As far as training goes, this year has been all over the place! Most of it has to do with the fact that I built a home fitness studio in one of my guest bedrooms and it is still taking me some time to get adjusted to not having the convenience of machines. Another factor is that I started training for my first strongman competition, at the beginning of the year, leading up to my competition that took place in August. Oh, and if that wasn’t taxing enough, I decided to do a full raw powerlifting meet 6 weeks after the SM competition! I survived the SM competition and placed 1st in the powerlifting competition, so it’s safe to say I did well. I didn’t blow anything or anybody out of the water, but I did well for what was expected of me. After the powerlifting competition, I took a week off to visit family in Texas. After not hitting the gym for a full week, I returned feeling like Golem. Trying to squat 225 lbs. for two reps took everything I had! Oh, and don’t get me started on how much 185 lbs. on the bench felt like. Truly a humbling and sad moment.
Anyways, a few weeks have passed and I find myself competition-less and lacking of motivation. I figured the time off would have me itching to tackle the gym with a dangerous ferocity, but that’s simply not the case. I’ve tried to chalk it up to the fact that it’s getting darker earlier and that the cold weather’s creeping in, but I’m fully aware that I’m lying to myself. The fact is, I’ve lost motivation. As ridiculous as it sounds, that’s what has happened. With that being said, what ever shall I do to regain my motivation? Exactly what I’ve done every other time this has happened to me, in the past.
Watch as many action movies as possible.
Now, I’m not talking about any of the new movies. I’m talking “Commando” and “Predator”. I’m going back to the 80’s where the sun’s out and guns are out. I need pure testosterone with terrible punch lines and things exploding all over the place. Why? Because, why not?
Start tracking my diet.
I stepped on the scale, this morning, and found my sorry self sitting at roughly 177 lbs. I normally sit pretty at 185 lbs. What has happened? Well, I’ve been traveling A LOT and my diet has been pure garbage. While traveling I’ll maybe get 3 large meals in, versus my usual small to moderate 6 meals a day. I am an organism that needs to eat constantly and as clean as possible. Any deviations to this approach can cause me to lose weight, mainly in the form of water, really fast. I feel fine at 177 lbs., but feel incredible at 185. Other than traveling, I find it easy to forget to eat when I am super busy at work or home. One way I remind myself is by setting a series of phone alarms, on the weekends, for every two hours. When they go off, I eat a small source of carbs and protein. That, or simply eat a meal. Tracking it helps me to ensure I stay constant and in a caloric surplus.
Stick to a basic program. Sort of.
I’ve been guilty of being a program hopper, but feel there’s nothing wrong with that. How are you supposed to know what works for you if you don’t experiment; like most things in life? I took a strongman approach, throughout the year, and then switched gears to a more powerlifting focused approach towards the end of Summer. Leading into Fall, I’ve been doing a bit of a hybrid program where I perform the core lifts, along with some accessory work, in the gym and perform an event day on a random Saturday to work the implements. Unfortunately, this isn’t working for me. I have no rhyme or reason to how I’ve been training and it kinda sucks. I feel the major factor in this is that I have no true goal for why I’m lifting; I’m just lifting. That’s cool when your 15 years old and have no idea what you are doing; but not so cool with the little time you have to your adult self is spent on training. So, I’ve decided to focus strictly on my weakest links in a DUP style approach. I’ll write about that program, later. The goal being to get stronger and improve my conditioning in order to compete in a strongman competition sometime next year.
Pick a competition.
I had a ton of fun training for my last strongman competition, so my main focus will be to train for one that takes place in Spring or early Summer. Of course, I’ll do the annual Battle of the Beasts powerlifting competition that takes place later in year. Powerlifting is fun to train for, as well, but I feel more “functional” when I train for Strongman. Plus, if I do it right, my strength will easily transfer when I peak for a powerlifting meet. We’ll see! Picking a competition will keep me focused and on top of my game. I feel competition is the best form of motivation, even if it’s just one you hold with yourself.
I’m positive this endeavor will pay off, simply because it always has. Sometimes, you simply need to reset yourself on the path you decided to follow and/or rediscover what motivated you to set foot on that path to begin with. Hopefully my lack of motivation will serve as motivation for you!