I got to be honest, it has been rough. I know I’m hard on myself and I tend to take declines in my performance to heart. A lot of emphasis and self-worth seems to be based on deadlift prowess. Workouts are often deload from daily stress so a bad workout means a bad day and often a bad week. I had a bad workout on July 16, 2014 where I failed to deadlift 565lbs and I was just livid and tired of it all. I took a step back and looked over my training since 2011 to see what has happened, what worked and what isn’t. Why 2011? Because that was when I came back from my first injury at the beginning of the year where I couldn’t walk to deadlifting 625lbs less than 6 months later. I also had another injury that sidelined me again but I was able to come back and pull 645lbs 4 months later. Now I’m pulling 100lbs less. What happened? Besides injuries, my training changed as I started to listen to people stronger than me. 2012 was definitely the year of the strength coach. More reps, less smoke and mirrors and more doubts in myself. I was trusting someone else with my strength training. Start off strong and end up beat by the end. And I’m not saying that I didn’t learn things or that stuff didn’t improve as it did. But I wasn’t seeing the gains like I was three years ago and my best lifts were down a lot. To sum it up, I’m trusting in myself and doing my own thing again.
I usually don’t do this but I want to detail my plan for my next contest. November 1, 2014 is Maryland’s Strongest Man. It is good ways off to allow me to get back into my groove for training. This show has been my plan since I got back from the Pro/Am in May but my aim had been more towards gym strength. Events (as of this date) are 300lbs axle clean and press for reps, 840lbs yoke for 50’, heavy arm-over-arm truck pull for 75’, side handle car deadlift for reps and 350lbs atlas stone over 52” bar. I expect a large turnout but with only numero uno getting an invite to Nats I need to crush it. Overhead has improved but I know my limits. They need to improve. At this time, I’m maybe good for a triple and that needs to be closer to five or six. Generally at Pro/Am level shows, 6 or 7 in that time limit will win it. Work on bringing up the max and practice my efficiency with the clean. Yoke I can handle, but I need to be fast and I need to not drop it. I feel I can work on the speed and the stability with what I learned from the last show and previous prep. Even at my best, I don’t expect a win here. I’m not really worried with the arm-over-arm; I’ve never placed lower than 2nd when it was contested but I will work it in to keep fresh. Lowest priority since I’m naturally good at it. Car deadlift I’m working on. Much of my deadlift and squats are geared toward it, as well as my assistance work. I actually have the access to the exact apparatus but I’m waiting until 2 weeks out to use it and only for testing purposes. Suits are allowed and I’ve never worn my suit for car deadlift so I got to see if it helps or hinders me. Lucky for me, my suit still fits and is loose. I plan to be back on top of my stone game as well. I did win the event last year but I felt off my game. Past training has had me doing stones twice a month and that was when I did my best stone work (hit my 452lbs and 505lbs doing that). Hopefully that can bring success for this go around.