Road to Raw nationals 7/18/16

Under 3 months left until the big day! It is difficult to keep calm and focus on the individual sessions. It is a great feeling, however, being in an off-season type training cycle allows me to pursue different variants in my training as well as relax more and autoregulate. I think in the run up to a meet especially the last several weeks, it is extremely difficult to autoregulate and relax. The main thing is the nervousness/anxiety to compete. Time is valuable, investing weeks or months of your time into a single contest makes the experience extremely valuable regardless of the level of competition.

But, for now, things are moving smoothly, if you keep track of our Instagram you will be well aware that I am pushing myself. At the same time, I am embracing autoregulation to ensure that I continue to make progress and avoid injury. As well as, ensuring that I stay fresh mentally because long term that is the most difficult element. I have never trained so long specifically for a meet so this has certainly been an interesting experience. I have been embracing more hypertrophic elements into my training, also, adding assistance exercises that can benefit my performance. Squatting 3 times a week has made one of the greatest differences thus far. All the variations that I include in my training have helped me a lot. Doing tempo squats and high bar squats, have allowed me to improve my bracing and my form in the movement. For the first time ever I squatted 405 for a double at around RPE 8. And singles at 425 and 440 for continued improvement. I know big numbers are coming soon!

Additionally, I have made great strides in my bench press. While it is definitely still #poverty I am improving week by week in a fashion I have never seen before. In the past cycle, I hit PR’s every single week. My main thought on this is increasing frequency dramatically. Previously, I had only ever benched twice a week with a lot of accessories to aid my strength. Pressing 4x a week has allowed me to build strength in a variety of rep ranges improving my strength as well as my muscular endurance. In my opinion, bench can be performed at a much higher frequency than the other 2 movements and therefore, improvement can be made much faster.

Deadlifting, is the only area of which I have been struggling. I am not sure whether to put it down to the hex plates in my gym or just bad programming. But, I have been finding it tough to move weight I could easily do in my last prep. In the last few weeks I started employing a low frequency approach to my deadlift, doing lower reps twice a week. Recently, I had access to bumper plates and I was able to do 495 for more sets and reps than my last training cycle so I hope that despite the lack of reps I am still improving. However, only time will tell! As far as my weight goes, I am at around 216 in the mornings, so steadily getting fatter which is great, I will be surprised if I get anywhere near 231 by October but eating freely is a treat for sure! But, for now, things are going really well and I am excited to see what happens over the next 12 weeks.

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