2018 British Weightlifting Championships: The British Weightlifting and Para Power lifting Championships is the pinnacle of strength sports in Great Britain. Athletes ranging from 48 - 105+kg compete in the Snatch and Clean & Jerk to be crowned British Champion.
Nasty Lifestyle Athlete Sally Bennett took front stage competing in the Women’s 69kg category with 5/6 successful lifts, reaching the final with an outstanding 88kg snatch and 105kg clean and jerk. In a super competitive group Sally placed an impressive 1st winning the gold medal and has been crowned British Weight Lifting Champion 2018!
We catch up with Sally after her biggest competition of her career.
What is your background & how did you progress into weight lifting?
Before I started weightlifting in July 2017 I was a Cross-fitter and had been doing CrossFit for 4 years. Lots of my friends had been telling me to try weightlifting comps but I just enjoyed doing CrossFit. It wasn’t until a few friends looked at my numbers and compared them to the British champs in 2017 and said if I competed I would of come 3rd. That kinda sparked this fire in me to focus more on my lifting and I set a goal of top 3 at British 2018.
What is your weekly training like and do you follow any particular programming?
I train 5 times a week. And I have one rest day mid week, and one rest day end of the week. My training can take any where from 2-4 hours. It all depends on how heavy the weight is and how quickly I have to get it done. I have found with my body, less is more. I use to train twice a day, and I tried 6 days training, but my body just never recovered in time, also with the increased training it meant eating a lot more which I struggled with. So after a few months of trail and error, my coach, nutritionist and myself have found a good balance of training, calorie intake and recovery.
How strict is your diet? Can you give an example of your daily intake?
I like to eat healthy because it makes me feel good, and life is much happier when I’m fuelled with good food. I eat around 2000 calories a day, I have 3 meals, and 2 small snacks with a protein/carb shake. My breakfast is always my biggest meal, which consists of oats; protein powder (Progenex peanut butter smash is my fav) and I add some coconut, with an egg white omelette and veggies. My second meal will be white rice with chicken and veggies and my final meal will be potato and turkey or salmon with veggies, my fats I switch around each meal, avocado, nuts, oils, hummus etc.... gotta keep it exciting (laughs). Laura Hughes does my nutrition and she is great. I have a ‘cheat meal’ once a week, which is generally a lot of cookies until I feel sick... and it takes me a week till I get over it. (I don’t recommend this!).
How do you prep for a competition like The British Weight Lifting Championships?
So I lead quite a hectic lifestyle, and I really wanted to do well, so I took 3 weeks off work in the lead up to the comp to go and live with my nutritionist Laura. She kept and eye on my food to make sure I kept at body weight but didn’t get fatigued. It was also one less thing to worry about. It also meant I could focus on getting good nights sleep, every night I was sleeping 10 hours. I could train with no distraction and just chill. It also gave me a lot of me time. Which I find so important because it challenges you mentally to really focus on what you want, and not go crazy from isolation.
What did you change in your preparation after doing the English Weight Lifting Championships?
I changed my mindset and I started seeing a sports psychologist. I massively struggle with nerves. The training for me was no issue I always put in 110% it’s my passion so I kept working hard. For me it was a mental game. And boy is it tough. But seeing a sports psychologist has massively helped. She gives me homework every week like mediation, self talk etc, I also decided to stop fighting my weight and not to cut and compete at my natural weight, I use it to my advantage and just get stronger. This allows me to put my energy into training instead of stressing about food and being hungry.
What do you plan to focus on next?
I would love to compete Internationally, so now my focus is to increase my numbers and get a bigger total... I love it... I just want to get stronger.
Who has inspired you the most throughout the past year of training towards the British Weight Lifting Championships?
I never really looked at anyone and thought I want to be like him or her... I kind of did it for myself. I wanted a challenge and to prove it to me, if you put your mind to anything you really want you can achieve it. And my friends and family have been a great support and always encourage me to be the best version of me.