What are the benefits of massively reducing training volume? You guessed it. A fresher, happier lifter. I needed an extra download week than I had originally planned because the previous weeks were demanding training wise, but work and the gym were far more demanding. Training stressors are easy compared to life stressors, so one of the main things I have learned over the last two and a half years of training in the sport of weightlifting, is that when you need to take a step back, do it. There is no plowing ahead when you have responsibilities above and beyond weightlifting. The ego finds it very hard to take, because you read everwhere that you just have to get on with it and fight the good fight. I have tried this so many times you would not believe. It has always meant that I end up taking two or three steps back rather than the planned one step that facilitates future improvement.
I trained twice this week and worked up to two singles in the Snatch with around 85% of my training max (97.5kg) but I know I will lift far far more in competition tomorrow. I then did the 5x5 in the box squat and did not start where I left off two weeks ago--this is another mistake I have made so many times-- and I have doms in the upper hamstrings two days later. You have to love the box squats: they do exactly as they say on the tin. I finished off with a step loaded 5x5 in the press.
I only Clean and Jerked 120 yesterday and it was a rushed session because we were busy in the gym. Again I will probably end up opening with around 137/138kg on Saturday. I always lift far more in competition than I do in training; I love competing and the emotional arousal cannot compare with training.
I have my first competition of the season tomorrow and I am really looking forward to it. It is not an important competition and ideally I would have had a regular training week rather than another download week, but I had to make a priority call. I still trained twice and kept the intensity up, but dropped the volume completely. I feel great coming into Saturday, but also for my next training phase coming up where, you guessed it, I will focus on getting stronger and getting more consistent with the rhythm, tempo and positioning of my lifts.
To finish off with, this is the kind of gym I want to train in: