Hitting an easy 182.5kg (400 lb) Squat PB in December
It has been a while since I’ve posted about my own training, which has been going pretty well overall. I’ve got a pretty big post planned for a few months time when I’ll have been training in weightlifting for around a year so I’m not going to go into too much detail here. Since I started working with a coach on a more regular basis I’ve made substantial improvements to technique and consistency, plus around 20% more weight on the bar but still have a lot of room for improvement. With that in mind, here’s my Training Goals for 2014 in weightlifting, giving an idea of what I’d like to achieve over the next year as I progress in the sport.
1. Come down to 85kg and lean out
Over the last four or five months I’ve taken one eye off my eating and have eaten more or less what I liked, which has amounted to a fairly healthy surplus. During this time, I’ve put on somewhere in the region of 4-5kg leaving me up around 90kg (we’ll have to see what the post-holiday scales say). I’m also carrying a bit more bodyfat than I’d like so it seems to make sense to strip some of that off so I can compete at a leaner 85kg. I eat pretty well in terms of food choices but have been eating too much lately. I’m not in a huge hurry to drop the weight so I’m gradually going to chip away at the number on the scales, improving body composition and hopefully maintaining or bettering strength as I go.
2. Sort out my jerk
Over the last few months I’ve made quite a lot of progress with my Snatch and Clean technique but the Jerk simply refuses to play nice. An old injury has played a part but there’s also the fact that I’m rubbish at it and keep psyching myself out of lifts I should easily be able to make. The last week or so before Christmas I was playing about with the Power Jerk and I was a lot more consistent with it at lighter weights but I haven’t really done enough reps at heavier weights to know if it’s the way forward. Either way, my jerk as is is going to hold me back in competition and so fixing it is a priority.
3. Improve all round strength, but especially in the upper body
One of the highlights of the last few months has been a pretty decent improvement in my squat strength (something like a 25kg increase to 1RM in less than four months). I’d obviously like to maintain and improve this, while working on my efficiency with bigger Olympic lifts, but it’s also time that I addressed the fact that I’m pretty weak in my upper body and could do with more strength and mass there. I can’t say I find bodybuilding particularly fun but it’ll all help me to become a better lifter.
4. Hit the following numbers for each lift:
Snatch – 100kg
Clean & Jerk – 130kg
Back Squat – 210kg
These are the minimum numbers I’d like to achieve. Stretch goals are Snatch – 110kg, C&J – 140kg, Back Squat – 220kg.
5. Qualify for a national level weightlifting competition
I’m planning to compete for the first time in a few months and will then hopefully have another couple of meets later in the year. The goal is to qualify for Scottish nationals (or Irish, depending on what I’m eligible for). For Scotland, this requires a 202kg total at 85kg. I don’t expect to hit this in my first meet but it should definitely be on for later in the year.
And now for some Resolutions to help me achieve all of the above…
1. Record more video when training
For a while I was in the habit of recording video of my lifts but I’ve fallen out of it over the last few months. Now that I mostly train with a training partner, there’s no excuse for not getting footage from each session.
2. Don’t skip accessory work
When I’m tired or feel like I have only limited energy, I’m inclined to drop accessory work in order to finish up a bit sooner and get home. Where possible, I’d like to avoid doing this as ultimately, the extra work will do me good, especially while trying to lose fat and get stronger.
3. Improve work-life balance
At times it feels that my job utterly dominates my life, consuming the overwhelming majority of my days and seemingly leaving little time for anything else. When I add weightlifting into the mix, it seems that my time to do much else is pretty minimal. In 2014 I’d like to take steps to redress this balance so that I have enough time to do more of the things I want to do and get the most from my training time.
What are your training goals for 2014?