1. Match my competition – I must see how good everyone was at last year’s open and plan to be better then that. Since competition is rapidly growing, I plan on being 2 steps ahead of the competition last year. I can go back in time and check out the winnings times of different events of last year’s competition and make sure my training matches and beats this fachbücher illegal downloaden.
When I won nationals in 2009 for strongman it was a calculated decision. I made the goal of winning, wrote it down and put it right on the kitchen fridge to see every time I went to eat. Believe me, I ended up reading the damn thing a lot. 5,000 calories per day of healthy food is a lot to eat.
I also wrote down specifically how strong I’d have to be in each event to win. I slowly reached each of those landmark weights. When I made it to the competition all I had to do was let all the hard work I’d put in over the past year come out.
2. Programming – Now that I know how good I have to be, now how do I go about getting there? I need to plan for it. Personally, my strengths are my strength (no pun intended). I spend half of the year trying to get as strong as possible and my cardio goes on the back burner. Where I know I can make the most improvement is in the endurance related events. This is where I’ll focus. I will continue to lift heavy, but I can make up the most points by training my weaknesses.
I am a huge believer in specificity of training and I apply it to cross fit. Specificity of training basically means the best way to train for a sport is by practicing what most closely resembles what goes on in the sport. Crossfit contains a whole slew of exercises that I normally don’t practice for half of the year. Here is my list of exercises I need to get better at in no particular order.
This is just a smattering, I have an even more complete list of exercises and a program that caters to my goals.
3. Prevention – In order to succeed in my goals I’ll have to keep from being hurt and injured. This is an often overlooked but absolutely essential part of training. You can’t improve with a torn rotator cuff or bum knee (Unless you are Dan Gable). I work on several exercises to keep my knees, shoulders, low back and neck healthy. I consistently tweak my sets, reps and exercises based on the way my body feels on the fly. Always forcing it is a great way to end your career early. The incidence of knee and other joint replacements is on the rise and trust me the whole process is not fun. I for one would enjoy being able to exercise well into my 60’s 70’s and 80’s.
4. Nutrition – I’ve got to eat to support my metabolic needs. My eating stays fairly consistent year round. Given the higher exercise levels I need to make sure I don’t slack on calories and nutrition. With more intene activity my carbohydrate intake goes up as well. I also supplement with vitamin D, zinc and magnesium. Vitamin D has been shown to increase athletic performance. I definitely don’t get enough sun light on a daily basis. Zinc and Magnesium are tough minerals to get enough of in the diet and are sometimes deficient in the athlete. I find that this combination helps me get better sleep as well.
5. Sleep – Here’s a huge overlooked area. If you’re interested in increasing your efficiency, success, energy and mood start getting more regular sleep. Its funny that almost all people are aware of this but they don’t address it. I personally feel that I need 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep per night to feel energized. If I don’t I’ll feel lethargic, moody and lose motivation. Sometimes I’ll take a short snooze (20 minutes) on days I don’t sleep enough. However, naps are not enough to fix a sleep problem. Get your sleep schedule straight!
6. Stress management – You can’t bun the candle at both ends for too long. If you have a significant amount of stress in your life its going to spill over and effect the others. I know I’ll have to minimize my stressors in order to accomplish this goal. Some tips for stress management are here.
I tend to put a ton on my plate and it takes time away from my girlfriend, friends and family. These are a big priority of mine so I need to make sure I spend time and energy towards these people. If I don’t then it backfires on me, both because I feel guilty for ignoring something so important and also because I get a backlash from my loved ones. I schedule time to see my parents weekly, make sure I return their calls and treat them with the priority and respect they deserve.
7. Scheduling – I’m a full time student trying to win a major competition and run a successful website all at the same time. It’s a lot of work. My schedule is extremely important to me and it helps keep me sane. I try to be as efficient as possible and schedule out my week / month in advance. This area is of utmost importance.
8. Flexibility – Sometimes things don’t work out. Something may come up at work, you may forget about a previously planned event, you may wake up one day and your knee is swollen and hurts like hell. For me I know this will happen. I’ll have to roll with the punches and keep my eye on the prize. I’ll modify and make it happen. I plan for it to happen so when it does it won’t be a disaster.
9. Atmosphere – I’ll have to surround myself with individuals who are equally as hungry as I am to succeed. I’m lucky to be able to train around people who push me to be better and whoop my ass in workouts.
Looks like now I had a very specific set of actions to follow through to achieve my goal. All of the sudden qualifying for these competitions has a clear cut path that I can embark upon. Now I just have to go through with it.
Next article we’ll talk about weekly reflections in order to refocus your goals and measure your progress along the way. Until then!
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