I’m currently 10 days out (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!) from my third Strong(wo)man competition (recap of my first and second competition) and figured you all deserved an update since I’ve been getting tons of questions about it. First off, this will be the first time I’m competing with someone else from my gym (yay!) and I’m super excited about it - it’s going to be ridiculously fun. Second off, I’m not nervous. at all. Maybe the nerves just haven’t hit yet but I’m actually feeling fairly decent going into this competition. There is only one event that is slightly worrisome, simply because it’s a pressing medley and pressing is my major weak spot. I did run through the medley with lighter weights and hit everything with about 25 seconds to spare on the time cap so hopefully, I will be in good shape come competition day. My program changed for this competition and it’s been insanely fun and a bit brutal. I’m going on about week 11 or 12 with no deload so my body will be quite happy once next week’s taper begins. That said, here’s a look at what my progress has looked like this past training cycle:
Front squat 5RM: 130x5 → 165x5 (I’ll attempt 170 for 5 this Friday)
Push Press 5RM: 75x5 → 95x4 (I switched to push pressing the log a few weeks ago)
Stone over bar (48inch bar), 142# stone, 60 seconds: 7 → prior to this, my best 142# stone load was to the 50 inch platform, 3 times, in separate sets
Yoke: 350# for short distance with lots of drops → 405# for 80 feet, no drops
Axle Press: 110#→ 120#
18inch deadlift: 235#, 14 times in 60 seconds → 275#, 7 times in 60 seconds (on my second set, I did 3 on my first set and then popped my rib out of place so I rested a bit, popped my rib back in, and did it again)
Log press: 80# → 95#
Sled drag: 325# for 40 feet in 38 seconds → 425# for 40 feet in 22 seconds (my first number is from September, I had also done 405# for 40 feet in January maybe?)
What feels the same compared to last time?: It’s always hard and always fun. Don’t think that will ever really change.
What feels different from last time?: I’m stronger. And faster. I’ve really noticed that my conditioning has majorly improved and I’m much faster on most of my events.
Apparently I look a little different [September vs. yesterday]...and I wear the same outfit when it's unseasonably warm.
General thoughts: I’m pretty happy with my progress but of course, I want to be better - particularly at pressing. That’s always been a big weak spot for me that is just going to require A LOT of work. During this entire training cycle I’ve been moving between feeling REALLY good and REALLY crappy - not so much physically (although I am totally beat right now) but more so mentally. I snap out of it pretty quickly but there have definitely a few moments of "WTF?!"-ness.
What I’ve been doing differently this time around: I’ve also noticed that I need to make more concerted recovery efforts so I’ve been trying a few new things. The first thing I’ve done is take regular epsom salt baths which have been ah-mazing. Not only are they super relaxing but they’ve been helping reduce my soreness - particularly in my legs. Epsom salt are high in magnesium which helps with sleep and muscle recovery. I’m not a great sleeper so taking an epsom salt bath before bed has been helping me sleep MUCH better.
I’ve also been trying a new-to-me product called X2 Performance for a pre-workout energizer and also to help my recovery.(P.S. by clicking the link - you can get a FREE TRIAL of X2 for yourself!) X2 Performance is designed to enhance the generation and regeneration of ATP (basically your cellular energy) and contains specific electrolytes to help increase energy, enhance endurance, and improve recovery. As far as taste goes, to me, it tastes like tart liquid pixie stix which I actually really like since I find that most pre-workout drinks or powders are waaaay too sweet for me. I tried it out last Friday before my evening workout and didn’t feel any jitters or crash. And I majorly PR’ed my yoke - which is always a good thing. I’ve got a few more samples to try so I’ll let you all know what I think about it as I test it out.
I’ve also upped my calories/carbs because my body was feeling pretty horrible after a few weeks of unintentionally dropping my calories and carb intake. More carbs? You don’t have to tell me twice.
All that’s left is Friday training session, some extra work on Sunday, and then taper/deload. Overall, I'm feeling pretty ready and like I could use more ice cream in my life (always).
NOTE: I am being compensated for my participation in the X2 Performance campaign and was provided with product. As always, my opinions, thoughts, and musings are my own.