by Sinead Hines
This came from Sinead a couple of days before the European Masters Championships in Lithuania; and whilst out there, she achieved 3 medals with a bronze for her squats, a gold for bench and silver overall! You can check out Sinead on Instagram at @sinead_hines

Deep into my European Masters Classic Comp prep and its pancake day. I compete at unde 63kg, I love food, I'm never 63. Not even close. January 5th, I weighed 70.2kg. It had definitely been a good Christmas but Christ, 9 weeks to lose over 7 kilos, train, gain strength, be a mother to 3 feral kids, plan & grow a business. It's a good job I love a challenge!

Back to pancake day, currently weighing myself daily, it's not for everyone but it helps me keep on track this close to comp day. My worry about this is that the kids see me do this. They know it's for a competition but more often it’s actions not words that stick in the mind.

Hand in hand with this is what I eat. I've been using a meal prep company so I have different food to them every day. They always have questions; does it have protein in? Is it for your competition? Do you weigh the right amount yet? Are you having some of Lettie's birthday cake? I really want to have pancakes with them mainly for the sense of normality but who doesn't want pancakes on pancake day, any day? And not protein pancakes either.

So, what will it be? Yay or nay? The scales say 63.2 woohoo, pancakes it is but this means I don't eat anything substantial all day as you do. Well, it is a rest day, tomorrow’s not though!

Anyway, the pancakes were amazing, a Hersheys chocolate syrup sugar rush got me good. 
All round awesome day! 7 kilos down in 8 weeks and pancakes for tea.

Next day reality hits. Heavy squat session. Absolutely zero energy. Should not have had pancakes. Off to squat I go. Turned out alright in the end. I think. Could have been better. Let's move on.


Saturday rolls around and it's time for my last heavy deads & bench. Cue one child sat on a chair in a shell of a dusty unit, soon to be gym. Electrician's doing a first fix, joiner building changing rooms, mess, tools & timber everywhere. She's happy on the iPad, I'm feeling guilty.

Deads did not go to plan, bench was fantastic. More so than I imagined. I've been chasing a number for some time now. Over two years ago maybe more (does covid time count?) I made a deal with myself that I would one day bench my previous bodyweight. And today was that day!! No 8 week transformation, no quick fixes, just work. Hard, consistent work, throughout covid, injuries, parenting, life.

Sitting at 63 I benched 95 whole kilos! This may not carry over to the platform next week but I could not stop smiling all day long.

The reality is to powerlift competitively, you must make sacrifices. Time with the children, training instead of days out, food, alcohol, extreme(ish) hobbies, meals with the family & the guilt... you get the picture.

Is it worth it? Hell yeah, to show my kids dedication, commitment, strength, power, determination & sheer bloody mindedness, amongst other things! Even if you don't bring home the bling you've pushed yourself to limits way beyond any comfort zone. This lends to all aspects of life.

I struggle with my mindset sometimes, I used to be a lot worse but it's something I work on. 
PMA-Positive Mental Attitude my coach has this in abundance and has made me have a lot more of this since we started working together. It was one of the very first things he picked up on and it has changed how I approach things & train.

Your body really does believe what your mind tells it. It can or it can't, you will, or you won't.
Add a sprinkle of PMA and you will! Seeing & feeling your body do something it couldn't do a month ago is so rewarding.

My dad said on his darkest day "we've got to be brave now" when I'm on the verge of some negative self-talk and about to stop believing in myself, I say this. The kids roll their eyes at me but one day they'll get it. One day they'll be able to instantly add their own PMA, with their own little phrase because they've watched me do it countless times.

It may only be powerlifting but it makes you powerful.  And that is why I do it. That. and on International Women's Day my eldest daughter stood up in assembly & said I inspire her with what I do.

That will keep me going forever.

Lithuania, here I come. Just gotta pack!

Britsh Powelifting Icon