I'm not a big fan of making new year's resolutions; I think they are mainly a way for people to make themselves feel better for a few weeks before they quit doing whatever they said they were going to do and revert back to their old habits. If you wanted something to change SO badly, you would change it without having to wait for the calendar to flip. This "New Year, New Me!" shit has got to go.
Without making a resolution, I'm a fan of setting up goals for the coming year. I've done this for the last few years and I like the way it makes me lay out my yearly plan as far as my training goes. Unfortunately, I haven't hit several of these marks for the last couple of years. I've yet to deadlift 500 pounds or squat 405.
I've written a few times about this, but for the last 5 or 6 months I've been dealing with a string of pain-in-the-ass injuries. Nothing that's super serious; there's been no tears or strains or anything of that nature. But my knee and now my shoulder have just been really shitty to the point where it influences my training. Squatting and doing full versions of the Olympic lifts has been basically impossible to do on a consistent basis. Overhead pressing and pull-ups have been a really uncomfortable strain on my shoulder. For the last 2 months my training has consisted mostly of sled work, farmers carries and the occasional snatch high pull day. Nothing exactly ground-breaking.
I admitted a few weeks ago that I wasn't a good enough weightlifter to over-look all the other types of training in favor of weightlifting, and I'm going to admit now that that program (apparently) didn't work for me. I don't believe that any program, exercise or movement caused my knee pain; I think it's just shit that I need to deal with after so many years of sports and lifting.
This brings me to my goal for 2015: consistency.
One of my mentors, Dan John, has talked several times about how he saw some of the best gains of his life training just twice a week. He performed a few basic exercises two times each week and just focused on progressing those weights. The rest of the week he spent doing other things: some conditioning, throwing, jumping etc. That's where I'm taking my training.
I'm going to focus on two barbell days per week. On these days I will perform snatches, cleans, jerks, deadlifts, squats, bench press, overhead press, pull-ups, rows, etc. The volume and intensity of these days will vary depending on how my body is feeling. I will also have one auxiliary day where I perform a high volume of bodybuilding exercises to get my swole on.
The other days of the week (2-3) I'll focus on some "conditioning" work. I'll do some plyometrics and medicine ball work and then push the sled and carry some weights around for a while. Again, the intensity and volume of these will vary depending on how my body is reacting to this stuff, but I think I should be fine.
Another big goal of mine, that will help with consistency, is to log every one of my training sessions this year. It's something that I've always told people to do but have always been shitty about doing on my own.
I know that if I can train at least twice a week, every week for the whole year I'll be much happier than training 5x a week for 4 weeks and then having to nurse my knee back to health for 5 weeks and repeating the cycle. I'm excited to take this approach and see where it gets me!
What are your goals for the coming year? Have a great day and go lift some heavy shit!