When things get tough- Part II

Jackson is a tough nut.  Obviously he is talented and I believe he has the potential to be a raw powerifting World Champion one day.  That’s up to him and down the track of course.

Things have been going well for Jackson.  As you would expect from a 19 year old who is smart and knows where he is headed.  I can remember being a 19 year old lifter and I loved it.  Constant improvements and PBs every week.  Eventually you level off.  For Jackson it’s getting harder and being 100+ kg means he also shifting a lot of weight.  It becomes tough on the body and mentally it gets harder.

But that has to be the exciting part.  Many guys and girls who go to the gym are happy just cruising.  If you are reading this then hopefully you are interested in improving regularly.  But wanting to be an elite lifter and be the best is another level again.  Setbacks need to fire you up and push you to another level.

Jackson and I talked tonight and he was pretty flat.  We talked about the big picture and getting back on track. By the end of the conversation I sensed he was ready to go.

There are two issues here:

– small injuries/niggles;

– stalling progress.

And they are really the same issue.

The most important thing is being healthy.  Those who have had tendonitis will know how hard it is backing up from a squat session and benching when it feels like you have broken glass in your elbows.  It’s not sustainable.  So the first thing is to get that right.  And I believe that an extended period of not doing low bar squats is required.  This is what causes the majority of the problem.  3-4 weeks rest in my experience is what is needed.  I’m talking about active rest.  Not a break away from the gym.  We need to work around the pain, not through it.

I have recommended that we move away from squats for a 3-4 week cycle and hit box squats with the giant cambered bar.  This reliefs the stress from the elbows.  In addition I think it is a good chance to have a break from the bench.  I have recommended a 5/3/1 cycle on incline bench press.  The variety will be good mentally and it will give the shoulders a break.  

To me it is pretty clear.  We need to make changes to ensure we keep progressing.  The key is regular progress.  This is just as important from a mental perspective.  We need to be smart and stay fresh.

I have some other ideas around 5/3/1 reps which I am still formulating.  I will post something soon.

Let me know your thoughts.

bigger stronger smarter


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