Sunday, June 30, 2013

Let The Overhaul Roll On

Well, for those of you who might care (I can't imagine it's not more than a couple of folks and my mom) I finished up my most recent contest last week and the writing is on the wall... In short, it's time to take a step back.

I spent the last year getting ready for Georgia's Strongest Man 2013 and my best effort and preparation still couldn't dent the armor of the competition.  My hat's off to them, there are a lot of really big, young, talented, strong guys here in the Southeastern United States that are the real deal.  Me, well, I ain't got much for talent, but I guess as the saying goes fools rush in where angels dare trod.

My best isn't good enough, and in a world where kids grow up being told winning is the only thing, and they are a champion, or elite, or get a trophy and a pizza party for participating, frankly, I'm kind of proud that all I have to show for my competitive endeavors are aches, bruises, some good laughs, great memories and great friendships. Strongman rewards the best, of which I am not one, and let it be known that I would rather walk away with nothing, than some trinket I didn't earn.

And just one more thing, you'll miss out on a lot of living if you're too scared or proud to sign your name and send in the entry form...

But now that My Big Year is behind me I'm excited. The pressure is off and it is a new day.  So I thought I would write down some thoughts about how training is going to change for me. Maybe it will help you in your training or maybe you can get some ideas, honestly, I'm writing this so I'll remember what I'm doing for the next several months because I chase as many squirrels as anybody (fortunately I built squirrel chasing into the plan)

  • Jim Wendler gave me permission to train two days a week when he wrote this article. I love the setup for 5,3,1 training done in only 2 days. I'll probably trim back the volume on the extra stuff a good bit, but you get the idea. I plan on training 3 days a week, but I only want to have 2 days of structured programming (i.e. If I don't get to that 3rd training day it's not going to affect the long term outlook) Also, it is essential for me that I do some stuff I want to do and have a little fun OR here is a novel concept, not do anything. So there. 
    • Monday - Squat, Overhead Press, maybe some other accessories that I feel like doing
    • Thursday - Deadlift, Bench Press, and again, whatever
    • Saturday - Squirrel Chasing, Whatever I feel like doing, Have Fun, Do a little of this and that, work on some weak areas, some strongman stuff, etc.
    • On a side note, the original 5,3,1 training template was based on 90% of your 1 rep max and this was used as the training max for the program.  For my squat and deadlift I have programmed it with 80% of my 1 rep max to lighten it up for a little while and work on moving the bar a little more quickly. I'm still using the 90% for my pressing/overhead stuff since that is a very weak area for me, and one of the things I'll be concentrating on in the coming months. 
  • Fat loss is one of my short term goals (i.e. 6-8months). Now, the Monday morning after the show I weighed in at a bloated and tired 308lbs. I would like to whittle that down to 270 or so, but I probably won't weigh except every week or two, I don't care much about a scale. Unless you're a weight class athlete you shouldn't either. But there is no point in carrying all this extra fluff around. Plus like everyone I want to look and feel better. I know what I'm after and I know when I feel it in my clothes and see it in the mirror.
    • My perspective on dieting has changed. If I start some crazy diet straight up I'll melt for about 2 weeks and then my metabolism will wise up and I won't lose another pound, SO, we are going to ease into this diet thing.
    • I lost 5 lbs. this week eating whatever I wanted, just not sweets/desserts. "Steal the low hanging fruit first" as Dan John says. The minimally effective dose is all that is required to start a successful diet. When cutting out the desserts has lost it's edge we'll move into lowering the carbs and doing some more portion control, but for now, do the minimum to keep the fat coming off.
    • Also for fat loss I plan to walk the dog, do lots of swimming with the girls, and probably gonna throw in some kettlebell swings when things I need a little something extra. But I'm saving that for when the other stuff stops working. But now that I'm stepping away from competitive goals, I got nothing but time.
  • Other miscellaneous goals include working on my olympic lifts, maybe trying my hand at highland games, and, most importantly, get outside and enjoy my happy little family...  
  • At some point during all of this I'll have to consider mobility, so there's that.
  • One of the natural roles I found myself in last Saturday was that of a mentor and coach, as bad as I am I still have more experience and than any of the local competitors we took with us. I look forward to helping them achieve their goals and contribute to their success any way that I can. I couldn't be prouder of what their already doing.
  • I am on the fast track to being a Masters (older) athlete in whatever strength sport I choose. One year means nothing, I am only minimally stronger this year than I was last year, my Big Year didn't yield anything but an extra thin ring on the tree of strength. Long term investment is the name of the game and multi-year programming is going to be necessary for the big bang lifts like the deadlift, squat and press.
So there you go, a new outlook and a fresh start. Let the Overhaul roll on....