Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A New Direction

Holy crap it's been a while since I last posted. It's been a crazy few months. I bought my first condo, so that whole process kind of took up all my focus, and as a result I let my training fall by the wayside. Tsk tsk. But the place is all fixed up, and I've been living there for a couple weeks, so all the hard stuff is done, and now I have the brain RAM to re-focus on my training goals.

I'm still weighing in around 225, but I'm definitely a bit softer than before. Even with my sporadic training I was still making some gains in the gym. I hit a front squat PR a few weeks ago (325) which I haven't done in a while. I also hit a 180# power snatch, up from 175. But that's neither here nor there. What I want to talk about today is my new training goals.

I've decided to train for and compete in Strongman.

I found a gym in my area owned and run by a pro strongman, and they have a team and everything. My regular gym (Crossfit 714) actually does have quite a few Strongman implements (atlas stones, tires, axle bar, yoke, chains, sleds) but not even close to all of them. Plus, to be honest, I don't know how to program them into workouts, or even really how to do the movements correctly. So I plan to train with the strongman crew once a week, learn the implements and the technique, get some good coaching, and learn how to program for the sport, and the rest of the week I'll train for strength, power, and grip at my gym.

Why Strongman? Why not? :-) I've already competed in Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting, and I enjoyed both, but I ultimately ended up getting bored with doing the same basic movements over and over. I don't have a high tolerance for boredom or repetitiveness. And while I love Crossfit, the randomness of the training isn't conducive to my specific goals and weaknesses at this point in my training career. Plus I just don't like pushing my system to 100% intensity every single day. It just hurts, and I have a hard time recovering.

Strongman seems to fit somewhere in the space between; There's enough variety of event types and implements that the training shouldn't get stale, but there's enough structure that I can program directly to my weaknesses. There's also the camaraderie factor. Strongman competitors tend to train together and push each other, which (as I've learned from Crossfit) is a huge motivator. It's also brand new to me, whereas I'm fairly well-versed in the other stuff, I know very little about strongman or how to train for it. And then there's the fact that my body is definitely more well suited to high-power, short-duration exercise.

The current plan is to train 4 days a week, with one day being specifically training the strongman stuff. I plan on cutting out alcohol completely for the rest of the year in order to allow my body the recovery it's going to need if I want to train hard. That's pretty much it; dial in the training, let it dictate the food requirements. I'm not going to specify any body weight goals right now, just going to focus on getting my training consistent. One step at a time. Training starts Oct. 1st.

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