Powerlifting like life is not linear. While we might imagine that we all improve with a positive slope. It is much more of a random squiggle that ends up in roughly the right direction…if we are lucky!
Recently, I have been struggling with some issues with regards to my hip and back health. It has been quite difficult to navigate Initially I began dealing with the issue through volume reduction, then through removing deadlifts from my training protocol. Eventually, this helped me to realise that the issue was not relating to deadlifts, but rather corresponding to my pitched forward position and Olympic shoe usage in the squat.
After taking a month off to recover from my back pain, I began squatting with flat shoes. This helped me to be a little more upright and alleviated a lot of the pain in the squat which appeared to be a primary issue leading to my pain. I began recently reintegrating deadlifts into my training. My deadlift strength is still present, but I feel like in order to continue to progress in the way that I have been I have to seek efficiency. I have been working on pulling the bar into my shins and moving my stance out, allowing me to sit more into the deadlift and use my leg strength in the movement.
After playing around with my form and equipment, I feel like I am beginning to get into a stage of my training that I can get past the compressed spinal disc and hip pain and begin to focus on getting stronger again.
While I think that having a plan and structure are extremely important to success in powerlifting or any sport, understanding what YOU need to succeed is the most important. After working with a coach, I started to sway away from that. But, recently after reaggravating my hip I have started to find my specific requirements to continue to improve again.
A couple days ago I even began playing around with some reverse bands, to achieve overload and touch heavier weights without pain. Moreover, I went heavier this week as well. It feels good being consistent with my training and improving little by little.
It is so important to pause sometimes and just focus on what you need to figure out in order to achieve your goals. I took 3 days off during Christmas, which does not seem like a lot, but for me, it was a big break and combined with some physio treatment it is helping me to recover somewhat. So regardless of my inability to be responsible with my body, I am glad to be improving in that regard. But, ultimately the purpose of this post was just to communicate the importance of considering your training from a different perspective every once in a while!