Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dec 30, 2010

Last post of the year.

Sling off tomorrow and in anticipation of this momentous event I spent half of today out of the sling :-) Well I didn't want to jump straight in the deep end.  Anyhoo after a while I was glad to rest it in the sling again.

Range of movement is poor and painful, but expected I guess.  Next week I start physio and that I'm looking forward to, with some apprehension.  At least I'll have a better idea then of my prognosis and maybe better informed about how long my will be.

Driving myself to training tomorrow in the 4wd 'cos its an auto.  Sat in the Honda today and started the engine for the first time in 4 weeks....  purrrrrrr.  So from next week I can get back to training 4 times a week. Mon, Wed and Fri will be variations of leg, lower back and abs while on Sat I'll start doing some single arm, upper back, shoulder exercises and more abs.  That's the plan, gotta have a plan.

New year's eve will be a quiet one at home, on pager....   Had a little think about resolutions, not that I',\m all that good at keeping to them - ha! still haven't learned to swim!  One promise I need to make and keep is to eat more veggies....  somehow, sometime this year, veggies have disappeared from my plate making only the guest appearance now and then.  2011 - the year of eating veggies!

When I look back over 2010 I see a year full of success, goals kicked but tempered with the loss of my Dad. To the future, 2011, full of promise and challenges - Bring it on.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dec 22, 2010

Into the third week now. Arm is aching daily just from being in the sling. Even doing the elbow flexion exercises don't alleviate the pain and sleeping has once again become troublesome. Got so bad yesterday I resorted to taking one of the painkillers that I had left over from when I was discharged. Should have taken two and slept....

Training is a lot more positive tho'.  Have doubled the weight in the belt squat already after only 3 training sessions.

Belt box squat up to working up to triples at 2 plates + 10.
Single leg squats 6sets/8 reps each side
Dumbell squats off blocks
Sled pulls


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dec 15,2010

Now into my 2nd week of disablement and finding it quite frustrating but at the same time understand that its necessary.  Fortunately I have been able to return to training twice a week, Mon & Fri mornings.  At E.S.P. I have a number of options like belt squats, back attack, glute/ham, hypers, power runner, single leg squats, sled work and as my recovery progresses I'll have the use of safety bar and cambered bar for squats.

MG says this could be a blessing in disguise and that I can use this time to really work on squat technique - particularly with the belt squats.

Started out with just one plate and struggling to use good form MG confined me to the belt squat for 40 minutes....  After this I moved on to back attack and 6 sets of machine good mornings then finished with a couple of laps of sled pulls.  By that same evening I was already feeling it in my quads and by Saturday morning I was near crippled :-)  But I was back the following Monday for more of the same...

I also made it back into the office this week, Monday after training,  and should be in again on Friday. Other than that I am working from home - housebound and going nuts....   Whilst I enjoy working  from home once or twice a week is about as much as I can bear!  But that's how it will be until January when I get my independence back...  or at least be able to drive again....


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Dec 7, 2010

Overdue for an update.

Everything went as well as could be expected and I'm surprised not to be in as much pain post operative as I had expected.  Or perhaps my pain tolerance is such that I don't notice it now after being in pain for so long already.

Surgery was done under sedation with a nerve block, not as heavily under as total anesthesia but i don't remember anything until the very end when I kinda woke up and saw the blue screen still covering my shoulder but was still pretty out of it. 

Good news:  Bicep tendon did not require ‘relocation’ to the humorous.  Shorter recovery period.

Bad news:  Where the labrum had torn I had worn the cartilage down to the bone – very bad. Had to shave the bone and stretch labrum across and anchor with screws and stitches. This requires longer immobilization to allow scar tissue to fill in the gap 

Was overnight in hospital with plenty of pain relief when the nerve block started to wear off.

Home the next day with some heavy duty pain killers - Endone (Oxycodone). Which kept me sleeping a fair bit and slept the first few nights in the recliner which was more comfortable than being propped up in bed.

Last couple of nights now tho' I've managed to get back into my bed with some extra pillows and sleeping pretty well.  And I'm off the pain killers.

Had my post op review yesterday and stitches removed. Dr. Hoy showed me some great photo’s inside my shoulder both before and after, including the repair! When I get them from Dr. Hoy at my next review I'll scan some in.  

Anyhoo, I will be in the sling 24/7 until Dec 31. I've put a countdown at the top of the page.  And I am not allowed to take it off to drive.  Even in an auto.  Ughhh  housebound!   Physio wont start until Jan 5th  and I’ve been warned it will be very stiff, however once the physio starts Dr Hoy wants me go hard at it.   For now, I am  allowed to externally rotate the arm, if I keep my elbow tucked in – this means I can type two handed  - This also means I am back to work today – working from home...


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November 24, 2010

With under a week to go until the shoulder surgery I've almost gotten back up to speed with training. I'm hoping this is good indicator that a few weeks off won’t be too detrimental to my overall plan for next year.  Realistically I won’t compete until Nationals slated for sometime in July with the main event being World Masters in Canada at the end of September.

Sat Max Bench:
Floor press
60x5 x4
Upper back

(only 2nd session back)
Snatch up to 25kg triples x4
Clean&Jerk up to 35kg triples x4
Front squats 50x5 x4

Monday's max squat:

Reverse band squat. (half suit except for the 180's)
100x5, 140x3, 160x3, 170x2, 180x1, 180x1, 140x5

2nd 180 was pretty lame and decidedly shallow and is about 20kg under my best.

Good morning machine
20 x12, 27.5 x10 x3
Single leg squat
8kg x10 x4
Barbell rollouts  8x4
GH situps 12x4

This morning (Wed) = Last bench session for a while.

Straight weight bench press 40x5, 50x5
Off foam (to reduce range of motion) 60x3, 70x3 x4
Machine row (supine grip) 25kg 10x4
Wide pulldowns 80 10x4
Dumbbell row 15 8x4

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nov 11, 2010

So I've been back for over a week now and the trip to Europe seems like it was just a dream.  What a wonderful dream.  I will return one day, I'd love to see more of Austria and Switzerland, particularly in the winter and France, well France at any time.

Back to reality now as I return to training and rediscover how bad my shoulder really is.  What I thought was a pec injury just before Worlds now seems more likely to be a neck strain, scalene (which attaches to the first and second rib) or something else related under the collarbone. Its somewhat better after the 'rest' but bad beds ad pillows on the trip kept aggravating it.

Had my post comp review with the surgeon and now going ahead with the debridement, subscap repair and bicep tenodesis on November 29, after Leah and Andrew's wedding.  Had hoped the Tenodesis would not be necessary but the Doc thinks it will be so he's scheduled it to be done and only if by miracle its not so bad he wont do it.  Recovery will be long and slow, 4 weeks in a sling, followed by loads of physio.  Hopefully start some strength training after 3 months and ready compete in time for Nationals in July and World Masters again in October in Canada.

Other dramatic news int he IPF is that the weight classes will change from January 1st 2011.  What does t his mean? Well my recently acquired National records will be 'retired', new record standards will be created and records will start all over again. On one hand it means my record can never be broken but on the other hand the 200kg open record that I wanted next will now ave to be a new record - not quite the same. 

New weight classes:
Women: up to 43 kg (Sub-Junior/Junior); 47 kg; 52 kg; 57 kg; 63 kg; 72 kg; 84 kg; +84 kg

Men: up to 53 kg (Sub-Junior/Junior); 59 kg; 66 kg; 74 kg; 83 kg; 93 kg; 105 kg; 120 kg; +120 kg

My weight class is gone and at 67kg I now have to decide whether to 'skinny up' and compete under 63kg or 'fatten up' and come in near 72kg.  Realistically I'd need to be 73kg off season or 64kg for the lighter division.  Either way I'm half way between which is not a good place to be and either way both custom suits are not going to be a good fit.

Probably wont make any decisions until I see what the new qualifying totals / grading scales will be.  


Thursday, October 07, 2010

October 7th 2010

My results from IPF Masters Worlds:

Weighed in at 66.41kg

Squat 150kg, 162.5kg failed depth, 162.5kg failed depth
Bench 85kg, 90kg, 92.5kg (competiton PB)
Deadlift 180kg, 190kg (competiton PB) 195kg (competition PB, Australian Masters Record)
Total 437.5kg  (Competition PB, Australian Masters Record)

Silver medal for each of the squat, bench and deadlift and sliver medal overall total.

Apart from the crap squat it was a good comp for me.  Happy with my result although missed out on my Elite 1 ranking by 2.5kg !  But on WILKS points I am currently the No.1 Lifter in Australia - just.......

Now off travelling Europe.  Have been to Prague, Berlin and Brussels.  Currently in London for a few days before setting off on the tour back in Europe.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

September 25, 2010

Out of time!!  Still packing....   Gotta go...

Likely no posts while I'm away unless I happen on an internet cafe. 

Will twitter an update to my facebook when I can.

Wish me luck.

See you, bye...  xox

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sept 11, 2010

What can I say?  Severely pissed at myself.  Hurt my pec last weekend and its just not getting better.  I don't think its anything serious like a tear, there doesn't seem to be any evidence of that but despite the ice and anti-inflamms its just not healing.

This morning at training, even with the shirt on it cained! Couldn't get the bar anywhere near as close to touching as last week.  On the positive side, my shoulder isn't hurting. And....   my new deadlift suit arrived.  Yay!  25 mins to get it on, it's tight as!  Feels like my old Inzer MaxDL when it was new - but even harder.  Hopefully with the straps up I wont be able to feel any pain in my pec.

Today is day 1 of a 7 day run on the P1 pager and its been off to a bad start with 4 pages today and still and hour to go :-(   On the other hand its my last week of P1 for 2 months.  2 weeks today I'm heading off to Europe, I am so looking forward to the holiday.  Pilsen Brewery tour is first on the list the day after I compete.

In a complete show of madness I've decided to do some spring cleaning.  Climbed the ladder of death and removed the 'garden ' that was growing in gutters and have booked a hard rubbish collection for tomorrow. So between P1's Madi and I have been taking stuff down to the road and / or throwing things off the cliff down to road.  Hehehehe.   But I think in the process of looking for stuff to throw out, I've actually made more mess!  I've also reluctantly decided to junk my home built computer, Franki, who was put together a few years ago from spare parts - my one and only venture into 'hardware'.

To dismantle Frankenstein (Franki) I thought it best to remove his hard drive, but do you think I could find a bloody screwdriver?  I know I have one....   but where?  You would think after how many years of being single, lets not count,  that I would have a decent toolkit. Nope.  I have a massive  chainsaw, a hardcore weed slasher even a hammer drill....  but the basic tools - na-da.

Tomorrow morning, before the pager kicks in, I'm off to Bunnings:

Screwdriver set - one with a ratchet (sp?)

What other basics do I need???

Who needs a man.....


Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30, 2010

Tough Love at ESP.........  

Me: Feels like I'm dumping the bar....
Martyn: Probably because you are....


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 24, 2010

The joys of breaking in a new shirt.....

Speed day -  60kg with  chains deloading at the bottom.

Self critique: A little unstable, but my arch is not collapsing nor are my shoulders rolling up.  Wrist are bending, didn't have my wraps done up properly.  No leg drive.  Third rep looks to be the best groove. Martyn and Chucky will no doubt be able to offer more constructive criticism.

Struggling to get my setup under the bar.  Need to practice setting up / adapt my setup to suit, probably best done as a separate exercise.  i.e. just getting under the bar in the shirt over and over.   The catch here is the sleeves are extremely tight, particularly the left one so by the third set my hand has gone numb and I cant hold the bar - and its a little bit painful, so leaving the shirt on any longer than necessary is....  ummm...   difficult.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Aug 21, 2010

Chaos! Turmoil!  

The only way to described it.  The tour that Robyn and I booked for Europe has been cancelled....arghhhhhh.  More on that later.....

Last weekend (14/15) was the CAPO Nationals, held here in (I'd like to say sunny Melbourne but that would be a lie).  It was a miserable cold and wet weekend - perfect for powerlifting!  I wasn't able to make it to the Saturday sessions when the women's divisions were being contested but I was able to get there to see ESP's Martyn Girvan and Shaun Bostock in the bench press comp on Sunday morning and stayed on to watch the novice and juniors where two more ESP guys, Luke Vella and Glen Krutli were competing.

Martyn put up a PB bench at 250kg and Bro a new National record with a massive 335kg bench.  Luke put up some impressive numbers at just 63.25kg bodyweight (lighter than me!)  185/115/225 for a 525 total and Glen, pushing thru a back injury, with a 210/150/240 for a straight 600 total at 102.45kg bodyweight.  So Luke pulls away just when I thought I was closing in on his squat - LOL.  The bar has been set high!

Other impressive lifts come from Coralie Weir from Queensland, trained by the awesome Frank Manning.  Coralie competed the day before in the 3 lift comp and then came back on the Sunday for the bench press and not only beat her previous days bench of 80kg but set a new world record at 85kg, not once but twice by taking a fourth attempt and beating her best with a massive 87.5kg - all at a tiny bodyweight of 52.65kg.  You bloody ripper Coralie!





Anyway, what I saw of the comp it was really well run.  Congrats to Steve Brown for putting together a great event with top class equipment both on the platform and out back in the warmup area.  It was so good to catchup with my CAPO friends that I haven't seen in a long while. 

But back to the disaster.....    Got a call from Tom at STA travel, after having picked up all the travel vouchers two weeks ago, with the bad news that the European Cosmopolitan Tour is not going ahead.  Fortunately, they have offered us the option of switching to the European Cavalcade Tour which is a couple of days shorter, but still covers most of the cities/countries that we wanted to visit.  Missing Barcelona and Vienna but adding in Sorrento and and optional day tour to the Isle of Capri both in Italy.  With a couple of extra days at the end before we head home, we've decided to take a trip up to Scotland and see the Edinburgh Castle as a bonus.

We've also finalized our 'gypsy' part of the trip.  ie. the time between Masters worlds finishing and the tour starting.  Train tickets and accommodation booked for travel from Pilzen to Prague and on to Berlin for 2 days, then overnight train to Brussels where we'll spend the day before boarding the Eurostar and going under the Channel to London where we have 4 days at leisure and then off on the whirlwind Europe tour.

All I need now is some spending money!  :-)


Friday, August 13, 2010

August 13, 2010

ESP Spotswood is officially open! 

Much to the relief of us regulars in the morning crew :-)  It was bit of shock having to go back to Apollo after having a taste of heaven at ESP.  Not that there's anything wrong with Apollo, but with a few more restrictions in a totally commercial gym it made our sessions a little more errrr... challenging :-)

With Masters Worlds looming, I had a chat with Martyn to discuss my goals and how to get the best out of the remaining few weeks.  Sticking with the normal template I can get 2 cycles in and a deload week. Focus will be heavily on technique and picking assistance work to bring up some lagging areas.  One such area being my upper back strength, for that Martyn has suggested I put in some extra training sessions specifically targeting upper back.  Noticeably on Wed morning I struggled with benching, not that my back was sore, but rather fatigued.  This is to be expected tho' for the next couple of weeks while my body adjusts to the extra workload.

Again today fatigue was obvious while trying to hold my back tight for squats - or should I say that my lack of upper back strength/tightness was obvious.  No doubt the extra training sessions will start to sort this out.

Technique will be key in getting a bigger squat for worlds and to that end I'm getting a bollocking over my poor squat technique after each set and just as I'm getting it right, there is that gentle reminder that today is a speed day.  Sheesh !  OK, so I'm slow when I concentrate.  Now, for some, this would probably make them just want to quit but the masochist in me is loving it...

In all seriousness tho', I'm actually being well guided and getting a lot out of the one-on-one attention I'm getting.  I feel a bit like teacher's pet - LOL.  But at the end of the day its up to me, when I put it all together I'll get a first class squat.

There are some updates to the PA website - headline news write up about the Nationals along with ranking and records updated.  Woo-hoo, I am ranked no.2 in Australia  and my masters record total is acknowledged!

Well, I am truly knackered right now and still have one more early morning training session to get thru tomorrow - Roll on Sunday morning sleep in!

Good luck to all my friends competing in the CAPO nationals this weekend.  Lift big!


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Aug 1, 2010

160kg squat - Oh so slow descent, but came up without a hitch.

and some actions pics :-)



155kg in the hole with the PA Power Kangaroo

85kg bench setup

Nominations have closed and are up on the IPF website for the upcoming World Masters Powerlifting Championships.

I see that Jeannette has nominated for the 60kg class, lets hope she's able to confirm her entry soon.

But who the hell is Victoria O'Brien ?  That's not the name on my birth certificate!


GEVERS Jeannette (AUS1962F1)1962AUS162.5105.0162.5430.0

VASQUEZ Rosemarie1970PHI150.0102.5150.0395.0

AAS Anita1965NOR145.070.0152.5367.5

IP Wing-Yuk (HKG1961F1)1961HKG122.570.0145.0337.5

BOMMERSBACH Sabine1964GER115.057.5122.5295.0

HESS Kerstin1968GER95.047.5105.0247.5

ORSINI Antonietta (ITA1964F1)1964ITA215.0145.0210.0570.0

O'BRIEN Victoria1962AUS160.090.0185.0435.0

DE SOUSA Michelle1966RSA145.060.0162.5367.5

CRAWFORD Tinamarie1965USA125.060.0142.5327.5


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Best Lifters:

        Stephen Pritchard - 535.706 pts
        Richard Hozjan     - 531.527 pts        
        Chris Caltabiano   - 523.943 pts        
        Anita Millington    - 450.990 pts        
        Vicki O'Brien         - 450.008 pts            
        Lee-Anne Dwarte  - 448.031 pts

Pipped by   .882 of a point!

Congratulations again to Anita Millington  :-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nationals outcome

Squat 160
Bench 90
Deadlift 185
Total 435

Body weight 66.25
Wilks points  450.008
7.5kg squat pb
12.5kg total pb
Australian Masters 1 Total record.
5kg under the elite 1 total  (ie I don't go back on the RTP)

First place Under 67.5kg

Not a bad outcome under the circumstances. 

Last minute inclusion into my weight class was Jeanette Gevers, usually a 60kg competitor, and multiple world champion.  Ohhhh  farrrrk!  But what can you do, I already had my plan worked out with the lifts for what I wanted to achieve.  As Leigh reminded me, this was a battle that's was coming my way, at some point I was going to meet her on the platform and this weekend was it.

Started off badly  was running late from my warmups and almost timed out on my first squat, but was so rushed that I lost balance taking the bar down and rather than face plant into the head ref's lap I came back up out of the squat and was red lighted on depth.  No fear tho', 145kg was easy  and so I bumped the next attempt to 155kg anyway, which with calmer preparation, expert knee wrapping by Damien and a cautious decent I came up with out any problem.  Next attempt set to 160, perfect execution and to be sure I had Buff call my depth, tuned into his voice only, and came straight up as soon as I heard the call.  Beautiful with more in the tank I know!

Plan was just to get a token bench in and if there was any pain I would forfeit the next attempt.  Opened with 85 - all good  .   2nd attempt at 90 got the lift but a little untidy, didn't hurt the shoulder tho' so I went for a 3rd at 95.  Got the lift up but the was a little downward movement just before lockout and so I missed the lift.

Had Buff running my numbers and at this point I was trailing Jeanette by 17.5kg, but I wasn't concerned.

Dropped my opener to 175kg to conserve energy, this would still give me an immediate 7.5 kg lead.  All whites.  Next attempt at 185 to also all white lights and waited to see what Jeanette's next lift was, after she completed he last deadlift the MC announced that that was the gold medal lift - Hahahaha, he should have looked at the score sheet I was already a 5kg ahead ,so my last lift, I could have walked away but I wanted to have another go at the Masters record.  Bumped my last attempt to 195kg, Took my time to set up as soon as I started the pull my hips shot up and I was left with no drive, got the bar off the floor but no way was I going to get it up for a lockout.

And as expected as soon as I got off the platform.....   "Hi Vicki, my name's Brooke. I'm from ASADA and you've been selected for a drug test....."   Ho-hum....

Afterward, a bit of time to relax and watch some of the lighter men's lifting and got to have a friendly chat with Jeanette and play the online ASADA drug quiz.  Although I'd met her briefly at last years Nationals when she want competing, this time I was able to get to know her a little better and she was kewl .  I hope her and her partner Jim are able to make it World Masters and show me the ropes but preferably back in the 60kg class . :-)

Wanna send out a big thanks to Buff and Dave for the expert handling - it makes a huge impact having the right people support you. I know now first hand why Dave recommended Buff, you've gotta have someone getting in your head before you go out to lift.   And to everyone that supported me from ESP both in training and at the comp - guys this win was for you.

GO E.S.P. !!!!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

July 8, 2010

What the hell?   Is it really only 2 weeks to Nationals? Surely not!

Still not touching, even shirted, but have managed a 90kg press from a one-board, so my token bench at Nationals wont be a total disgrace (so I keep telling myself).

I need to see where my squat is, perhaps next week.  A couple of weeks back I managed a single 160kg box squat with straps down and no knee wraps.  So I'm feeling good for a 165.

Have no idea about my deadlift :-(  The Titan Velocity  that I urgently got hold of for Masters Nationals is 'too big' although it was meant to be a size smaller than my squat suit....  no way! I'm gonna have to do some adjustment to the legs to keep it in place cos once it moves up, I have no pop out of it at all.  Maybe I should have gone the Metal King Sumo after all.  If I had the money I'd be ordering one for Worlds and maybe then I'd  have half a chance at pulling the World Record. I'll be close but I don't think the Velocity is gonna give me the edge.   

Shame I didnt 'qualify' for one of the three custom deadlift suits that Minh, our local TITAN dealer, had to give away as a promo from TITAN USA         Mega :-(


Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21 2010

Three weeks since my last post and a lot has happened.  The worst of which was my Dad passing away at the grand old age of 89. I'm not going to dwell on that now except to say that it was hard saying goodbye and I will miss him dearly.

The news on the shoulder front just keeps getting worse.  Have been to see one of the top shoulder surgeons and his assessment is that I definitely need to have a arthroscopic debridement and very likely need to have an open subscap repair to cut and reattach the bicep tendon.  That 2nd part is nasty and will put me out of action for 6 months but long term it will be better for my lifting longevity.  Anyway he will asses that when he does the artho and if need be he will switch to a full shoulder op so that its all done in a single hospital admission.

For the time being however I'm just going to continue with the rehab, naprosyn and letting pain be my guide.  I need to get thru Nationals and World Masters before I can consider surgery.  One of  the guys at the  gym, Kirby, suggested a lectric soda pack at night before bed to draw some of the fluid out, it worked well the first night and I was able to finally get a full nights sleep, but wasn't so beneficial the next night.  I will persist tho', cos the nagging dull ache a night makes it hard to sleep.

Had  bit of a giggle tho at the letter Dr. Hoy send to my sports doc. Personally,  I there's a typo...

"Vicki is a 47 year old right hand dominant woman......"

I think it should be:

"Vicki is a 47 year old, right handed, dominant woman...."  


Other than that, training is good. I've settled in pretty well with the guys at Apollo/ESP.  Hmmm, well I think I have anyway.  I'm not shunned for being female nor for being IPF and there a couple of other IPF lifters there. :-)
I dont get treated any different to anyone else and I dont want to be.

One of the things I enjoy there is being under pressure to perform.  I don't like to be a pain in the arse so I try to keep up with what they are lifting, as best I can at least.  Martyn puts me the group with lifters who a closest to my level or are lifting raw so I'm not massively behind them but it gives me something to strive for, pushes me to my limits and if the guys think I should back down the weight a bit, Martyn just says no, she'll lift that, and I do - or I die trying :-)    He doesn't let me back down and I like that - a lot!

It's a good training environment too with everyone in the group giving constructive feedback while you're lifting, giving cues that help to build the right habits. Even Bro, who's not training with us will yell  'knees out,  spread the floor' and this works for me!

We just recently moved into the new compound in Spotswood.  Its at least 3 times the size of the ESP gym in Footscray with an extra mono-lift and heaps more equipment.  Like being in a new playground!

This morning:
Max squat
Box squat - low, half suit & belt.
60x5, 100 x5, 120 x3, 140 x2, 150 x1 150 x1 150 x fail

Good mornings
40 x12, 50 x12, 60 x10, 70 x8, 80 x4 x2sets

Glute/Ham raise 8 x5sets

Standing ab curl
30 x12, 35 x12 x3sets