Monday, June 2, 2014

Training By My Damn Self

This past Saturday I had the chance to go train with my "team"; Mark, Nate and Alex. It's the first time since The Arnold (I think) that I've had the chance to go train with them. I usually lift alone like Stephen Fucking Glandsberg.

It pretty much sucks giraffe ass. For something as monotonous and grueling as weightlifting training can be, it's immeasurably helpful to have a training partner there to help you grind your way through your sets and give you feedback about if your technique was off or if there was just too much bitch in your heart that day. Lifting with those guys made me really miss having a training group. Heck, it was the first time in weeks I saw someone else actually snatch the barbell like a weightlifter. I was able to get some feedback from Mark on some things and was promptly put to shame when Alex (-77kg) and Nate (-85kg) both power snatched more than me.

I love weightlifting and I'm going to continue to train it, but I need a little bit of a break. I've found myself having less and less enthusiasm to train it by myself and I know that I need to change it up a little bit or I risk falling into a slump. Truthfully, I'm looking forward to spending a month or two focusing a little less on weightlifting and a little more on good ol' fashioned athletically based strength and conditioning. I think that I will physically and mentally benefit from some time spent throwing medicine balls, jumping, sprinting and doing a litany of exercises that I haven't done in a long time. I don't feel bad doing this because I don't think I'm going to really hurt my total or anything; I'm not so advanced to the point where I'm going to set myself back a ton.

I've got such a long list of useful exercises in my head that I just don't do anymore, so why not spend some time doing them again? Floor presses, chin-ups and barbell hip thrusts all sound like fun things that will ultimately still be good for me as a weightlifter. Strong is strong, especially when you're a non-competitive (I mean, sometimes I'm competitive) athlete like myself.

I would really enjoy getting my hands on some Strongman equipment for the next couple of weeks. Strongman is a really fun way to train that gets you strong (duh) and can provide a pretty serious metabolic effect. If I had my 'druthers I'd have some farmers walk handles, a yoke, a log and a really heavy sandbag or moderate stone. These implements would provide me with a ton of exercises that I could do that are just fucking fun to do. (If you've never done a yoke walk, you need to ASAP).

Truth be told, if I had the equipment available I would enjoy training Strongman just as much as I enjoy weightlifting. I would be as bad at strongman as I am at weightlifting, so it's really a one-for-one switch.

For now, I'm going to be snatching, cleaning and jerking before every training session. I still want those lifts to improve (and they have), but it will be less of a focus. I'm applying the 5/3/1 template to my strength exercises (squat, bench and deadlift) and then doing a handful of auxiliary lifts that I know I'll benefit from (GHRs, prowler marches, pull-ups, step-ups, etc).

Remember, training is supposed to be fun. As long as you're making progress in some way and you're still enjoying it, then you're doing all right. Have a great day and go lift some heavy shit!

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