First published at IronMill Femme Fitness Fatale
On Friday January 11, 2013, there was breaking news on RX Muscle.com. Bros vs Pros 14 was officially returning to Deer Park Gold’s gym in New York. I live in Pennsylvania so this is pretty close to home. February 16th was the competition date, meaning I had 5 weeks to train. The events were deadlifts and curls for max number of reps for the ladies and the men in four separate events.
This is good news for me because deadlifts are my baby. And my strength is deadlifting for reps. The rules of Bros vs Pros dictate max reps is as many reps as you can, without setting the weight down. You can rest or pause while holding the barbell at the top, but if you set it down or lose your grip and drop it, you’re done. I’ve won the last two RX Muscle women’s deadlift competitions at Bros vs Pros 11 in Waterbury, CT and Bros vs Pros 12 in Phoenix, AZ. I plan to do the same on February 16th in Deer Park, NY.
Friday Jan 11, was my back day at the gym. So the announcement came out just in time for me to incorporate some high rep deadlift training right away. Through an email to RX Muscle, I learned the weight would be 185lbs for the women in the deadlift event. There will be no weigh ins and no adjustment based on the bodyweight of the competitor. ALL WOMEN regardless of size will be lifting 185lbs for max number of reps. So starting Friday, I repped 185lbs. I hit 40 reps. Not bad for a first try.
In the past two deadlift competitions I repped my bodyweight. I was a “walk on” in Connecticut meaning I didn’t train or cut weight, and I weighed in at 134lbs, they put 135lbs on the barbell. I deadlifted it for 76 reps. For Phoenix I prepared weeks ahead. I cut weight and weighed in at 125lbs on game day. I deadlifted 125lbs for 156 reps.
But 185lbs for all competitors is a whole new ball game. Especially when you factor in that I will likely be one of the smaller competitors. I will certainly not be cutting weight for this event as being heavier will be an advantage. Since there will be no weigh ins the day of, Barrett (my trainer and nutritionist) already said “we’ll start carbing up a week out.” Oh yes, I like the sound of that :)
So far my only known competitor is Collette Nelson, the headlining Pro. She is an IFBB female bodybuilder and has been competing since 1999 and earned her pro status in 2004. She has a lot of years of experience in the weight room. She was the headlining Pro at Bros vs Pros 13 where the women competed in the bench press with 60% bodyweight. From the video it appears she was benching 115lbs, meaning her bodyweight is about 192lbs. About 50 pounds more than mine will be on February 16th.
But with a max rep competition comes not only strength but endurance. The competitor that wins will not necessarily be the strongest but the one that has conditioned their body to keep cranking out the reps when exhaustion sets in. This is to my advantage. I may be smaller but I believe my endurance will carry me far.
Bros vs Pro 5 in December 2010, had all women deadlifting 185lbs for reps. The winner was Tazzie Columb with 55 reps. From watching the video, Tazzie went last and did just enough reps to win the competition and stopped. She could have done more if she had to for the win, but how many more? Tazzy has not yet said she will be in NY on Feb 16th but I wouldn’t be surprised if she showed up. Collette Nelson also competed at Bros vs Pros 5 and did 42 reps to finish in 4th place.
How many reps will win the deadlift challenge on Feb 16th? I’m not sure but I plan to show up ready to crank out considerably more than 55 reps. Since I’m not a Pro I won’t get the advantage of going last. I’ll have to create enough of a lead that even the toughest Pro can’t catch me, no matter what.
So my mission is clear. For the next 5 weeks I will work to become a master of the 185lb deadlift for as many reps as possible. I believe I can win. I have the momentum of two consecutive wins heading into February’s competition. Can I make it 3 in a row?
In the words of Mark Twain, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog.” And I’m ready to put up a big fight. See ya in New York.