Mediocre people are always satisfied. Don't be satisfied with where you are at.
I'm constantly reinforcing the fact that you need to have goals. Goals in life, professional goals, and lifting goals. Just remarking that you "want to get better" or "want to be awesome" doesn't really define anything.
Setting your sights on goals gives you something tangible to go after. Gives you a reason to plan, and makes you think about your plan of action. Remember to always ask yourself why it is you are doing what you are doing. You should be able to give an answer to why it is you are doing the things you are doing.
I will give some examples of this from my last meet, and the goals I put in place following that.
After the meet I knew I didn't want to compete in the 275's anymore. I feel like shit at that weight. Second, I'm not really any stronger at 270 than I am at around 250. I lift as good at 250 as any weight. But eating is fun, and so up and away I'd go to 265 or so.
But I wanted to be a "bigger 242". In other words, I need to be 245-250 but leaner at that weight than I usually am.
I also wanted to shore up some more injury issues, and some muscular imbalances. As much as I love minimalistic training there are some downfalls to training that way all the time. Namely you lose mobility and get tight in some very common areas (hip flexors, piriformis, rotators, etc), overdevelop some areas, and under utilize others. This is how imbalances come about, how training comes to a standstill and how you get injured.
My goal after the last meet, in order was -
- Get healthier (injury wise)
- Drop fat
- Get back in shape
These things are done. I am injury free right now and feeling good. I have dropped down to 235 at around 8.5% bodyfat from a high of 272. I will continue to diet and work on conditioning. But as I do here are the things I have been working to shore up as well.
So for months I used the LRB template, which is centered around all of those things.
Getting into shape - Shoring up weak areas - Maintaining foundation level strength or improving it slightly
The LRB template did this amazingly. I shed bodyfat while keeping a solid baseline of strength, and even improving in a lot of areas, I shored up all of the nagging injuries I had been dealing with, and got back into great condition.
- The yoke program. This has worked damn well. Will post up pics in the next week or so. On a very limited diet my traps have grown quite a bit I believe.
- The yoke specialization wasn't just about vanity, it's the first stage in moving my deadlift to a new level. I wanted to get my shrug into the 600-700 range for reps. I'm hitting 635x5 now but that needs to be more like 705x5 consistently. So some of that work will continue. I wanted to use this time to improve my upperback strength so that I know it's over what I am shooting for in the deadlift. This is why 705x5 is still a goal and will remain a goal. I know my upperback and traps will be damn strong when I am hitting 705x5 with quality ROM.
- The next phase, which starts next week, is extreme fucking core and back work. I mean erectors, abs, obliques, lats, rhomboids and traps (still). Emphasis will be placed on the erectors and midback especially. I believe my erectors need to come way up in terms of strength to move my deadlift into the 700's. I will lay out how I plan on doing this by Monday.
More than likely, the phase after that will be meet prep, which I intend to do in April. During this time I will change the diet around just a bit (will talk about getting lean, staying lean, and adding QUALITY mass by making a few subtle changes in your diet so you don't get sloppy fat again but feel awesome). I will run the strong-15 just as outlined however I am already planning to do as little as possible in meet prep as I've ever done. Literally this means......
This is literally as bare bones as I can get. The adductor work is in for injury prevention. The curl is for elbow injury prevention. My bench and incline seem to move each other so I always put them in together. I could do PBN every other week but that's not really that important.
Not only that, but I have decided to do some things with the TIME I train in order to better prepare me for the next meet.
Squats will be done on Saturday morning. This makes sense because you squat first at the meet, and it's usually in the morning. Deadlifts will be done late at night when I am tired as fuck. I expect pulling to be a bitch during this time. I figure if I can smoke 675 or so while I am tired, 700+ should be a no brainer.
The point about all this is, I have had a plan since the last meet ended. I didn't drift about wondering what the fuck I should do (ok so I did for a few weeks after when my body felt destroyed but I eventually got my shit together).
Decide what the fuck it is you want to conquer and go after it like Genghis Khan on trenbolone!
Now bitches, tell me what it is you plan on accomplishing in the next year.........