My US Strongman: The All Woman's Show - Jul Valkyrie at Detroit Tough!
This past weekend, I competed at the Jul Valkyrie all women's world qualifier at Detroit Tough, hosted by Brandi Asher. Before I even get into my personal performance, I just want to mention that I have been to 4 shows now, and each one I go to seems to get better and better. USS runs crazy smooth shows (I know how long meets can be because I recently participated in my first powerlifting meet). We went through 5 events with 40 girls, we were out before dinner time! And like any other strongman or woman, you should know dinner time is a pretty great thing to not miss out on.
This show had the roughest start I have ever encountered at a Strongman competition, because my nemesis, the deadlift, was first. Every shot I've had at first place in other shows has been demolished by this hellish lift. The opener for middle weights on the 18" deadlift was 345. I warmed up with the bar, 135, 225, 275, then 315. None of which felt smooth, so I knew I was in for it. I pulled the opener and decided to shut it down and scratch the next two lifts because my competition would out pull me no matter what my PR was.
Conan was next. My breathing got a little screwy on this one, and I let the bar slip down a bit too low too soon. I ended up in second place by 7 feet with over 3 rotations with 380# on the wheel. Honestly this is my most disappointing event because I failed not due to muscles giving out, but due to the fact I was in a good amount of pain from the bar crushing my skin against my lifting belt. Note to self: work on mental toughness and grit.
My time to shine came (as it always does) in the press events. With a minor Olympic Lifting background and a 200# clean and jerk, the push presses were snappy and on point. 120# was loaded on the bar and the competitors before me got 16 and 18 reps. I decided to continue the pattern and put the weights down after I hit 20 reps, giving me first place.
Odd object carry was not very taxing, seeing as I was the last person in my weight class to go. No one else got past the 175# sandbag, so I just had to do the roughly 100# pipe carry, 150# husafell, then get the sandbag down and back. There was a 160# keg remaining. Many of the girls fell during their keg carries, and in the past I have been notorious for graceless yet quick falls, so I decided it was best to not even touch the keg seeing as the event had already been won.
I really surprised myself in stones, and they are pretty much my all time favorite event now where log press used to be. It was 175# over the bar as many times as possible in a minute.
When I had practiced this the three times I had before, I had gotten 6, 8, and 9 (really 10, but a couple seconds late) reps for over the bar. My goal was 10, and I ended up getting the 175 pound stone over the bar 13 times all without lapping. I couldn't figure out how to one and done a stone before I stepped up and did it at this competition.
Overall, despite my rough start, I had the best comeback I've ever made in a Strongman show, and it showed up well for me in the results. I am way excited to see where I can go with the help of my training and business partner Sabrina Provoast, who also happens to be a world class power lifter.. if anyone can improve my deadlift it's her! My pressing specialization and speed work knowledge has proven to be quite useful in my strongman training, as well as being friends with Willie Wessels himself, who is also great to work out with when I make my way out to St. Louis!
I am an owner and trainer at Catalyst Training Center alongside Sabrina Provoast, located in Grand Rapids, MI. We offer online programming and video review for people who don't live nearby. If you are ever passing through Grand Rapids, please stop by! We love getting people strong and training strength athletes.