter is one thing, being a competitive athlete another. We learned it was going to be hard and we weren’t at the gym anymore to ‘play’ or to chat but  that we were there to #WORK.’

What are the benefits of having a lifting partner & how do we help each other through tough training sessions?

ILY: Having my sister as a lifting partner has benefited my athletic ability and has enabled me to grow into the level of fitness where I am now.  Working out together stimulates me to make a bigger EFFORT every training, makes me hang in just a little longer and pushes me to put in those few extra reps. Iris’ background in martial arts and track equipped her with a sports mentality and luckily for me, it was a contagious one which has become something I now live by; winners aren’t people who never fail, winners are people who never give up. At the gym where we train; Golds Gym in Nieuwegein –  @goldsgymnl- , just like in life I can be found mostly doing that, not giving up.

IRIS: Sharing is caring and this also applies to my powerlifting work ethic.
I love to work out on my own but get inspired and get serious damage done with that special someone that motivates me to be the best version of myself. For me, that’s Ily my sister, partner in crime and workout buddy.
I have mad respect for her. Knowing that what she has accomplished on her personal athletic journey didn’t come easy. Seeing how she picked herself up and made big changes, makes me proud and the fact that she allowed me to reach out to her and be a part of all of that and make some serious steps in powerlifting together, even more.

IlY: When things get really tough in training we often refer to and remind each other of our training sessions with our – now –  trainer & coach,  who happens to be  former IPF international powerlifter -120 Wim Wamsteeker (@wimwam1). Wim has been around in the powerlifting scene as long  the both of us are alive, has coached many great strength athletes long before we ever picked up a barbell and has been working with us on our strengths and weaknesses. The no-nonsense approach he uses to get us to work through difficult training sessions most of the time is all we need to get our minds and bodies back into the game.  Wim also advises us when it comes to making long-term plans regarding lifting and provides us with the best lifting gear from Titan (@titannetherlands), making sure we only use the best material out there.

What are your individual lifting goals?

ILY: We have come to love powerlifting very much and in these past 2 years  it has brought us a lot of good. When we started lifting our first goals besides becoming good technical and strong lifters individually, was to compete.

IRIS: In September 2016 we competed in our first meet, SBD Cup 2016 where Ily placed first in the +84 class, breaking the national deadlift classic record for her weight class with an 185kg deadlift.

ILY:  Iris placed second in her weight class -84 and we both qualified for Dutch Nationals all at the same time.

IRIS: After this meet, Ily set her eyes on deadlifting 200kg or more at those Nationals  and on December 10th 2016 she became the first woman in the Netherlands to deadlift more than 200kg in an official classic powerlifting meet. Ily took the national deadlift classic record for the entire open (and her weight class) lifting 201kg  with room for more and couldn’t be happier.

In 2017 she topped that performance  with 210kg, first at the DRC Cup 2017 and later in Hamm, Luxembourg where she became Western European Champion.

In December 2017 she managed to pull 212,5kg at Dutch Nationals, taking home the silver again. Doing all of this at a bodyweight just shy over 84 kilo’s. At the moment she is preparing for Dutch Nationals 2018 were we both will be lifting and are excited for.

ILY: Iris did absolutely amazing at her first nationals, taking home the silver in the -84, putting 17,5 kilo on her total in less than 10 weeks and squatting a fabulous 147,5 kilo in contrary to her 60kg  (yes sixty) 1rm of January 2016.

After that it went fast. In 2017 she deadlifted 210kg when she also became Western European Champion in Luxembourg and later that year she managed to squat 165 kg and pull 220kg at Dutch Nationals 2017 at a bw of 79,04.

In 2018 she started to lift equipped as well, put the equipped Dutch deadlift record in her name with 230,5 kg. Currently she is preparing for IPF Worlds 2018 in Calgary where she will be lifting and the European Equipped championships 2018 in Pilsen were she will be lifting as well.

IRIS:  We aren’t fortune tellers but do of course have goals for the future of our lifting careers.  Besides staying healthy, strong and injury- free,  a few of them are exploring equipped lifting even more, a deadlift with at least  four reds on each side to be the standard, a bigger bench (make that two 🙂  #prayingtothebenchgods, a 200kg classic squat for the both of us, qualifying for Europeans and Worlds as sisters and a 500 point wilks 🙂

Why do you think it’s important for women to continue to uplift each other, especially through powerlifting. 

IRIS: We both love powerlifting dearly and think  a lot of people are doing amazing work  in creating platforms and brands catering to the strength community and giving women a voice to be empowering  and uplift each other. All while lifting heavy ass weights, juggling careers,  and everything else life throws at them.

We also believe that by uplifting each other, especially through powerlifting we as women show ourselves and others that we are capable of absolutely anything and everything. We get up, move and get things done. Life shows us all the time that being healthy and strong isn’t something we should take for granted and as long as we can (slightly) control that part of life we see it as an obligation to put everything in our power into it.

ILY: Coming from a family where we were thought to be a strong individual mentally, must also have something to do with this, but in fact becoming it physically and spreading the ‘ word’ is just as important.

We love to see the growing community of women who go from picking up heavy stuff a.k.a. lifting weights like it’s nobody’s business, believing in themselves and following their dreams. In our eyes they are the future, they are great examples for young people growing up,  for their environments and this ever changing world altogether.

Find us on Instagram @ilyscious and @inspirised, we’d  love to talk to you!

 

 

 

WHAT IF |

o   1+1 was 3

o   I was a boy

o   I played the violin

o   I was part of a twin?

Well…..I can’t tell you how life would look like. Because that is not the case and my imaginition does not reach that far.

WHAT IF:

o   I was scared to get in to my brand new squatsuit

o   I was excited for every central training

o   My sister and coach where the best company I could have on a Saturday

o   Three is not a crowd and four is a party

Well….I know all bout that….so let me tell you how that looks like in this blog.

I am four weeks out of the Ducth Nationals Powerlifting Championships and four weeks in for my training. This trainingcycle is al so part of my preperation for the European Equipped Powerlifting Championships in Pilzen. Last week I received a brend new squat suit as a gift from my sponsor Titan.

Yeayyyyyyy……Titan should change their name in to TIGHTan if you ask me.
Coach suggested me to try it on (on my own) this coming week. Well I tell ya: It scared the hell out of me. I procrastinated trying the suit on for a week….and ofcourse during the last central training coach asked me how it fits. Well I told him….I can’t tell ya, cause I didn’t. He laughed at me and sad…..you know what to do.

This central training we had the privilege to be joined by some amazing company. The one and only Sandra Wildeman. Internationally known as Sandra WILDman. She’s known for being one of the females who took equipped powerlifting in the Netherlands to another level. She and coach go a long way back. Sandra has an amazing BENCHpress. I look up to her. Besides that she is also a great referee. And her sense of humor is unique just as her vivid personality. It was very nice seeing her and train with her.

The central training went good. Technique is way more complex than just moving weights around. I am in a phase were I am fine tuning stuff and working on my mobility. Al so I am learning to appreciate the fact that even after long days and stuff to do at home I’m able to focus on training and my technique helps me to push through every training. The coming weeks I’m allowed to use my equipment even more (knee sleeves and belt). So I can recover during training.

Today I am going to recover from yesterdays Central Training but even more trying to get in to my squat suit. Please don’t laugh….! Chicken dance anybody…click > here?

 

STEPPING IN TO MY WHY

Ola!

After Ricky stole my monday spot last week for his blog
I AM BACK  with a vengeance to share some thangzz with you all about my powerlifting WHY. Why? you might think…. well lemme tell you.

A while back I was gifted the opportunity to talk to Maarten Gulickx about  my profession, goals and my life. One of the most important things he shared with me in this conversation was the finding and defining of my
‘WHY’, because at the time my WHY
had been turned in to a complete messy and disastrous  HOW :-(.
Maarten promised me that when I would get back in touch with my WHY, everything I wanted to do, accomplish and go for would sort itself out. It would take time he said, because he is no magician and neither am I , but it would turn out for the better if I just focussed on this essential thing.
And so I did.

Flashing forward; the focussing on my WHY  eventually gave me the space and peace of mind I was looking for.  As expected it took time, effort, moving on from people, places and jobs,  more than several rivers of good ol’  tears but it also blessed me with the love for the sport of powerlifting and the opportunity  to find space in my ‘ life WHY’   to implement  and define my own ‘powerlifting WHY’.

Key ingredients  of powerlifting that influence this last WHY are not only the fact that I strive to better myself everyday but also the fact that in doing so I like to give back to others #representationmatters.  Going the distance, getting my hands dirty and having long term goals also play a big role and of course one  should never forget,  the power of competing for everything you once thought or was told you’d never have or couldn’t do,  can have on a person.

I am really happy that finding my WHY has helped me in my powerlifting journey that  just only passed the two year mark and has already  brought me so much more than I figured it would  around the time my convo with Maarten took place. As we arrived in week 5 of this cycle, my WHY has steered me in all kinds of directions already and April is around the corner with a platform waiting to be directed towards next.   And while coach has been slaughtering me softly on Saturday’s (last saturday he had me do a back-off set of 10 on squats…..)  and I am still figuring out the WHY on these RDL’s that suck the life right out of me every time I look at them,  I will keep at it because in the end  it will be worth it. Because as coach always says; Powerlifting is a metaphor for life. 

Adios!

ILY

 

 

Born Strong – Documentary

Great documentary. When you have seen this video. No words are needed anymore….. about how my mind works 😀