So I sit here battered and mildly bruised from the meet three days ago, and my time spent there gave me a lot of perspective about things.
First off, a lot of people will have something to say about me getting injured. That's fine. I'm 36, been at this for 22 years and am still constantly pushing the envelope of what I am capable of. Sometimes this is smart, sometimes it's not. Talk to both Ed Coan and Ernie Lilliebridge at the meet, they echoed the same sentiments about their own training. That staying healthy is always the biggest obstacle for guys our age or older.
I told Ernie I know I'd be good for an 1850 beltless total if I could get two injury-free training cycles in. He laughed and said "I just want to get one injury free training cycle in!"
It has nothing to do with my methods or philosophy, but everything to do with my time put in under the bar. At 36 I'm not as pliable as I was at 26, or even 30.
I liken it to the guys in the NFL. At 36 he isn't as fast as he was at 26, so in order to be more effective he has to go from playing 50 snaps a game, to 25 snaps a game. Then he doesn't wear down as much over the course of the season and can still contribute at a high level.
For me, that means more recovery and strengthening some areas in a prehabilitation way. It used to be that my adductors would strain under the heavier loads of squatting. I fixed that this past training cycle, but my VMO went. So obviously, that will be on the list of things to shore up.
My squat is really the only lift that has caused me injury in all actuality. I tore my bicep deadlifting last year however that was most definitely an anomaly. My elbow issues are more just wear and tear, and even with my permanently separated shoulder I never beat myself up too bad benching.
So keeping things in perspective, what I really need to do is just take care of my legs and continue doing what I have been doing and a big total is there.
In closing I wanted to give a big thanks to Chuck Miller and Jim Wendler. Both who gave me a lot of great advice going into the meet that proved to be invaluable.
Another meet will happen sometime in my near future, and the elusive big beltless total will fall.
But in the meantime, it's time to get in shape, do some cardio, lighten up on the lifting and then plan some strategies out from there. I will probably go to my shake diet for the next 6 weeks and see where I end up weight wise.