Hope all is well. I am ramping up training for a new contest, and would like to update you about my training plans. Since my last contest in June, USS Nationals, I took an offseason during the summer and have been building back up. My next competition will be February 10th in Aston, PA. It is called USS Iron Goliath. I am excited for this contest since it has a few events that I have not done in competition.
The events are:
1. Max Log Press
2. Max Deadlift
3. Yoke Walk
4. Husafell Stone Carry
5. Keg Carry & Load
As was the case in my previous competitions, my weaker event, the overhead press, still needs big improvements. I am working on a plan to try and attack the log press from multiple angles. I think this is a tactic that some of you may find useful in your training: take the lift you are trying to improve, analyze it and develop a plan to improve areas of the lift that you are weak in. Since my log press needs top to bottom improvement, I am going to attack it with special exercises to help address the weaknesses.
For the initial drive off of the chest, I will be using the log implement for partial front squats. I hope this will make me feel more comfortable with the log resting on my chest in the "rack" position before pressing but also improve my leg drive that is used to initiate the lift.
For the top of the range of motion where the triceps become the prime movers, I will be doing partial range of motion "lockouts" using the log. I will press the log from pins set about 2/3 of the way through the range of motion and really hammer my triceps with reps from that position. Hopefully that will improve my lockout.
I am implementing band training for my deadlifts to try and eliminate any weak points. Band training is something that some of you may want to experiment with. You can use bands as resistance on any of the power lifts as a starting point. Using bands as resistance in addition to weight is called "accommodating resistance". This technique will force you to generate more force through the lift, since the bands are trying to snap back into position. It will teach you to accelerate the bar through the lift. The bands are looser at the bottom of the lift where your leverage is worse, and tighter at the top where your leverage is better. This forces you to continue to produce force to lock out the weight. If you would like to try adding bands, use about 50% of your max in that lift and add the bands in addition to that weight. Try 4-8 sets of 2-3 reps to start.
For the yoke walk, I have never trained for this event. I am taking the advice of my training partner Corey who has done a 900 lbs yoke at only 230 lbs body weight! I will be slowly ramping up in weight, mixing speed yoke runs with heavy runs throughout the training cycle.
Husafell stone is an event that I have done before and am relatively comfortable with. I will have a 350 lbs stone in this contest, so it will be the heaviest I have trained this event, but I am looking forward to getting up to that contest weight over the next 10 weeks.
Finally, keg carry and load is the last event. I will be trying to simply replicate the action of picking up, running with and loading the 3 kegs in order in training. I will start light as with most training cycles and increase the weight. Once I get to the contest weight of 250, 275 and 300 lbs kegs, I will continue to try and move faster and faster. You can save a lot of time on these events if you really hustle back in between implements and focus on the details of how exactly you will transition from one keg to the next. I think this is a good takeaway as well. Some people may overlook details and focus on the big picture only. I agree that over-thinking things or, "paralysis by analysis" as some might say, can be harmful. But, in my opinion, a thorough, detailed and well thought out approach leaves less to chance in training.
That is about it. Thanks for reading about my insight into training strategies for my next contest. I hope you will find some of the methods I talked about to be useful to you in your own training. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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