Guest Blogger Post for December 30, 2012
A Rant and Tip from a competitive Strong Man
I had the pleasure of training with Jasen at Cutting Edge Sport Science, a training facility in Albany NY, at cutting edge they train athletes of all ages for all sports, not just powerlifting and strongman competitions. Many a professional athlete has trained there under the tutelage of Dyke Naughton.
As an athlete and athletic director I’ve met my fair share of folks involved in the strength game. This year alone I can recall competing in a Powerlifting Meet, 3 Strongman shows, a Highlander and 9 Highland Games including the LW World Championships in Ventura (finished 8th in the World this year).
Also ran the Albany Games and Heavy for the Holidays NAS Strongman show. So that’s a lot of faces over the course of the year, all with similar goals. Lift Heavier, get faster and throw farther. Common themes, easy stuff. One other common thread within all these events is the event chatter. Catching up on training, new PR’s and why there are no Highland Games groupies. Through all of this, one thing I’ve never heard, “I feel awesome. I have no injuries. Everything is great”. It’s just not something that happens.
As brothers (and sisters) in iron, there is a constant push to improve lifts and tweaks abound. One thing I don’t understand is how athletes will drop out of competitions because of conditions that aren’t perfect for them. Very rarely in the course of any athlete’s career does the perfect situation arise to perform at 100%. The best we can do is to take the opportunities we chose to compete and make the best of them. Training, diet and a solid taper is ultimately as good as we’re going to get to hitting those perfect marks. I’ve been through numerous competitions and all I can remember is the love of grinding out the reps, the chalky man hugs and the smiles. I can’t look back at one single competition and remember it as the one I went into with a hangnail, so my stone over bar suffers.
What I’m getting at, is how I take it personal when my peers drop out of contests last minute due to asinine reasoning, or even worse, fail to compete at all. We toil weekly with the iron. We grunt. We moan. Why not take opportunity to test yourself once in awhile? Show everyone why you put in these hours. Step on the platform. Gear up and get it done. Everyone started somewhere and no one dominates like Ilya Ilin their first time out. Regret is a horrible emotion and I know that after all the years of competing I’m sure to have a few injuries, and hopefully an even larger trophy case. But, one thing I won’t have is regret. Regardless of where I’m at in my training, if I’m healthy enough I’ll be competing.
Tip: When you do decide to compete, keep in mind you are doing this for your own well being. Definitely attempt a personal best at the meet, but also be prepared to not hit the numbers you have hit in the gym. It does happen both ways though. There have been numbers that I hit in the meet that I never hit in the gym and numbers I hit in the gym I have yet to hit in a meet. So I have two PR categories. A meet number and a gym number. For me the meet number is the number I want to improve the most.