OK! Here’s is part one of the Q&A.
When I posted last night, I thought I’d get like five or ten questions… but when I woke up this morning there were hundreds, haha. Amazing. I DID NOT MANAGE TO ANSWER ALL OF THEM TODAY! So sorry! However! All questions will be answered and part two will be my first youtubevideo! Hope no one gets angry or offended or sad for having to wait a few more days. It will be up on friday, I promise. Be patient my friends!
So here we go:
Q: How did you get into lifting? How old where you and how old are you now? How long did it take you to lift as heavy as you do? And did it at first come naturally/enjoyable to you?
A: I’ve trained for about four years (started going to the gym in March 2013). I was twentythree and I’m twentyseven now (my birthday is in July). A personal trainer helped me at the gym I trained at back then. She helped me for a few months before I started training at my local lifting club (in August 2013). After I learned proper technique, lifting became quite natural and enjoyable very fast (I liked it from day one). Other than having very beneficial angles for powerlifting and good muscular response, I’ve never been scared of adding weight, more like I’ve always chased the numbers and I think I was naturally aggressive from the start as well.
In January 2014 I did my first meet and a year and a half later I competed internationally for the first time, winning a bronze medal at the World championships in June 2015.
Q: How much did you squat and deadlift when you first started? How long did it take you to reach 100kg?
A: I think I did 60kg first time I ever tried squats. And the same in deadlifts. I think it took me about a month to reach 100kg. Four months to squat 130kg and deadlift 140kg.
Q: What’s your diet like? How much do you eat when your weight is stable?
A: I eat regular meals with carbs such as rice, potatoes, pasta, oats, etc. Fat from butter, olive oil, avocado, nuts and animals. Protein from fish, chicken and red meat. (Usually I avoid pork and I preferably buy my meat from a local eco-friendly farmer that my family buys big quantities from.) I eat lots of raw vegetables and green leaves, sometimes just for snack because onomnom. I drink milk and I eat some supplements like proteinbars and, proteinpowder when I need to eat something ‘on the go’. I always liked cooking so I make lunch and dinner almost everyday. I usually skip breakfast (not always), call it intermittent fasting if you will, but I compensate the calories later in the day by eating more before and after training. Normally I like to eat two really large meals and one smaller. Other days I just eat constantly the whole day haha. Depends on what my body craves. Protein intake is always high though, about 2gram per kg bodyweight.
EDIT: Obviosuly I eat other snacks than vegetables, haha. I love snacks.
Q: Do you have rest day?
A: Sure! I rest whenever I feel like it, or when I feel that my body or mind needs it, which is usually about three days a week.
Q: What’s your job?
A: Currently I’m a university student. I study social work.
Q: When is your next meet?
A: The European championships in Denmark. I compete on friday 17th, 10am local time.
Q: Before a big lift/ PR attempt, what do you think about? How do you focus? How do you dial in and get mentally prepared? What is your thought process approaching the deadlift and squat? What thoughts allow you to focus on the movement and not the weight?
I try to keep my mood light and my thoughts positive. It demands less energy and helps to associate lifting with happy thoughts. In my head I’m going “lightweight lightweight lightweight!!!” and I try to be as aggressive (focused/intense/motivated) as possible. No room for anything else. Aggressiveness blocks out all other thoughts. It’s a passionate and excited feeling.
Q: Whats going on in your head before a lift at a meet? What are your thoughts for calming yourself/getting fired up?
A: Before a meet, I’m always terribly nervous, lots of anxiety, just trying to stay positive, focusing on everything but lifting and what is about to happen. I just want it to be over and done with. And I think about all the food I’m gonna eat after weigh in. I don’t need to think about anything special to get myself fired up, more the opposite!
Q: What kind of accessory work do you do?
A: All kinds during off season (the months after Worlds) Some good ones that I do consistently over the year are militarypress (shoulders), front squats (back and shoulders), flyes (pecs), dragonflags (abs), narrow grip bench, sometimes dips, sometimes lateral raises. My weak point has always been chest and shoulders, so that’s usually my main focus for accessory work.
Q: Who writes your program? Do you have a coach?
A: I do it myself, but my coach, Arvid Lind (also my partner), gives me input, feedback, pointers, watches the process, gives directions, lets me know if I need to change something or add something. Sometimes tell me to train less, usually never to train more. I always decide in the end, but I’ve learned by now that he’s usually (pretty much always) right, haha.
My training is autoregulated so we decide each day what the training will be like, but we divide it into blocks and smaller cycles.
Q: How long does your average cycle last?
A: A training block is usually two-three months, and the cycles within that block are usually about six weeks.
Thank you!! <3
Q: Do you think that you will reach the 200kg squat mark ?
A: Yes I do but I don’t know when.
Q: Do you currently have any injuries?
A: I’ve felt pain in my right knee for some weeks, but I’ve been consistent with rehab and lowered the intensity so it’s already feeling better.
Q: How many hours do you sleep per day?
A: As many as I can. Usually ten. If it’s any less than nine on a hard training-week I’m a wreck.
Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: When I train it’s pretty lame music, usually the stuff you hear on the radio, eheh.
Otherwise I like most kinds of soul, RnB, jazz, house, tropical, pop, some rock..
Q: Do you have a life goal number when it comes to squat PR?
A: 3x body weight would be cool.
Q: What’s your favorite or go-to hip mobility routine/secret? Ever have problems with tight psoas muscles when squatting frequently. Solutions?
A: I did have this problem actually, two years ago. I had it for some months, it was a real pain (in the hips). It went away after regular stretching and never came back. Don’t know if that will help you, but if it doesn’t, perhaps a physiotherapist can give better advice!
Q: What are your long term strength goals?
A: To avoid injuries and to stay passionate and live a happy life.
Q: How often do you check 1 rep max?
Whenever I feel like it, but not as often nowadays, because since my weights are getting bigger, the risk of injury obviously increases if I max out too often.
A: How do you warm up for 1 rep max..
Very little. Only a few lifts. For example, in deadlift: bar x10, 60kg x8, 100kg x3, 140kg x1, 170kg or 180×1 and then the top single.
Q: Do you also like martial sports?
A: I want to try boxing… 🙂 Maybe I’ll like it, don’t know yet!
Q: How many hours a day do you train and how many days a week?
A: I usually train for about three hours, four or five times a week.
Q: How do you structure your training? How often do you squat deadlift and benchpress per week? How many days a week do you train and for how long per session?
A: I squat, usually, two-three times a week (sometimes more), and deadlift twice (but never more than twice). I benchpress usually three-four times a week.
How I structure my training, more specifically, is going to be a long, elaborate blog post, in a close future. Stay tuned 😉
Q: Hi Isabella! Four questions:
1) I’m having trouble with stagnation in squat and deadlift. I train 4 times a week, my best pull is 210kg and squat is 120kg. Do you have any tips for programming training?
2) How much protein should I eat every day?
3) What supplements do you recommend? I use creatine, EAA, d-vitamin and c-vitamin.
4) You best tips for technique in squat and deadlift.
5) What do you eat and/or drink before training? Thank you!
A: 1) Way too hard for me to answer in a short reply like this! 🙂 Best thing might be if you found a lifting gym and/or someone who could coach you? Or maybe check out some online coaches (preferably IPF-lifters) or well tried online programs like sheiko or russian squat routine. I’m not saying any of this is the “right way”, but since you feel like you haven’t been getting results, it’s usually best to get consistent feedback from someone. There is no short answer! Good luck though, and DM me if you have more questions.
2) I’m not a dietitian but I guess approximately 1g-2,5g per kg bodyweight ..?
3) Good choice of supplements, you really don’t need anything else. 🙂
4) Being aggressive, using core/bracing, proper breathing and filming every lift.
5) Lots of food, sometimes Resorb (water retainig)
Q: What do you think about supramaximal loading? Like pin squats above parallel, or rack pulls? Are they beneficial? Do you incorporate them?
A: Could be beneficial, depending on your purpose. I’ve mostly used supramaximal loading for mentally preparing myself for bigger weights, also for getting muscular hardness/tightness in the body (lack of better word). I know some use it for improving technique in certain parts of the lift, and I’ve done deadlifts from blocks (just below the knee) for lockout, but it’s been a while since I incorporated it in my training.
Q: Favourite accessory lift for Deadlifts?
A: Definitely squat 🙂 For some people with trouble in the start, they could incorporate leg press with a dead start. Maybe deadlifts from below the knee for lockout.
Q: Myth or truth, do you believe weightlifting shoes enable you to lift more? Also which do you recommend.
A: I suppose weightlifting shoes are good for people who want to do an olympic squat, and people who have limited flexibility in their tendons. Maybe if you have very strong quads and angles that benefit you doing doing olympoic squat instead of a more powerlifting lowbar squat, it could benefit you. I don’t know. I think a flat shoe is probably beneficial for you if your are squatting low bar and have the flexibility and isn’t built like I described above..
Q: What supplements do you take daily?
A: Vitamin C, protein (bars, powder, pudding, whatevs I have at home).
Q: Do you do any specific exercises for abs and if so, how often?
A: I do dragonflags and toes to bar,sometimes the plank with weight-plates on my lower back. I train abs a couple of times a week, two or three I think….
Q: What’s your mobility routine like before a session?
A: I usually focus on mobility after the session is finished. I foam roll or use a hard ball, strech, do lots of circulation exercises for blood flow in lower back, shoulders and quads.
Q: Are you afraid of injuries and how heavy lifting is going to affect you in the future?
A: Of course, I am always afraid I might get injured (not during a lift or during training, but I mean, in general). I’m trying to avoid it to the best of my abilities. But at the same time, I’ve chosen to train as an elite level athlete and by doing that, I need to accept that training is gonna take a bit of a toll on my body. But it’s what I’m passionate about and I’ve set my goals this high, so… it is what it is.
Q: What’s your drive in your training? What keeps you going?
A: Very difficult question 🙂 There are a lot of psychological mechanisms behind what I do and why, I suppose. Maybe I can write a longer blog post about it some day!
Q: What’s your goal this year and on a three year-plan?
A: My goal this year is to to my best at the european championships in March and World championships in June. In 2019 the World Championships will be in Sweden, so I’m also pretty excited about that! 🙂
Q: What’s your athletic background?
A: None, actually. I was very out of shape when I started lifting in 2013. 😀
Q: Are you doing Wods/Metcon sometimes ?
A: Is that crossfit?
Q: Some tips to stay injury free?
A: Train consistently, keep a good mobility routine, listen to your body and rest when it needs to, sleep as much as you can and fuel it with lots of proper food.
Q: How much is the difference in weights if you are alone in the gym without music as opposed to a crowded room, high energy and lots focus on you?
A: Wow, huge difference! I don’t really like to train heavy on my own. I always do better if people are watching and cheering 😀
Q: What are your thoughts about cardio? Is it necessary? Do you do it?
A: Looking guilty as I’m typing this….I could do it more. But yes, cardio is absolutely good for you and yes, it will most likely improve your ability to recover after a strength session. It would also probably improve your ability to do high-reps/AMRAP-sets (as many reps as possible).
I like the rowing machine 🙂 I do less cardio closer to meets, because then I need to train with more specificity than during off season.
Q: What is your opinion on zercher squats? Would you put them in an advanced PL program? Thank you very much
A: Never tried! No idea!But probably not 🙂
Q: I get dizzy when I deadlift/squat many reps. Why is that, what can I do about it?
A: I’m sorry, but I have no idea :/
Q: What is your WILKS, what are your PR’s?
A: My current wilks is 477,4. My PRs in competition is squat 188kg, bench 97,5 and deadlift 200kg. In the gym I’ve squatted 192,5, benched 102,5 and deadlifted 215 kg.
Q: Have you considered doing a live stream?
A: Not really but now that you mention it, why not!
Q: How do you train your grip?
A: I’ve always had a very naturally strong grip. Maybe you could try holding on, on your last rep in the last set, every time you deadlift? Perhaps rackpulls? Also mentally getting in there, really focusing on keeping a hard grip could help! My experience with this issue is limited though, I’m afraid..
Q: What is your height and bodyweight?
A: 165 cm (5’4) and 72kg (158 lbs)
Q: How long it takes u to deadlift 200kgs? 😁
A: Two years or something like that 🙂
Q: Do you do box squats or stop squats?
A: Nope, never tried.
Q: What is your favorite pizza?
A: With parma and mozzarella!
Q: How do you adjust to low bar squat from a high bar position?
A: Good question! Maybe try and ease into it by only going lowbar on your working sets? But I’m not sure… I felt A LOOOOOT of pain on the back of my shoulder when I started doing low bar.. It helped a lot to do a lot of blood flow exercises for that area…… other than that I just sorta made the switch.
Q: What or how is a good way to warm-up the body, back and hips before doing Squats?
A: If I’m doing squats I warm up with squats. 😀 I could probably be much better with this..
Q: How often do you think… “screw it, I don’t want to train today..”?
A: Surprisingly often. Every week or so. If I feel like that, I just skip it, haha. I don’t force myself to do anything.
Q: How many tons do you lift on an average session?
A: Impossible to say, the weights, sets and number of reps vary so much.
Q: What motives you when you don’t feel at your best or you have other important things that you still want to prioritise? Also have you ever thought about starting a YouTube channel?
A: I give myself some slack. If I’m not motivated, there’s probably a reason for that and I try to get behind that reason and figure it out instead of forcing myself to do something.
I always prioritise my family, though, that’s just the way it is. 🙂
I’ve been wanting to start a youtube channel for a long time! Next part of this QandA will be in a video. Promise!
Q: Do you regret posting this yet?
A: Boy, I did not expect this many questions. I’m thrilled though!! I can’t believe so many of you wanted to know so much ! Awesome questions and super motivating! But seriously, I have actually only answered about half so far, and it’s getting late in the night. I’m sorry to keep some of you waiting, but how about I answer the rest in a youtube-video to compensate?
Love you all !
Take care and good night!