Well as I enter my 48th Year I have decided to take on the next challenge and find out if being strong is a state of mind. The tyre flipping bug hit and has been conquered, I am now contemplating entering my first strongman contest.

This is like a leap into the unknown with over 20 years of weight training and diet aimed at bodybuilding. (Don’t fret the bodybuilding hasn’t gone its still the main aim for 2016 but January is time to play.)

The contest is a Novice Strongman but to me it appears anything but novice. 160kg yoke walk, up to 80kg atlas stones, log press for reps, static hold, and deadlift for reps. Now to lots of you this seems lightweight and to lots of you it is the babbling of a madwoman.

To me it is a CHALLENGE. I have not deadlifted for years due to back issue and the downward pressure of the yoke tests that same back injury and my mental resilience. I am not being daft, the lifts are within my limits but the mental challenge is EXTREME and we will soon see how much of it is truly a state of mind! Visualisation of success is the key to achieving that goal of at least one rep on each event.

Sometimes, you need to take on the fear that you have developed and honed and check that it is valid.

We have a team of three ladies from Evolution Gym, Sheffield taking on this challenge and for each it is a first.

I am currently raising my game both mentally and physically in order to prepare. Nutrition is based around Extreme Nutrition products with the main emphasis on my post workout Build and Recover and  my morning and evening Pro-6. Glutamine and vitamin C are my next staples.

Monday to Friday is standard workout time and strength building and Sunday morning is event training. The repetition of each event will assist on the day when preparation and exercise are second nature.

I’ll let you in on a secret – so far I haven’t managed to lift the stone but have managed just to turn or flip it. I will succeed keep with me over the next 6 weeks and we will get there.

Evolution Gym Sheffield owner Rachael Hayes

Rachael will soon know if strong is a state of mind