In a powerlifter's life, you spend weeks, months or even years working towards one day and one day alone. Competition day.
You constantly strive to add more kilos, fix technique, work on recovery and just stay motivated.
You spend hours each training day, often training by yourself. Filming your lifts, watching, repeating and learning.
You don’t get to be glamorous. A lot of us train from warehouse, garages and backyard gyms. It’s about persistence and commitment – this morning was a 6:15 am start and I trained alone for hours on end.
It all becomes worthwhile once the competition day comes around.
This year my first competition was Nationals, in March. My preparations for this consisted of no training in January then a 17 day holiday in Thailand where I put on 6kgs. I returned home, 5 weeks until Nationals, 6kgs to lose and behind on training. I could only do minimal training to not exhaust myself whilst being on a gruelling weight-cut diet. I lift at under 52kgs and I weighed 57.8kg.
Needless to say, this was not my best comp. My total numbers were down 5kgs!
This gave me a good kick in the pants. I was taking the fact that my lifts kept going up for granted. I have good genetics and I was being lazy because of them.
In Russia, I was told that the coaches sometimes bomb their lifters if they don’t think they have enough drive. It’s meant to wake up their determination to work hard enough so they never fail again.
This was somewhat like how I felt. I had been to Stephen Pritchard’s programming workshop and he suggested I try to get into the Worlds team.
So began my comp prep.
TECHNIQUE & CONSISTENCY
I started a Russian system worked out by famous Power-lifting coach, Boris Sheiko. This system is extremely high volume, often at least 3 hours gym time, 3 to 4 times a week. This suited me fine as I had to improve my technique and consistency – 16 sets of squats each session will definitely teach you consistency
Once I knew I had made the Worlds Team I was even more motivated as I felt quite out of my depth. I did not miss a single session.
When I got to Worlds all my hard work paid off and I added 16.5kg to my total.
Now that I’m home again, I have started a new program called Reactive Training Systems (RTS), developed by Mike Tuchscherer. This is another high volume system that means I’m in the gym 1.5-4 hours 3 or 5 times a week.
I am now hitting the numbers I got at Worlds for doubles. Woooooo hoooooo!
One of the most important things I have found leading up to comp is staying consistent, not missing training, getting enough sleep and remembering why you are doing it. I just keep the idea of getting to Worlds in my head through every hard session. For others, just adding to their total is enough. I find competition works best for me.
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