So now what….

My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.

–Michael Jordan

So you are in a gray area. You have had your first round of competitions; be it power lifting, weight lifting, or the Crossfit Open, and you did as well as you could have (some being happier with performance than others). After competition, you enter this gray area, this void of not knowing where to go and what to do with yourself. If you did poorly, you look back and think “maybe it is time to give up and begin my career in step aerobics and mastery of the shake weight”, but fret not, because we have a couple of tips that will keep you away from antique fitness trends and suggestive exercise and keep you rollin’ on the gains train!


Make your weaknesses your strengths

This applies to all forms of competition, but can be seen the most in the variety of movements presented in the Crossfit Open. There will always be movements thrown in to the Open that you are not prepared for, that is the beauty of it, but being prepared for anything and well rounded is the key. So, whether you did awesome or you did poor, here are a couple of tips to start implementing now, so you are not scrambling three weeks before a competition trying to improve on skills.

  • Practice the movements you could not do
    • Great example is the bar muscle-ups, lots of people cannot do them. My advice, take a step back and break down the movement in order to benefit both strength and the skill portion of the muscle up. A couple of times a week practice your kip timing (this can be done after training sessions) and start working on your strict pull-ups (slowly getting to where they are as close to chest-to-bar as possible). If you do these two things, you end up not only improving your bar muscle up, but you also become stronger in the pull-up movement (and all movements associated with it) and your kipping mechanics!
  • Increase your strength
    • This should be a no-brainer, but kind of blends with the rest of this blog post. Take a little bit of time and go through some strength cycles (with emphasis on the clean and jerk and snatch) because these movements can always be better, and the better we are with the mechanics the easier 30 of the movement is to string together (especially at lighter weights).
  • Get the coaching you need
    • If you are looking to improve upon certain skills, you might need to look past your current coach and look to a specialist (and that is okay). There are individuals that specialize in  certain areas that will help improve your game over just general coaching:
      • Need to get better at gymnastics, ask a gymnastics coach. Need to get better at Olympic-style movements, ask a Weight Lifting coach. Need to get better at the Power Lifts… You get the idea.
      • Side note:  Make sure they are a reputable coach and not just someone that looks the part or can do the movement, because often times this does not actually mean they can teach it right or even know what they are talking about (sorry, just a pet peeve of mine).

All of this to say: Take your results from competition and look at them, look at how you did , look at your strengths and at your weaknesses and then plan accordingly. Build up your weaknesses and continue to improve on your strengths. Make this a long term goal, so that at your next competition you see progress and how far you have come in just a couple of months!


Take time to correct imbalances

In training for competition sometimes we come across some aches and pains that we tend to overlook (these are usually called injuries, but most of us tend to avoid that word like the plague). So that being said, after your competition is over, and you have pushed through these “aches and pains” for only God knows how long, this would be a perfect time to step back and incorporate some corrective exercises into your routine that might help to heal these “issues.”

The way I look at it is this: The time between competitions needs to be used to reflect upon performance during that competition and make a plan on how to get better. To get better, we need to have less obstacles in our way, and one major obstacle that can keep us from progressing (and tends to push us in the opposite way) is injury or those “aches and pains.”

So, to minimize time needed to correct these issues, you can do a couple of things both in and out of program that will tend to result in a better rounded athlete with fewer injuries:

Mobilize

-Bottom line, you have to do this daily and target your problem areas, they are not just going to fix themselves.

Auxiliary Work 

-Program it in, make sure it works on your weaknesses (whatever they may be), and don’t skip it, because if you do, it will do you no good.

Recovery

-This is just as important as the training itself. Make sure your recovery game is on point and plentiful! 

Nutrition

-Eat like shit, your going to train like shit. Find a reputable source that is able to program macros for you that will keep you in the training game while keeping that body fat down!


Spend some time back in the basics

Check your ego at the door and take yourself back to the basics. This usually means no awesome 1RM competition style PR’s, but rather brutal complexes and high volume, hypertrophy style training sessions to help build up confidence under the bar, strength, and endurance.

It is not the most fun you can have in the gym and sometimes you have to remind yourself why you do these (especially after being gassed from a 10RM back squat and feeling like you just ran 5 miles), but this time serves 2 purposes:

  • It makes us actually stronger and more confident. It allows us to build up a huge engine so we are able to go on to triples, doubles, and singles with the confidence and strength to move huge weights, leading to big PR’s,  better competition numbers, and an overall great time in and out of the gym.
  • Second, it gives us a mental break. It gives us a chance to relax and not worry about coming in and trying to beat the number from last week and rather work on technique, form, and just managing to get all reps in.

So, I know sometimes this first 4-6 weeks back after competition is not your ideal training days, but in the long run it will reap bigger rewards, so keep your head down and grind on through!


Have fun and enjoy life

If you have trained for specific events, you know that putting your head down and grinding out training sessions day after day takes a pretty big toll both mentally and physically. This is why you have to take time between competitions to step back and have a little fun with your training.

Simply put; take some time off and enjoy your training. After each competition, I give my athletes at least 3-4 days (if not a week, depending on how long they have been on program) to take a little time and do some workouts and training days just for fun. This might mean you spend a couple of days hitting some bro sessions to look all beefed up in your tank or a couple of days doing some HIIT training that you might not get to do when you are on program for a power lifting meet. The idea is to come into the gym and say; “What do I want to do today?” and then do it, letting the mind and body recoup for a little bit of time before getting back to that grind.


Updates:

Just a couple of gym updates:

We have another 20lbs of coffee coming into the gym today, so if you are running low, go ahead and stock up because it will go fast!

If you ordered a T-shirt or Tank top, please try and pick it up so we know how many we have extra to give out to others that might want to sport the gear.

Check out the updated price schedule HERE!

 

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