Okay, so I got invited to go down to Gloucester on the 8th May by two different gyms doing two different disciplines. And OH MY GOD it was so awesome!!
It was a ninety-minute drive in the rain for us to get down there, and the first gym was Phoenix Weightlifting where I had a one-on-one technique session focusing on Olympic Lifting, Snatch and Clean and Jerk with Andrea Perk. This was an awesome experience. I LOVE Olympic lifting, but I know I have a lot of work to do. Andrea was able to give me a huge amount of little improvements and tweaks I can practice to improve my movement patterns and technique which will lead to bigger numbers. From little things like foot placement at different times of the lift, to little exercises I can do, it was so awesome and Andrea was an amazing coach!
Daddy pointed out on the way out the door that if all those little tweaks add up to just a 2% improvement then I could improve by 15% by putting them into practice. That’s a huge number! So, I’m now hoping to hit bigger numbers as I continue going back Phoenix. They have asked me to join them and maybe go to some competitions once covid allows us to. I’m super excited to do that! Phoenix was amazing!
We then had lunch and travelled across town to another gym. This one was completely different, Oak Strength run by Emma Kennedy is a strong woman gym that my aunty goes to. Emma immediately threw me in with something I have always wanted to try, Atlas stones! I couldn’t do it to start with, we were doing 30Kg, which is pretty much my bodyweight and not many people could walk into a gym and do that! I also tried farmers walk with over double my bodyweight, yoke with over double my bodyweight and a transit van pull, which I did on a slight decline as I was wearing the wrong shoes and it was raining! BUT I DID IT! I pulled a 1.7 ton truck! Emma was there giving me constant instruction and help, and I think I showed that strongwoman/man training isn’t just for huge guys! It’s for everyone!
All in all my day was exhausting, I learned soooo much and I was tired and a bit sore the next day, I still went out and did a run, and a core workout though. On Monday I had a proper rest day, but then on Tuesday I went right back into my normal routine of 5AM workouts, school, homework, business studies, reading, CrossFit Shropshire and weightlifting training.
One thing that was super cool is that both gym coaches were women, I get so used to having male coaches, daddy, athletics and CrossFit, that it was really cool to have two women who really know what they are talking about and giving me little tips. Like Emma pointing out how woman’s hips and shoulders are different to men’s during the yoke and atlas stones so have to be even more technical.
It was also interesting to see that the two sports are so different. Olympic Weightlifting is all about technique, being precise and doing lots of reps to get it perfect every time. Technique will always allow heavier lifts than power. Then in strongman you are almost taught the opposite of everything you are taught in lifting, the techniques are so different and it’s all about applying power and strength to accomplish the goal and you only do a few reps because you get so tired from doing them. It’s so different, yet I love them both!
I am definitely going back to Gloucester! I’m going to have to see when I might be able to do it, but this was an awesome experience and learning opportunity and I’d be stupid not to go back and learn more and do the things I love. I’m going to see about doing both gyms in one day if I can as it’s a long way to travel but it’s super worth it!
Anyone who thinks their kids might enjoy these sort of exercises and workouts contact Phoenix Gym and Oak Strength, they’re really good people and great coaches! I can’t recommend them enough.
A special thanks to Oak Strength and Phoenix Weightlifting for making Aeryn feel so welcome and helping her to become a better athlete!
Previous Aeryn Ejjina Blog Posts
Part Twelve - New Year Goals - January 2021
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