In the sport of weightlifting aspects like preseason, in-season, and off-season phases of training are a lot harder to find than sports like baseball and CrossFit. In weightlifting for many many years there was literally no off-season for me. Before I started worrying with National qualifying rankings and potential podiums at National events I would create a 12 week cycle, peak for local competition and then start over again. I did this type of program for the better part of my career.
However, after my lackluster performance at the Arnold’s, it seems like I’m finally faced with what is a bit of an off-season. The entire reason I traveled to the Arnold’s to compete was for a chance at qualifying for the Pan-American games. Due to bombing at the American Open, I had no choice but to put up a total that could move me up the ranking list and my last chance for that was the Arnold’s. Certainly there is a meet next weekend in San Francisco and a final qualifying event in Reno in April. Those are other opportunities for me to get the total that I would need to move up the ranking list. However Emma Katherine could be born at any point during those weeks. And by the final qualifier in Reno I will have a one-week old. Thus the Arnold was my last shot.
While I am a little unsure of how I feel having not reached that goal this year, there are some positives when facing a couple months of off-season training. In weightlifting when you face an off-season time you have the opportunity to pull back from maximal level lifting and put in a long 12-15 week weakness-based cycle.
Obviously, every cycle that I complete I work on weakness. However, with no major competition set before me until Nationals I have 2 1/2 months or so to increase the volume of weakness work. What that means for me is making strength work like heavy pulls and squatting the primary focus while at the same time allowing the intensity of the lifts to live closer to 70% and 80%. Not only can I focus on getting stronger as that is my biggest weakness but I’ll also have the opportunity to fix some technical deficiency in my jerk as well as a small bar track issue in my snatch. Those technical faults are best worked on between 70% and 80% which complements strongly with a squatting and pulling focus.
The next 10 weeks or so I will be working with Ursula to create a program designed to that end. It’s time to go back to the drawing board for me. Like I said yesterday, legs are everything. Strong back and strong legs has always translated to PR numbers. While I am still slightly disappointed in my performance and the reality that I won’t get to represent our country this year the Pan-American Games, I am excited about an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and do some work on my weaknesses for the next 2 1/2 months.