After taking several months off of all exercise, in February I began to train with my focus being weightlifting. My first meet in over 3 years was May 9th. As a coach, I always am looking for lessons to learn and boy did I learn some lessons on May 9th.
My goals for the meet were not met. I was hoping my body would respond better to my training, but it didn’t. This year I turn 35 and my adaptation to training had slowed dramatically. I was hoping to total 217 kg (98/119) but ended up only making 196 kg (85/111). I was pleasantly pleased with the 85 kg snatch, and was inches away from 90 kg. On the clean and jerk I hit 113 in training around 10-12 times, and for some reason psyched myself out the day of the meet.
After all the dust had settled, I won my age and weight division (however I was the only lifter, LOL) and my total was enough to qualify for the Master’s World Cup in August. I am excited about this!
Lesson 1 – I can’t have a super easy, low volume (than normal) week of training before a meet.
Typically the week leading up to a meet a lifter will have a easier week of lifting, I took it too easy and felt really rusty the day of the meet. I don’t think anything else really payed into this feeling. The three weeks prior, my training was heavy and hard so I was afraid of not being rested enough, boy was that a bad plan. I have never responded too well taking lots of rest, but now I know not to do this next time.
Lesson 2 – Warm-up, warm-up, warm-up
Lifting meets are interesting, they follow an order but are unpredictable from a time aspect. I did not spend enough time getting my body ready for heavy lifting, thus a had a slight tweak in my “bad” knee. during the snatch portion. That tweak stayed in the back of my mind all day and probably cost me a heavier clean and jerk. Moving forward I am going to do a better job of blocking out other lifters and just doing my own thing.
Lesson 3 – Cutting 13 pounds was hard, but was optimal
Two weeks out I weighted 182 lbs and I had to cut to 169.4 for the meet. This wasn’t super hard, but it did cause some unneeded stress. I have decided to keep closer to paleo and avoid the temptation to eat poor carbohydrates on heavy squat days. For example, heavy squat days make me SUPER hungry, so a few times per week I would eat and apple (not a bad choice) dipped in peanut butter mixed with cream cheese cake icing (poor choice). This was super delicious and satisfying but probably attributed to a few extra pounds I don’t need.
Lesson 4 – I am a masters lifter, so be a masters lifter
In life and sport comparing is a common thread. I feel that comparing yourself to others in life leads you down a dark road with little reward at the end, and comparing in sports can render a similar experience. Some competitors need the push of their opponent to keep them going, but I found that I need to compare my performance with other 35-39, -77kg, beginner lifters. I have a bad habit of seeing other lifters numbers and then turning into Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh).
Looking back I should have been more pleased with how the meet went, but I know now I will be much better prepared.
I do want to thank Chase Durham and Barry Durham for their help in counting places for me and loading my warm-up bar. This helped tremendously. It was also really cool to have my son there to watch me lift. I could hear him a few times saying “dada” while I was about to lift.