I have decided to do a meet on June 9th in Dover. This is a little earlier than I really wanted to compete and also a little further than I'd like to travel but having done a fair bit of research this is the only one that fits my criteria unless I want to wait until November/December time which I don't.
Aside from a week out with the stomach bug recently I feel like my raw training has been going well. My raw strength has come back and it has also revealed some weaknesses which I am addressing, specifically I need:
- Better hip mobility to allow me to keep my knees out at the bottom of the squat.
- To get tighter on the bench press.
- Improve ankle flexibility to make depth easier and allow me to be more stable at the bottom of the squat.
These are all being addressed by working mobility, stretching and rolling on a daily basis. Sometimes twice daily.
Over the coming weeks I am starting to gradually add the gear back into training. Slingshot and knee wraps at first with an aim of hitting the following numbers by mid-April:
Squat - 220kgs in knee wraps
Bench - 147.5kgs raw and the same for a triple with the slingshot
Thereafter I will be into the squat suit for heavy work, starting straps down and working up to full gear. Bench will be as much shirted work as I can handle on my heavy day, alternating with raw if I'm too beat up. I plan on touching a weight each session and then doing overload work off boards; mostly 1 and 2 board. I have no idea what my openers will be as of yet but if I hit the raw numbers I want and the geared work goes well, I would expect them to be close to PBs.
Now to deadlift. This lift is a complete enigma to me. I spend long periods of time wondering what the hell I'm doing and why I suck at it. I seem to be hitting a decent groove now in my raw work and as much as I'd like to stick the suit back on, it pulls me forward and off line which is the exact problem that I am trying to avoid. I want to get close to a gym PB raw (230-240kgs) and then do a test session to see what happens. That will probably be in around a month's time if I keep progressing as I have done with the raw stuff.
Lastly bodyweight: I plan on competing at 93kgs again and am currently weighing 95-96kgs as I walk around. I won't be carb backloading this time so it should be a lot easier to make weight. I will drop carbs slowly throughout the week before, do my normal water load and that should see me comfortably beneath 93. I need to make this cut a bit less severe as the meet is further away and if I'm in the first flight, I won't have much more than an hour to rehydrate and bloat before I have to warm-up. Better safe than sorry.
Overall I feel good now. The raw work is beating me up but in a good way. I now need to find a happy balance between adding the gear in and maintaining/improving raw strength. I feel motivated, strong and excited to see what I can produce in 9 weeks.
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