Wendy Chan – 3rd Ever Woman To Secure A 500 Wilks Score!

Wendy Chan – Elite 1 Powerlifter, Member of Powerlifting Australia in affiliation with World Powerlifting.


Powerlifting is the sport of strength. Men and women of all ages and sizes compete.  It consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press and deadlift. Similar to Olympic Weightlifting, it involves a single lift at maximal effort of a barbell loaded with weighted plates. Each athlete assigns themselves to a federation, age category and weight class in order to compete. 

Wendy Chan Oceania Champion MedalsMy name is Wendy Chan and I am an Elite 1 Powerlifter.  I am a member of Powerlifting Australia that is in affiliation with World Powerlifting.

I began my journey in October 2014 under affiliation with IPF (International Powerlifting Federation). I competed in my first competition at Iron Underground in Albion. As this was my first competition, I was classed in the junior age category (18-23 years) weighing in the U52kg class. I gave it my best shot with only 2 hours to ensure I would be 52.0kg or less. I attained a 115kg Squat, 55kg Bench press and 122.5kg Deadlift; totalling 292.5kg at 50.35kg BW (Body Weight). This gave me an unofficial national record in this class, however as I had only been a member of Powerlifting Australia for 3 months, I was unable to receive this record. I did walk away with a Gold medal in my weight category and overall ‘Best Female Lifter’ on the day (this is a calculation of strength level against relative body weight).  

Due to this unfortunate formality; my hunger to attain a record sparked.  

The year later, March 2015 I competed in my second ever competition. Once again, I had signed up at Iron Underground in Albion to help build my confidence in an environment that was familiar. This time round I managed 107kg Squat, 57kg Bench Press and 127.5kg Deadlift, Totalling 292.5kg. Now, when you look at the numbers, I Wendy Chan squat focusdidn’t make much growth between the two competitions. However, when you consider the body weight difference; progress was evident. In 2015, I decided to drop down to the lighter weight class of being U47kg or less. So, for this competition I weighed in at 45.35kg. I scooped up my first of many Junior National Records in the U47kg weight division and a secured spot to compete at a National level.

August 2015 was my first time on the big stage, National level! 115kg Squat, 62.5kg Bench Press and 130.5kg Deadlift. Total 308kg @46.3kg BW. I was speechless when I was announced Junior National Champion of Australia! I took a short break then ended the year in December with 120kg Squat, 65kg Bench Press and 132.5kg Deadlift. Total 317.5kg @47.7kg BW. This was an emotional competition as I didn’t quite make the weight class…I was 700g’s too heavy. Thankfully because it was just a local competition the meet directors allowed me to compete. This year ended on what felt like a low…

Then I was invited to compete at an International level come 2016.  This was my redemption year travelling to Killeen, Texas in June. I was crowned U47kg Junior World Wendy Chan Deadlift smileChampion! Receiving Gold in Squat 120kg, Bench 67.5kg and Total 315kg, Silver in Deadlift 127.5kg. I broke a number of National, Oceanic and Commonwealth records. I also competed in my first ever Open National Championship in October securing: 125kg Squat, 70kg Bench and 132.5kg Deadlift. Totalling 327.5kg at 46.5kg BW. I became not only Open National Champion as a junior but Junior World Champion.  

2017     I began my year competing in the U52kg weight division before knuckling down into 2 major competitions towards the end of the year. Open National Championships in Melbourne gave me gold once again with a 125.5kg Squat, 72.5kg Bench and 145kg Deadlift. Totalling 338.5kg. My final competition in 2017 would be my last as a junior (under 23 years of age). Travelling to Singapore for the first time and wanting to secure some World Records under my belt. I weighed in at 46.6kg the morning of. My nerves were through the roof, nothing familiar but the weights and my coach. I was placed in the second group for the morning with the lightest male class. I was even more nervous and concerned with the unknown. As I stepped out onto the platform, I knew it was my last chance to give it my all. This was and is my proudest moment to date. I walked away winning Gold in my weight division once again. I also received numerous Oceanic, Commonwealth and Australian National Records. But my day wasn’t done there. Walking onto the podium I was awarded with breaking the World Records in the IPF for: Squat 132.5kg, Deadlift 150kg and Total 355.5kg.

2018     a change in affiliation to WP (World Powerlifting). I had a small break; only competing twice. Nationals in Melbourne was a stressful time. I went out to dinner with family the night before and woke up 1.3kg overweight!! I had to try every trick in the book. Tears flowed and I was on the verge of giving up. With 15 minutes to spare I pulled myself together and decided to give it a go. Stepping on the scales I made it. Totalling 358.5kg. Following this competition, I decided to no longer chase numbers but work on securing a higher Wilks (total to body weight score).Wendy Chan Medals Collection

2019     I am working towards maintaining my new weight category and building strength. This year’s goal was working towards being the 3rd ever female to secure 500 Wilks points. June lead me down for yet another trip to Melbourne to hold onto the Open National Championship for the 4th time running. A total of 370kg and 494.57 Wilks. With only 5.43 Wilks points to go it was in my near future. I had all fingers crossed for this to be my end of year celebration…so as of Saturday 7th December 2019 this was achieved. At a local competition, once again held at Iron Underground in Albion; I walked away with a 134kg Squat, 78kg Bench Press and 167kg Deadlift. Totalling 379kg @ 47.4kg BW and 506 Wilks!!! I achieved 8/9 lifts. Missing my 2nd attempt squat at 134kg and having to reattempt. The moment I wasn’t able to stand up with this weight on my back I lost all hope to achieve my goal. I ran back to the warm up room and out the back door in tears, kicking myself for setting up such a high expectation. Little did I know once I had my cry and reminding myself to calm down and that it wasn’t the end of the world, everything came together. The stars aligned and the cards were in my favour once again. I won gold in u48kg class and overall best female lifter.

Arief Hunter & Wendy Chan

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support and programming that Arief Hunter does for me. Whether I believe it or not “trust in the process” he always says. It seems he knows me better than I know myself. Always growing and learning by living in the moment.

Hannah Altman – How To Drive Through Your Shoulders In Bench Press

Hannah Altman – How To Drive Through Your Shoulders In Bench Press

Think About Those Lats!


In this article we are going to focus on how we can use the bench to create torque and drive that bench PB, moving on from last article’s focus on the arch.

Your feet should be positioned wherever they feel most comfortable when you are benching but ensuring that they are not going to slip and that they are providing a stable base to keep your bum on the bench. The goal of your foot Hannah Altman Bench Press Upper Back Set Upposition is that it is going to allow you to generate power from your legs to your upper back. That’s where the power comes from.


As you get more and more elite with bench-press you start to notice that everything makes a difference down to the shirt that you are wearing. If you wear a shirt that does not have good grip it is easy to slip out of your arch. In this case, your shoulders will no longer be even on the bench and you will no longer be in a position to drive into the bench with your upper back.


Some people think that bench is all chest and triceps but a major component is back strength wrist stability, core strength, ankle, thoracic and hip flexibility. We are going to focus on what the lats are doing during the bench press. This muscle can actually make or break your bench press and, surprise, this muscle is in your back.


The latissimus dorsi muscles, otherwise known in gym bro language as lats, are the large v-Hannah Altman Latissimus Dorsishaped muscles that connect your arms to your vertebral column. This is a series of approximately 33 bones called vertebrae, which are separated by intervertebral discs. The column can be divided into five different regions: the cervical, thoracic, lumber, sacrum and coccyx. Each of these regions is characterised by a different vertebral structure. They help protect and stabilize your spine, while providing shoulder and back strength. Your lats also help with shoulder and arm movement and support good posture.



If boosting your numbers on the bench is your goal, this requires building a bigger back. This will carry over to your other lifts.


When using your back the best way to think about things is to bench on your shoulders. But the key is to not lose your shoulder positioning on the bench when you unrack the bar. Once you have the bar in your hands the best thing Hannah Altman Bench Press Shoulder Set Upto do is think about trying to break the bar. The goal is to create power and torque in the shoulder joints. This comes from actively engaging your lat. As you press, you should feel your back muscles tightening and this will help you get through those nasty sticking points when you’re trying to get that PB and help prevent any shoulder injuries. This will also put you in a stable position on the bench, which should help ensure that you are even and won’t move.


Next time we will be looking at how to build those lats for a bigger bench-press.

A recommendation for a good bench shirt is SBD or Iron Underground shirts: They stick to the bench and are approved by World Powerlifting.

About the Author:

Hannah Altman is a qualified exercise scientist BHS| BCOM | MPHIL and Strength Coach Fitrec, a Pilates instructor and Nutrition Coach PN1 Elemental L2, focusing on injury prevention for strength athletes. She is currently studying for her doctorate at Queensland University of Technology.

She holds multiple junior bench-press records, the current one being 95kg and has a top bench-press of 103kg at 69kg body weight. She is ranked in the top 20 in Australia based on Wilks in all three lifts and in Bench-Press.

She is currently coaches out of Iron Underground in Albion, Brisbane and online.

To book a complementary session; to get a 10% discount for rehab, prehab or just performance and to increase your bench, choose from the options below. Contact Hannah on 0452285271.


    Hannah Altman – How does the bench press work?

    Hannah Altman – How Does The Bench Press Work?

    Let’s talk bench press – arch and bench contact.


    For women, the bench-press is arguably one of the hardest lifts to progress. In this next series of articles, coming out every two weeks for Powerlifting4women, we will be discussing how to break through the bench and avoid injury.

    Hannah Altman Bench Press Set Up


    A major point to consider with bench-press is that it is an extraordinarily technical lift and there is not a lot of room for technical breakdown if you want to get three white lights in competition.



    The first thing to keep in mind with regards to bench-press is the set-up.

    You need to set up to ensure your hands are in the right position for your body type and for how you’ll need to build your bench strength. This is because bench-strength is built in the accessory work that you do (December article).

    Once you grip the bar you need to ensure that your feet are set so you have leg drive. You must have a decent arch such that your bum is in contact with the bench. You need to ensure that your arms are fully extended and that you don’t lose your arch when you unrack the bar because the bigger the arch the less the bar needs to travel.

    Not losing that arch can come down to your breathing technique as one of many factors. Once you start the bench you lower the bar through the eccentric (downward phase) movement, then you need to be able to hold that stopping position at the bottom long enough to get a press command from the referee.

    The concentric (upward phase) part is where things often go wrong in the bench press. You need to ensure your feet don’t move, your bum stays on the bench, the bar only moves in one direction (meaning that if you get stuck and the weight pushes you down you are finished). Also, you need to try and avoid hitting the rack because that can throw off your bar path and you won’t be able to lock it out. Oh, and don’t beat your rack command.

    So, to summarize, there are heaps of components that go into doing a proper bench-press and if your technique is off you are likely to slip up and will end up getting a red light.

    Hannah Altman Bench Press with Paul Thompson at IU Iron Underground, Brisbane


    One of the biggest mistakes that lifters make is that they don’t train variation in their lifts. Every lifter has a sticking point and different variations of the bench-press can target those weak points so that you don’t fail your bench-press at the same point in the lift.

    In this article, I’m going to focus on what, in my opinion, is the most important part of the female bench-press and how to avoid one of the biggest red light makers in bench. This refers to an Instragram post from the 23rd of August 2019 on HannahAltman ES.

    The reason why we arch our back is to minimize the distance that the bar has to travel (shorter bar path). Though the one little down side of the arch is that the bigger the arch is higher the risk of lifting your bum of the bench.


    This being said, there is a lot of false information out there claiming that arching one’s back for females will cause lifetime back injury.

    What many don’t take into consideration is the fact that lumber and thoracic vertebrae and inter-vertebral discs are actually safest in a lordodic position, which is the fancy term for being arched. The main reason for this is that discs tend to herniate posteriorly due to the presence of an incredibly robust anterior longitudinal ligament in front of the spine.

    Even if the disc somehow manages to herniate anteriorly, the resultant herniation would likely be asymptomatic as the spinal nerves are behind the inter-vertebral discs, not in front of them. Arching the lower and mid back does not push the limit-range of motion of the cervical spine in the neck, so there is less concern of the probability of injuring the neck with arched benching.

    If your form is correct, arched benching (with a retraction of the scapulae) allows a greater use of the lower fibres of the chest muscles. Not only is this pushing angle likely safer for the glenohumeral joint of the shoulder, it’s also conducive to the great use of the larger mass of lower fibres (vs. upper fibres) of the pectoralis. This creates a more forceful lift without sacrificing as much safety as a flat pressing position might (August 24th 2019).

    This being said, an increasingly common que used by coaches is to bench with one’s legs. The issue then becomes that when we do this we lift our bum off the bench, causing one to get three red lights. We end up lifting our bum, using this approach because when we drive through our legs we initiate the force towards the ceiling, which pulls our bums up.

    Hannah Altman Bench Press Arch

    However, if we focus on driving our shoulder into the bench, the force goes into driving the bar back up which is more likely to end in more bar speed and no red lights.

    There is heap more that goes into the bench-press. Our next article will be on how to use the bench to generate more force and to minimise shoulder injuries.

    About the Author:

    Hannah Altman is a qualified exercise scientist BHS| BCOM | MPHIL and Strength Coach Fitrec, a Pilates instructor and Nutrition Coach PN1 Elemental L2, focusing on injury prevention for strength athletes. She is currently studying for her doctorate at Queensland University of Technology.

    She holds multiple junior bench-press records, the current one being 95kg and has a top bench-press of 103kg at 69kg body weight. She is ranked in the top 20 in Australia based on Wilks in all three lifts and in Bench-Press.

    She is currently coaches out of Iron Underground in Albion, Brisbane and online.

    To book a complementary session; to get a 10% discount for rehab, prehab or just performance and to increase your bench, choose from the options below. Contact Hannah on 0452285271.

      Shelley Stark – Bodybuilder; Deadlift World Record; Nutrition, Lifestyle Coaching & Education.

      Shelley Stark – Bodybuilder; Deadlift World Record, Lifestyle Coaching & Education.

      Everyone has a story!  You don’t have to be famous, successful or an “influencer”.  Our stories, the culmination of our experiences, can truly help and make a difference in someone else’s life.

      Shelley Stark WR Deadlift 2015


      I wrote my story once, long ago, in the form of two self-published books.  To be honest, I cringe at those now due my lack of knowledge and understanding and I’m no longer that person anymore.  I’m older, wiser, and a lot more educated.  However, those experiences helped me become who I am today, as cliché as that sounds.

       Until recently I sat behind the scenes, not wanting to put myself ‘out there.’  I was happy in life.  I worked in a job I loved, a lot, and when I decided to leave that position, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was left with what now?

      Shelley Stark INBA trophies


      Being involved in powerlifting, although no longer competing myself (maybe again one day), at the recent Masters Championships in Cairns I was speaking to a few people about nutrition and they all said you should be doing coaching yourself, you have so much knowledge around this.  So, I came home, thought more about it, and now here I am, providing nutrition/lifestyle coaching and education and helping clients achieve their goals in a safe, effective and sustainable manner using evidence-based practices.

      Rewinding a bit, in 2008 and 2009 I competed in figure bodybuilding competitions, placing 2nd & 3rd in my first year and 4th in my second.  Prior to this I had a long dieting history.  After this I was diagnosed by a sports psychologist with binge eating disorder.  It took me a few years to overcome this and get some semblance of normalcy in my life again involving eating.  In 2013 I started powerlifting.  My greatest achievement in this sport was getting the World Record for Deadlift in both 2014 and 2015 in the 67.5kg Women’s M1 category.  As others’ have said I love that powerlifting focuses on what your body can do rather than how it looks.  I’ve been involved in powerlifting ever since.

      Nutrition is simple, yet we over-complicate it.

      I believe this is partly due to the misinformation spread by the media.  Rubbish like; you need to omit carbs if you want to lose body fat; fasting will produce greater fat loss; clean eating is the only way you should eat; donuts and burgers are out of the question.  With garbage like this spread, it’s no wonder we are confused about and how and what to eat, especially if we want to decrease body fat percentage.

      Shelley Stark Coaching at Brisbane Fitness Expo July 2019


      There are many ways to go about fat loss.  The bottom line is you must be in a calorie deficit in order to get rid of fat.  The best diet is the one you can stick to, without too many feelings of deprivation, one where enjoyment is kept high and you are consistent week after week for as long as it takes.  Patience and persistence are keys to fat loss as well as behavioural changes made along the way in order to maintain fat loss once the diet has ended.

      Shelley Stark posing at the after party



      I have been feeling quite vulnerable, if I’m honest, with my posts on social media but when I receive messages such as “I’m loving your posts” I know I’m doing good and on the right path.  I love helping people and I want to make a difference so that we can all be free of the neuroses and stigma surrounding dieting and fat loss.  Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.  The best piece of advice I can give is to educate yourself, work with a nutrition coach if needed, or read as much as you can from reputable sources on the internet.


      If you would like to discuss your Nutrition with me, please get in touch by sending your details in the Contact Form below…

        Jenelle Schultz – from ‘Gym-Bunny’ to Oceania’s 2018 Champion!

        Jenelle Schultz – from ‘Gym-Bunny’ to Oceania’s 2018 Champion!

        Jenelle Schultz Powerlifter


        I used to be your typical ‘gym-bunny’ – for most of my 30’s, daily workouts consisted of bodybuilding splits (light weight; high reps only) mixed with pump classes and spin classes. Cardio, cardio and more cardio, sometimes 2 classes a day, before and after work, along with every variation of diet or eating plan I could find, all to achieve the perfect sports model look.

        Like 99% of humans on the planet, that combination didn’t actually work.  I didn’t look like a sports model and I was continually trying every type of new workout or exercise and/or diet I could find, looking for the magic combination. 

        I don’t know whether turning 40 was some kind of tipping point – I have often heard that doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, so I was probably keen to stop being nuts! I also had some nagging from a good friend to try powerlifting, so early in 2018 I turned up at yet another new gym and met Graham McDonald. The brave man agreed to give me shot at being a powerlifter, I’m still not sure why! I didn’t really fit into the powerlifting community – I don’t like heavy metal or donuts, and I have no tattoos, so I’m kind of a sparkly outlier – but the whole team embraced me anyway and my powerlifting adventures started from there.

        Jenelle Schultz Powerlifter SquatMy first comp was in May 2018 up at Airlie Beach (North Queensland, Australia) – I was super nervous and so grateful to have the McDonald Strength team, along with my husband Rob there to cheer me on – I actually got a medal in my first competition, coming 3rd in the 63kg class.

        From there I started to see significant changes in my body (remember, more muscle = more energy burnt!), and with some sensible nutrition I was able to go down into the 57kg class for Master’s Nationals 2018 where I won gold in my section.  I have great memories of that day, and that whole trip, where I got to share a flat and some great late night chats with my team mate Libby.Jenelle Schultz Powerlifter Bench

        The Oceania Championships in December 2018 was my absolute amazing, proudest and most devastating day in powerlifting to date, all in one. The amazing part was that I not only got to wear the green and gold and again won my section, but also came 1st overall in Master’s Women with a total of 330kg (Wilks 384.52).  I also had half the crowd cheering me on as a lot of family and friends came to see me lift – one of my best friends even made me a sparkly sign! But I was devastated when I missed my last deadlift – 150kg came off the floor easy but I couldn’t lock it out. This was my first failed deadlift in a competition and I felt like I’d let everyone down very badly. I know that sounds silly when I won literally everything I was eligible to win on the day, but it’s a personal goal that I was really looking forward to nailing… more to come on that. Jenelle Schultz Powerlifter Deadlift

        Oceanias was where I got to get more involved in the behind-the-scenes part of the sport too, by learning how to be involved on the technical desk, which also gave me a front row seat to the heavyweights session! I am also lined up to be a spotter & loader at an all-women competition later in the year.  That’s another thing about powerlifting – everyone helps out, which adds to the community spirit of the sport.

        Training is now my happy place, rather than just where I got to try and burn calories – the focus that each session requires means that the day’s problems are soon forgotten once warm ups are done. And no matter what my day has been like, I know that I’ll get to go and do something amazing when I get to training – what sort of person puts double their own body weight on their back and crouches down then stands up with it?! It really helps me put things in perspective – i.e. if I can do that, then the bad meeting I had with my boss, the slow traffic or the HR issue I have to deal with probably isn’t going to break me.

        Jenelle Schultz 2018 Oceania Best Womens Lifter

        Life feels very different now that I’m a powerlifter (and yes, I identify myself like that often enough to bug people!) – I no longer pine after the sports model look, I eat carbs, I wear short shorts. Life is good. I feel like I have found my thing, and my people.

        Of course I’m inspired by the superstars of powerlifting like Liz Craven and Marisa Inda – and more recently Jess Sewastenko – watching them always reminds me that any lift I attempt is actually possible. But I also love the diversity and opportunity for people of all shapes, sizes and ages to achieve.  I like to think that one day I’ll be an M5 lifter, still wearing sparkly stuff and listening to techo!

        For now my next goal is to defend my title at Master’s Nationals 2019 in Cairns. I also have that missed 150kg deadlift to reclaim from Oceanias – it had better be getting it’s affairs in order.

        Jenelle Schultz support crewI’m so happy that my story resonates… I can’t tell you just how much finding this sport has meant to me – the sense of purpose and belonging… hard to put into words but I hope I did it some justice… thankyou again for the opportunity to do this – it means a lot xxx – Jenelle Schultz

        Sarah Wheal – From CrossFit to Oceania Powerlifting Championships!

        Sarah Wheal & Liz Craven

        Sarah Wheal – From CrossFit to Oceania Powerlifting Championships!

        My name is Sarah Wheal and I’m an Elite Master’s Powerlifter. I feel like this would be a good introduction at Powerlifter’s Anonymous…

        Sarah Wheal Oceania Powerlifting Championships 2018

        I can probably count the number of sporting successes I had before I turned 40 on one hand. I joined the Air Force in my early 20’s, but was by no means “fit” – I could barely pass my fitness test. I smoked, drank, was a little plump, and didn’t go to the gym except when I had to do “remedial” PT after failing my fitness test each year.

        Sarah Wheal Crossfit Training

        In about 2008 I decided I wanted to be an Instructor at Officers’ Training School and thought I should probably be at least as fit as the students I was planning to set an example for. I finally managed to quit smoking, lost some weight and started going to the gym. Over the next few years, I did some fun runs, cycled, tried the 12 Week Body Transformation a few times, and then in 2012 started doing CrossFit.


        Sarah Wheal Crossfitter

        CrossFit became my happy place for the next 5 years, taking me to some cool places, doing some great fast exercising, entering local competitions, volunteering at major events and finding an amazing community. I dabbled in competitive Olympic lifting, but the reality was that I was much better at squat and deadlift than anything else. I persisted with oly because I actually saw it as superior to powerlifting (I was so wrong!).

        Sarah Wheal Crossfit

        Roll on to December 2017 and I decided that I wanted to aim higher. I set myself a 5 year goal of making the top 200 in my age group for CrossFit. I started training twice a day. In January 2018 we did the CrossFit Total (squat, strict press and deadlift) and I added another 20kg to my total.

        A chance conversation inspired me to enter a local powerlifting competition. I turned up with no idea, the wrong socks, CrossFit technique and no handler or coach. I was really lucky that this tiny woman called Liz decided I looked lost and took pity on me. She got me through the meet, and I came second to the incredible Jesse Akister in 72kg class, with a total of 330kg.

        Sarah Wheal & Liz Craven


        Liz (who turned out to be none other than Liz Craven) suggested that it would be a good idea if I trained with her. She was right. Over 2018, I competed in the Matti Tikka Challenge, then Masters Nationals. At my first nationals appearance I came third, and was able to secure a place in the Australian team for the Oceania Powerlifting Championship, where I won my class and came second over all in Masters Women with a total of 362.5 (Wilks 356.48).



        I love powerlifting. I love that it’s about what you can do, not how you look. I love the strong women I have met and look forward to learning more from them all as I grow in this sport.

        Author: Sarah Wheal

        What is Maintenance? By Ruby Cherie

        Let’s Talk Calories, Body Weight, TDEE, NEAT and All Things Maintenance!

        So, there is the whole cutting and building that we all know so well – but there is also this little magic land called maintenance. Sometimes the magic of the maintenance phase is so far overlooked!

        What is Maintenance?

        Basically, you are sitting in a ball park measure of your calories where you aren’t really losing or gaining weight.

        But here is the thing. The body doesn’t do math and we don’t live in a vacuum – so our metabolism – our TDEE – even our intake (calorie counts aren’t 100% accurate on the nutritional labels) – are not to the exact dot point. Everything is dynamic. So, we adjust – play it out for about 3-4 weeks, assess our data, act on it. If our body weight is roughly the same, then we are in a maintenance.

        Ruby Glute work, calories, body weight, TDEE, NEAT, maintenance


        Maintenance doesn’t mean:

        1.] You can expect your weight to remain the same daily or even weekly or monthly

        2.] You cannot make progress



        1.] Attempting to “shred” a fair amount & continuously for too long leads to:

        Increased hunger

        Increased fatigue

        Satiety falls, moods worsen, sleep worsens, digestion worsens… etc., etc.…

        And most of all… decreased Performance…. TDEE and NEAT drop and your metabolism adapts, and you stall… your risk of losing muscle becomes exponential.

        What is TDEE? Total Daily Energy Expenditure – this gives you a great indication of what calories you need to eat each day so as to maintain your current weight.

        What is NEAT? Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – is the energy used in your everyday life when you’re not sleeping, playing sports or sports-like activity and eating. It could be when you go for a walk, gardening or working in the yard, just fidgeting or even typing.

        2.] Attempting to “bro bulk” continuously for too long leads to:

        Decreased insulin sensitivity

        Increased injury risk as you keep hammering training volume and intensity

        Increased fatigue same reason above

        ==> All leading to: exponential higher fat gain, injury & over-training risk


        The human body wants to remain the same…

        The longer you try to push an imbalance i.e. try & lose or gain weight, the harder it will push. Think about trying to cycle uphill, at first, you’re all OK, however as time goes on you tire and the chances of falling back get higher.

        Ruby Quads Calories, body weight, TDEE, NEAT, maintenance

        So, my thoughts on “bulking” or building?

        Muscle gain is much slower than fat loss, and most should attempt to gain it around 2 to 4 times slower.

        Muscle takes much more time to grow than fat can be burned off, we all know this.

        Therefore, you’ll be looking to gain muscle LONG TERM! OVER MONTHS… even a year or so…

        BUT it is also important to consider periodization and cyclical nutrition with slower weight gain… why?

        1.] the increasing fat gain &

        2.] Adaptive Resistance which lead to

        3] decreasing insulin sensitivity.

        – the more you do something, the less responsive you become and the greater the ratio of fat: muscle you accrue. If you keep increasing the training volume… the more you become resistant to it and you have to keep increasing it to get an effect but there comes a point where it’s ridiculous to add even more… recovery needs to be had…. And there’s only so much time and energy you can put into your training. So, you NEED to phase your training approaches to

        1] allow desensitization and

        2] different focus – i.e. strength vs metabolite vs just volume accumulation.

        All of which are reasons I don’t believe in or like the term bulking – plus the more advanced you are in the weight room, the slower the actual muscle gain rate is…

        & Obviously the slower you gain the slower fat will accumulate,

        For both muscle gain and fat loss, training doesn’t look that different… and shouldn’t. We always want to train to build muscle as we aim to preserve it in fat loss phases.

        As there is phasic nutrition, there is also training that you phase between strength blocks and hypertrophy blocks…

        However in between the both you have to gradually build your way up as one desensitizes you from the other.  I.e.; if you’re doing strength training with high intensity and low volumes… when you go into hypertrophy phases again with high volume… you need to start somewhere otherwise you will be maxing out or overreaching your maximal recoverable volume and your soreness post workout will subtract from your quality of life and other daily activity…. So, you NEED to slowly build up the volume and frequency as you go which then gives you a great stimulus for progress & consistent overload once again!

        Same as going into strength phases… if you have been doing high volume high frequency the whole time and you jump into lower reps of heavier weights, you will find that the older heavy weights you did at the triples or the 5ers before are currently out of reach so you will be building up to those intensities again!

        I am a great example because I remember complaining that no matter how much I did for my back, it would never fatigue or feel any post exercise soreness… I could just keep upping it without detriment but then I got to a point where if I added anymore, it would be taking away from other muscle groups.

        Now… after going through a lot of desensitization of the strength phases and dropping back down A LOT – hardly anything even as the big 3, squat, bench press & deadlift, and their variations were my main bread and butter for months and months… I now feel the effects of even a third of what I used to do. Albeit now it is probably heavier, I actually even recruit my muscles more and can connect my mind to the contractions.

        So, don’t just put your progress measures to the weight on the bar because we can’t keep just racking up the kgs… even some weights I do the same now as I used to, I feel much more effectively as I now recruit my muscles and perform the exercise to a higher standard.


        Ruby Cherie – Ruby is an Approved Powerlifting 4 Women Strength & Conditioning Coach / Mindset Coach / Comp Prep Coach / Fat Loss Transformation Specialist / Metabolic Nutritionist / Accredited Sports Nutritionist ISSN-SNS

        Powerlifting Australia & World Powerlifting 2019 Calendar

        Powerlifting Australia & World Powerlifting 2019 Calendar

        Each year, Powerlifting Australia and the World Powerlifting Federation hold events on a Local, National and International level.

        The first Powerlifting Australia powerlifting competition for 2019 will be held in Melbourne on the 3rd February 2019, this being the Australian Para Powerlifting Championships, with many more events held across Australia from Tasmania, Melbourne, Woolongong, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, right up to Darwin throughout the year!

        Check out powerlifting events and register to compete on the 2019 Calendar of Powerlifting Australia Events!

        Jan Roesch PA Nationals 2018 APU


        Powerlifting Australia also runs NCAS Coaching Courses and NOAS Referee Courses at these events.

        The listed NCAS Coaching Courses for 2019

        19/20 JanuaryMelbourneApex Strength, CoburgEnrol Now
        16/17 FebruarySydney Lift Performance Centre, RedfernEnrol Now
        23/24 MarchBrisbaneIron Underground, AlbionEnrol Now


        The listed NOAS Referee Courses for 2019

        2/3 FebruaryMelbourneHawthorn Powerlifting ClubEnrol Now
        2/3 MarchTownsvilleTownsville OpenEnrol Now
        2/3 MarchHobartRaw Strength OpenEnrol Now
        15/16 MarchMt IsaTBCEnrol Now
        16/17 MarchSydneyLift Performance Centre, RedfernEnrol Now
        22/23 MarchPerthLegendary LiftingEnrol Now

        You’ll need to be familiar with the Rules of Competition!

        You’ll be able to find information about the events, register online for all Powerlifting Australia competitions (once they have been opened for registration and if there are still available spots) right up to 5.00pm 10 days prior to a Local event or 21 days prior to a National event.

        The Entry Form for each event will have the Meet Director listed as well as other relevant contacts, where you should direct any enquiries.

        To compete in these powerlifting events, you must be a current PA Member. This applies also to Coaches and Referees.

        All PA Members are subject to the PA Anti-Doping Policy, year round! Also, these events are subject to ASADA drug-testing.

        Australian Records can be set and broken at all of the Local and National Competitions (for National Records, there must be 3 National Refs Officiating the attempts, along with all regulations being met).

        World Records can also be made and broken at these great events!