Drug Free Power Lifting World Championships – 6 weeks to go!

That is now Week 3 of my preparation for the World Drug Free Power Lifting Championships in Gela, Sicily done and dusted! Surprisingly, I’m not in as much pain as last week which must (hopefully!) mean I’m getting stronger ;).

This is how training went down this week….

1×10 just with the Olympic bar
1×5 @ 40kg
1×3 @ 50kg
2×8 @ 55kg

Paused bench (2 seconds pause): 2×5 @ 45kg

Incline bench: 2×8 @ 45kg

Incline DB press: 8×8 @ 17.5kg

Dips: 3×10 (10/10/8) with 2.5kg added around my waist.

Seated row: 3×10 @ 40kg

Decline Skull crusher: 2×10 @ 7.5kg

Russian twist: 2×10 @ 12.5kg


Warm up & mobility work
1×10 @ 40kg
1×6 @ 65kg
2×8 @ 90kg

Paused squats (2 seconds pause): 5×3 @ 80kg

Leg press: 3×10 @ 210kg

Walking lunges: 3×10 @ 20kg Dumbell in each hand.

Leg extensions: 2×10 @ 6 blocks, 2×20 @ 8 blocks

Leg curl: 3×8 @ 8 blocks

Weighted plank
30 seconds with 25kg
30 seconds with 10kg
30 seconds just with body weight


Push press
1×10 with just the Olympic bar
1×5 @ 30kg
1×5 @ 35kg
1×3 @ 40kg
1×2 @ 50kg
5×3 @ 57.5kg (3/3/3/3 – 1/2)

Wide chins (with the use of a resistance band) 3 x 10

Standing alternate DB press with 30 seconds rest in between each set) 8 x 8 (4—8 @ 12.5kg 4×8 @ 10kg)

Seated side raises: 3 — 10 @ 5kg DB

Front raises: 3 — 10 @ 7.5kg DB

Rear delt (cables): 3 x 10

Upright row: 2 x 15 @ 20kg plate

Over head Triceps press: 3 x 10 @ 20kg

Triceps push down: 3 x 12


10 minute Warm up consisting of 5 minutes on the crosstrainer and mobility work.
1 x 10 with just the Olympic bar
1 x 5 @ 70kg
1 x 3 @ 100kg
1 x 1 @ 130kg
1 x 2 @ 150kg

Speed deadlifts (the aim is to approach the bar and lift is as though it’s a pb for each rep)
6 x 3 @ 125kg

Bent over row: 3 x 6 @ 60kg

Stiff leg deads: 3 x 8 @ 75kg

Good mornings: 3 x 6 @ 62.5kg

Reverse lat pulldown: 3 x 8 @ 15kg

Dorsal raises: 2 x 8 @ 10kg

That’s all for this week! Keep checking my blog for my training sessions and videos leading up to the Drug Free Power Lifting World Championships on the 31st of October 2015.

Jo Stanger.

Womens Powerlifting World Championships – 7 weeks to go!

Wow, week 2 complete – how time is flying leading up to the Womens Powerlifting World Championships!

I must admit at the end of a training week my body feels like I have been hit by a bus, the Womens Powerlifting World Championships are proving to be a true test of strength and determination but I am loving it! It’s all about getting the work done, proving to myself that I can do it and that it is possible!

Here’s what this week’s training has consisted of;

Tuesday: Squats.
I started my session with a 10 minute warm up which consisted of some mobility work and 5 minutes on the cross trainer.
1) Squats
1 x 10 with just the bar
1 x 10 @ 40kg
1 x 6 @ 65kg
2 x 8 @ 85kg

2) Pause squats – (hold for 2 seconds at the bottom) 5 x 3 @ 75kg

3) Leg press – (Full Range of Motion) 3 x 10 @ 200kg

4) Walking lunges – 3 x 10 @ 20kg Dumbbells.

5) Cable Pull through – 3 x 6

6) Leg Extension – 2 x 20, 2 x 10

7) Leg curl – 3 x 8 – 10

8) Weighted plank
30 seconds 25kg
30 seconds 10kg
30 seconds just body weight.

Wednesday: Bench
1) 1 x 10 with just the Olympic bar
1 x 6 @ 40kg
2 x 10 @ 52.5kg

2) Paused bench (hold still on your chest for 2 seconds before powering the bar back up into the starting position) –
2 x 5 @ 42.5kg

3) Incline bench press – 2 x 10 @ 42.5kg

4) Shallow incline DB bench press
Aim was 8 x 8 @ 17.5kg
Achieved 5 x 8 then 7/7/6 @ 17.5kg
Goal is to achieve 8 x 8 @ 17.5kg then progress with weight.

5) Dips – 3 x 10

6) Weighted Russian twist – 2 x 10 @ 12.5kg DB.

Thursday: Push press
1 x 10 with just the Olympic bar
1 x 5 @ 30kg
1 x 3 @ 42.5kg
5 x 3 @ 55kg

Alternate standing dumbbell shoulder press:
Aim 8 x 8 @ 12.5kg
Achieved 5 x 8 then 7/6/6 @ 12.5kg
Goal is to achieve 8 x 8 @ 12.5kg then progress with weight.

Side raises – 4 x 10 @ 7.5kg (10/10/8/8)

Front raises – 4 x 10 @ 10kg (10/10/8/8)

Rear delts – 3 x 10 @ 7.5kg

Upright row – 2 x 15 with 20kg plate

Chins (wide grip with band) – 10/10/9

Face pulls – 3 x 10

Saturday: Deadlifts
10 minute Warm up consisting of 5 minutes on stationary bike and mobility work.
1 x 10 with just the Olympic bar
1 x 5 @ 60kg
1 x 5 @ 100kg
1 x 2 @ 120kg
1 x 2 @ 142.5kg

Speed deadlifts (approaching each lift as though it is a personal best) – 8 x 3 @ 115kg

Stiff leg deadlifts (standing on a 10cm pad) – 3 x 8 @ 70kg

Bent over row – 3 x 8 @ 60kg

Underhand chins – Aiming for 3 x 8; Achieved 8/8/6

Good mornings (using Olympic bar) – 3 x 8 @ 60kg

Dorsal raises – 2 x 8 @ 10kg

My diet is tight, as always, it doesn’t matter if I’m preparing for the Womans Powerlifting World Championships or am taking things easy with my other half, I always eat well. Any sports person will tell you that adding too much fat out of contest season only makes it harder when the season returns.

Supplementation by Extreme Nutrition as always with Build & Recover post workout, Extreme Whey in the morning, Extreme Pro-6 at night time and both Extreme BCA-311 and Krevolution-X daily as instructed.

World Powerlifting Championships here I come!

So, this shit just got real – in 9 weeks time I will be competing for the WDFPF unequipped under 70kg World Powerlifting Championships!

A very good friend of mine and fellow Strength athlete, Worlds Strongest Man finalist Laurence Shahlaei, has helped me with my 10 week programme in preparation.

Here’s how the first week training for the WDFPF World Powerlifting Championships went…

Warm up & mobility work to begin.
Squats: 2 x 10 @ 80kg
Leg press 3 x 12 @ 200kg
Walking lunges 3 x 10 @ 2x20kg dumbells.
Superset leg ext 2 x 20 / 2 x 10 and leg curl 2 x 8-12.
Weighted plank: 30 seconds @ 25kg
30 seconds @ 10kg
30 seconds with no added weight = killer!

Bench: 2 x 10 @ 50kg
Paused bench press for 2 seconds at the bottom: 2 x 5 @ 50kg
Incline Bench 2 x 10 @ 40kg
DB shallow incline bench: 8 x 8 @ 15g DB.
Dips 3 x 10
After my bench session I did a short burst of interval rowing 30 seconds as fast as possible 30 rest for 6 minutes.
Press ups:
1 x 15 wide
1 x 10 narrow

Warm up & mobility work
1 x 2 @ 132.5kg
Speed deads 3 x 8 @ 107.5kg
Stiff leg deads 3 x 8 @ 70kg (I did these while standing on a mat as my weakest part of the deadlift movement is lifting the bar from the floor up to my knees, this helps to recruit & strengthen the required muscles in aid to improve my deadlift)
Bent over row (from the floor, fast and powerful) 3 x 8 @ 60kg
Good morning 3 x 8 @ 40kg (for this I usually use an Olympic bar however today I tried the safety bar, to be honest I did not like it, It put way too much strain on my lumbar spine so next session I will revert back to the Olympic bar)
Dorsal raises 2 x 8 @ 10kg

Push press 3 x 5 @ 50kg
Alternate standing dumbell shoulder press 8 x 8 @ 10kg
Seated side raises 4 x 10 @ 5kg
Over head dumbell press 2 x 20 @ 17.5kg
Triceps pushdown (cables/rope) 4 x 10
Front raises 4 x 10 @ 10kg
Woodchopper 2 x 10 with cables
Finishing off with interval rowing (see Monday)

I’m looking forward to my build up to the World Powerlifting Championships, it’s not everyday your given the opportunity to compete for a world title so I intend on getting my head down and giving it my all. Mind over matter!

My diet will remain tight, this is something I maintain all year round so it’s not something I need to alter as I prepare. My supplementation will remain the same with me using Extreme Nutrition products, Build & Recover, Pro-6, Krevolution-X and Glutamine Complex.

I will post the progression of my training sessions on a weekly basis with a few videos thrown in so please keep checking my blog here on the Extreme website. If you have and training, powerlifting or otherwise and/or diet related questions you would like to ask me please let me know.

I’m on instagram (Joanne.stanger) Facebook (Joanne Stanger) & Twitter (Jmarie_26).

Train sensible, stay healthy & be strong.


World Powerlifting Championships

Getting ready for the World Powerlifting Championships

Tyre Flipping Bug Bites!

Well I have managed to get to a grand old total of 47 years old without the desire to try tyre flipping. I mean a TYRE, you know they are on cars or the ones here at Evolution Gym were probably part of a tractor or digger at some time earlier in their life before ending up in our car park!

Why oh why would I want to try tyre flipping? To see what may be hiding underneath it? To see what is printed on the other side! Or just for the pure hell of it and to see if I could?

For years I have watched the strongmen and women on television and at our gym (http://www.evolutiongym.co.uk) in the car park tyre flipping, walking like a farmer with a big weight in each hand, moving giant marbles (atlas stones) and even pulling cars, vans and lorries across the car park and I’ve even seen them pulling an air-plane on television in the Worlds Strongest Man competition!

I have always been in awe of their physical strength and prowess but not at all inquisitive as to whether I could do it, not until now that is. Body building and strength training/sports are kind of like Formula 1 and Rallying, the same basic principles apply and you need to train using very similar techniques but with different end results and different goals.

One of our fellow Extreme Nutrition athletes is Worlds Strongest Man Finalist, Laurence Shahlaei. He is huge and crazily strong but fit at the same time which belies his size. Loz also holds records in Indoor Rowing too and is one of the fastest men in the world on an indoor rowing machine!

BUT, this is the year the bug has hit me and tyres have began to stare at me seductively…..

rachael hayes natural athlete

dfac pro bodybuilder rachael hayes

Gainz, off season training and deload week

    Off season training and deload week..

So today I weighed in at 63kg!! That is 4kg heavier than I was in January when I weighed in at just 59kg for the weightlifting event at the Crossfit Athlete Games.

It has been a long process trying to put on weight but I am finally starting to make some solid gains to get bigger and stronger for the 2016 CrossFit Games Open.

I made it to the Athlete Games semi final in January but only just, as one of the events was a CrossFit total event. It tested 1RM strict shoulder press, back squat and deadlift. I hit a PB on all 3 lifts with a 45kg strict shoulder press, 102.5kg back squat and 125kg deadlift but it was the only event where I finished in the ‘bottom half’ of the results table.

Erin - Clean + Jerk

My coach and husband, Dan, made a decision there and then to prioritise my raw strength over the summer after narrowly missing out on regionals this year. My weightlifting numbers aren’t too bad in comparison to my bodyweight but that is all speed under the bar and good technique. This is the time of year when my crossfit off season training allows me to increase my calorific intake and push for greater weight in my training.

Erin 1

My current clean is 91kg – I can’t stand any more than that (I can get it off the floor and drop under it into a front squat position but my legs aren’t strong enough to stand any more than 91kg yet). I’ve been on “operation bubble butt” since January to get my glutes fired and help me to get out of that squat and also been on limited conditioning/cardio work to build strength.

I’m on a de-load this week which is frustrating for any athlete, especially when you don’t feel as though you need it. However I understand the reasons behind it and its importance at this point in my strength cycle. 

Erin Bonett performing a clean and jerk

Clean and jerk, Erin Bonett at the Crossfit Athlete Games

My gymnastics is suffering though – handstand press ups and strict pull ups are feeling harder than they were a couple of months ago. But I have to expect that – you can’t have your paleo cake and eat it!!!

Looking forward to some 1RM testing next week at our gym, www.crossfitiom.com. Anyone wanting to get involved is more than welcome to stop by and see what it is all about.

Until then I’ll be fuelling my performance with Extreme Nutrition.

Standing Push Press Improvement

Standing Push Press Improvement

    You know when you walk in to the gym and you’ve had ‘one of those days’? Well, today was one of those days for me. Work was hectic and I was feeling the effects from yesterday’s benching session so was sore, tired and wishing I was heading home to my sofa and my cats!

    I felt lethargic, I had very little motivation and all I wanted to do was go home, sit down and relax. Where would that have got me? Absolutely nowhere! I’m glad I didn’t listen to the lazy side of me as I had one of my best standing push press sessions yet which just goes to show what you can do if you put your mind to it.

    I’m not sure if you remember the standing push press improvement challenge I set myself not so long ago? I wanted to overhead press 60kg….here’s how today’s session went…

    1 — 10 with just the Olympic bar to warm up
    1 x 8 @ 32.5kg
    1 x 4 @ 40kg
    2 x 5 @ 45kg
    1 x 5 @ 50kg
    2 x 1 @ 60kg!

    I smashed the target I had challenged myself to beat and it felt damned good! I’m lucky to have an awesome friend in Worlds Strongest Man finalist Laurence Shahlaei, he gave me the kick up the arse and support I needed today to believe I could do it, so I owe him one because without knowing I was training with Laurence it would have been easy to miss this session and it’s results.

    I had to do it with 2 x 10kg plates on each end of the bar as I can’t get my head around doing it with a 20kg plate on each end. Random tricks your mind plays on you eh?

    Anyway, my next stop off on the way to world domination is going to be 70kg!

    Jo Stanger.

    Jo squat with logo WEB

212 Chicago Pro – the day arrives!

212 Chicago Pro – the day arrives!

    Hi all I have been back in UK now for 4 days after competing in my first 212 IFBB Pro Class in Chigaco where I placed 8th.

    Some people may see being placed 8th as a disappointment, however, I look at this as a major learning opportunity having never had to make a weight class in my whole bodybuilding career. I actually made the weight 1 day out and was fluctuating between weight every hour, then on the actual day of the show I weighed 210lb which meant I made the weight sparing 2lb.

    I felt good at this weight however feel I could have filled out somewhat more but I will learn from this and move forward as I know I can make weight easily enough, this allows me to adjust my prep further for my next IFBB Pro Show in which I will need to make the weight once again.

    People may think that flying is big problem when trying to make weight class. Before setting out I was little worried about this but coped well using high levels of Vitamin C and drinking a litre of water every hour throughout the flight and I didn’t consume any carbs on the flight, only protein, coming from turkey and lean beef mince. I made sure I had flight socks and kept them on throughout the flight and kept moving when possible even doing some bodyweight calf raises and squats.

    With the high levels of water and Vitamin C I was at the toilet every 20-40 minutes of the flight. I had my last meal 45 minutes before landing meaning I had 3 hours to get hold of food and water upon landing in America. As soon as I landed I jumped straight into a taxi requesting to be taken to the nearest store or grocer to purchase 2 days worth of food and water.

    Only unfortunate thing regarding the flight is that I had my tub of Extreme Pro-6 taken off me going through customs, which I was not happy with to be honest!

    Once water and food is sorted I went on 45 minute walk outside to get bearings and also to start removing any excess water gained from flight. From here I also worked on posing and did 2 gym sessions on upper body only, no legs.

    As I was depleted enough there was no reason to carb deplete any further, everything food wise was much the same except for introducing carbs back in by 40 grams with every meal.

    Hunni Chicago 2

    Hunni Chicago 1

    Hunni Chicago

Bodypower Expo

Bodypower Expo 2015

    So for the past few weeks ive had my hands full with my new born son, Kaal-El. He’s been bad with colic, reflux and constipation so I’ve not had a second to blog, the baby is growing very fast and I’m enjoying him being a tiny baby, but this weekend was a bit of a break away from the children and work at Bodypower Expo with Extreme Nutrition.

    I love working at the expos as working with Extreme athletes is like working with your great friends we have a laugh and enjoy what we do. I couldn’t do all 3 days this year and I was only there Saturday and Sunday but we were still busy working and having pictures taken. The famous Beattie hot pants were not out this year but will be back in force next year!

    Jo S, Hyde + Lynsey

    This year we had a few new athletes join us one of which was the strongman Laurence Shahlei, what a gentle giant and a lovely kind man he stood all day doing pictures and for a big bloke it must of been quite hard on him.

    Emma, Jo S + Lynsey

    The Extreme team are great and we all have a great laugh although we all suffer with sore feet and broken backs its always worth it. We all go out after Bodypower Expo and have food and a few drinks to relax before the next day and oh we have a laugh with a few sore heads the next day but back on the stand bright and early with strong coffee!

    With the power of social media one status posted by me for tea or coffee if people are passing the Extreme Nutrition stand worked a treat, so thank you to all that came with drinks for us!

    So the Sunday went smoothly all the new products and the new re branded products were received well by those at Bodypower Expo. For me now is to get back to the gym and rebuild my physique and get back on that stage next yr will be blogging my training and videos up soon.


IFBB 212 Chicago-Pro last stages!

IFBB 212 Chicago Pro last stages are here!

    Well everyone, here we are at the final part of my prep for the IFBB 212 Chicago-Pro contest and yes, you have seen right I am doing the 212lb class with the same aim of gaining a Mr. Olympia qualification.

    I was fortunate to get asked by Extreme Nutrition to do Body Power this year behind the stand and it was bigger and better than ever. To me its the best sporting expo in the UK and I love being on the stand.

    Unfortunately after the Expo I became quite ill and needed to take 5 days off training however having started my prep early it did not have negative impact because I was ahead of where I needed be at that time. This only goes to show that it is far better to start your preparation early and be ahead of where you need to be in case of anything like this coming along and throwing a spanner in the works which could render all your previous prep work useless if you are cutting it fine or it can mean you are forced to take drastic measures which will not reflect well on your physique when it’s your time to walk out on stage.

    My current body weight is 97kg which is 1kg off from contest weight having manipulated any water yet. To say I am happy with this prep which Extreme have helped is under statement so am hoping this is the year it happens for me and Extreme.

    Training wise I have still maintained lifting decent iron in good form for 12 – 15 reps however have added some drop sets into the mix.

    My main change is my diet and carbohydrate choice is now restricted to only 3, white potato, oats and rice. Protein has been fish n turkey with Extreme Whey between meals. My treat after training is Extreme Build n Recover.

    I will be adding my prep details to this and how my last few days look before the show.


Total Warrior or Total Wipeout

Total Warrior – or Total Wipeout?!!?

    Total Warrior was my second foray into obstacle racing took place last weekend with a 12km in Leeds. I was quite excited about it apart from the electrocution and freezing ice dip. For the two weeks prior I had a number of chiropractor visits and lots of back issues but no excuses, I was up for the challenge.

    On the day Jon Clark and I arrived at Braham Park to a well organised car park and registration set up. Soon we were kitted out with headbands, tattoos, timing chips and numbers. The staff were very jolly (it was a little drizzly) and set us all up for a fun event. After writing our numbers on our headbands and putting them on we felt a little Ramboesque and retired to the car to wait for the rest of the team.


    The team was made up of my work colleagues, 7 of us in total we met in nervous anticipation and headed to the start line.


    To get us in the mood we entered the starting area through a small tunnel and were encouraged to get into chanting Total Warrior! Total Warrior! As we agreed on tactics, that is that we go as a team, we were off. Yellow gas canisters were released and it was a little like coughing and spluttering our way through smog.

    A false sense of security was created by the first kilometre being downhill, with all the people, testosterone, excitement and nerves it was a giddy first stretch. The first obstacle was an extremely steep hill which we had to run up and then down three times, this got the blood pumping and the quads burning. It was already apparent that our team had splinter groups, a clique within a clique. I brought up the rear happy to be keeping up with 6 blokes with my dodgy leg (in fact dodgy body!).

    The first proper mud obstacle took its toll on Superman (Jon Clark) as it relieved him of his shoe;
    Tip 1 – do not wear elastic laces in a mud run – great for triathlon transitions rubbish for keeping the shoe on.

    Jon had to delve up to his armpit in mud to retrieve said shoe, it started the giggling off then and I don’t think we stopped until the the end.

    The Fab Four (as we now refer to ourselves) stuck together all the way round, we conquered every obstacle as a team and I absolutely loved it. The other runners were equally as awesome as us. It was great to help someone you didn’t know over a wall or a mud bank to have the favour returned at the next unscalable blockage. At times we walked, at times we nearly cried (well I did) but to complete it was brilliant.


      Highlights and lowlights

    My dreaded ice water was in fact a blessing, when you were hot and tired a slowdown and cool off was welcome. The only downside was the colour and consistency of the water none of the crystal clear iced water I was imaging in but more a gloopy soup of very cold, very dirty slush. The dunk under was accompanied by a tightly held nose and firmly closed lips to stop any of the manky liquid being taken on board.




    I loved all the mud, wading through it, crawling on it, under barbed wire, over mud moguls it was the most fun. At all mud obstacles you heard screams, expletives, laughter and most of all a bunch of humans enjoying mud together. I haven’t done that since I was a kid and you know what? It brilliant fun.

    The walls and A frames were great, a mixture of brute force and ignorance meets Krypton factor!! As a foursome we were monumental in our teamwork and ingenuity, the overhang – no problem, the shocker – child’s play, the tunnels – a doddle.

    On the other hand, running up the last hill to the monkey bars I almost lost the will to live. I was so tired and yet wanted so much not to hold up the guys.


    My lowlight, but probably the most fun, was the monkey bars, the ladder felt never ending and as I neared the last two rungs my fingers would not close around it, my grip was going but I was soooooo close. Everyone was shouting encouragement – I could not fail – oooops spoke too soon! As I stared at my hand willing it to hold on I watched as, in slow motion, my fingers opened one by one and I dropped like the proverbial brick into another puddle of mud suspension ( you couldn’t call it water!). This time I was not so lucky with avoiding I taking in the liquid and it seemed like I was under for ages. As I dragged myself out of the pool we had one more obstacle to the end, a ramp like construction with a rope half way up – I stormed it, if I do say so myself. At the top when the Marshall said you’ve done it I could have kissed him.


    The end was rewarded with a beer, a bandana and a protein bar! The beer is still on he shelf if anyone wants it but I ate the bar and proudly sported the bandana. The obligatory event T-shirt is one I will wear often to remind me of the fun.

    Tip 2 – never give up being a kid, enjoy the moment and do an obstacle race at least once with someone, anyone they don’t need to be close friends but you will rekindle that infectious laughter and happiness that comes with play.


    Total Warrior – or Total Wipeout? We think it was a total success and are now looking forward to next year!

    Rachael Hayes DFAC Pro Bodybuilder

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