Competition, for many lifters it is the highpoint of their training experience, having the opportunity to compete against groups of like-minded individuals who push us to showcases our strength and want to see us succeed is something that makes the powerlifting community one of a kind.
Although, regardless of all the amazing aspects and opportunities that competition brings, it is very easy to get swept up in the hype and excitement and compete so frequently it hinders your progress in the long term. This means we not only have to structure our training intelligently but consider the physical, financial and psychological stress that competition brings and organise our competition calendars accordingly.
With that in mind, today I would like to explore the importance of foresight when planning out our training and competitions throughout a training year. As with anything, there is a point where you can have too much of a good thing and...
Happy coach, happy life!
So you decided to make the jump, you have been training for a while but have hit a block in the road. You have set aside some pennies and made the choice to hire yourself a coach to take care of your performance. The question now is, what is expected of you entering these new waters, what must you do to receive the most from the service you are partaking in and how do you maximise the results you are working towards whilst building a meaningful connection with your coach!
As we all know coaching is a two-way street, it isn’t as simple as having a program thrown at you each week, if that is the extent of the service you are being provided in my opinion that IS NOT COACHING. Coaching must entail the provision of feedback, open dialogue and a certain element of support for the athlete involved. So no, buying someone’s oddly named E-book does not qualify you as being coached by that individual!
Yes, mass programs, E-books and everything in...
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, unless you’re on a fitness journey in which case this is a time fraught with temptation! Many a promising fitness routine has been disrupted over the holiday season, don’t let yourself be another!
The first step to preventing a full blown blow out over the holidays is to set realistic expectations for yourself during this period. This is key for routine especially. You know yourself, and you know what the holiday season usually looks like for you, let’s start there.
The biggest mistake people make, is to set a plan that is dependant on everything running in a perfect world (6 gym sessions a week, meal prepping every day and no drinking) and more times than not, this never happens. Worst of all, once you set a strict plan and then break it, you’re much more likely to give up entirely and be another ‘next year’ person!
So, let’s start by...
Based on the concept that your muscles post exercise require maximal exposure to certain nutrients, commonly directed around protein and carbohydrates. These nutrients are required to be consumed within a certain window of “insert given time allocation”. Failure to consume these in adequate dosing means your gains and session has been minimally as effective.
So why do people have this ideology?
It is fundamentally created around the fact that your muscle cells are more sensitive to nutrients post workout due to the ‘damage’ inflicted during that session. By consuming a quality intake of food will help boost the speed of your recovery. Makes reasonable sense.
It is a known fact that post training your cells are ABSOLUTELY more susceptible for absorption of nutrients. But we are talking about a harder gym session, not just your daily walk.
So without going too far into the physiology behind things, how relevant is this information and how are you actually going to...
‘Not today fatty!’
Gaining weight, getting fluffy, bulking or cultivating thickness, however you wish to phrase it, getting bigger has always been a fascination to myself and I guarantee to the majority of people clicking into this article!
The quest to be big enough to scare babies and old people, or for the ladies to look like Marge off the Simpsons episode where she is jacked beyond belief will always be something linked to the culture of strength sports.
But why is this! Well, from the outside looking in it is not hard to see that the bigger someone is the more weight they can move, there will always be some exceptions to this, but at a glance most top end strength athletes are not normal sized people. For many years this seeming link between bigger and better has perpetuated a quest for mass by ANY means (although usually by the means of excess cheesecake).
Over the last few years however, there seems to be an emerging shift to this attitude, which has followed a...
The longer I spend within the powerlifting community, the more I come to realise that strength and its expression comes in many shapes and forms! In a sport of such genetic diversity, you could swing a dead cat in a warm up room and never hit someone with the same bodily proportions. Although, as the sport continues to grow this diversity lends itself to a larger amount of lifters who may prove to be exceptions to the general rules and finer technical conventions.
For the most part this diversity is fantastic for the sport and its growth, although one of the major issues which is presented, is the general competitive population seeing these outliers and attempting to model their own lifting after them. This gives rise to a fairly large proportion of lifters who attempt to excuse fundamental flaws in their technique by saying “oh nah bro this is just how my body works” or “ this is what Larry does”.
I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are the...
The dreaded weight cuts. Something that causes any athlete more stress than what’s needed the week coming into a competition if done incorrectly. So before pursuing this article I want you to reflect on your last prep and ask yourself if you have done everything in your power to improve quality nutrition and safely drop some unneeded body fat? If you haven’t done that then you have already got the next step of improvement in your next phase.
The next thing I want you to ask yourself is why are you weight cutting in the first place? Are you looking at being extremely competitive in a high level competition or are you looking at setting a new all time record?
Even with these in mind how much impact to your performance are you willing to sacrifice to make weight? This may mean, not even putting up a total. I can almost guarantee you will never perform at your best and are now opening yourself to much greater injury risk.
In my honest opinion, most weight cuts are used as a...