New Years and all that Rubbish

2013 has been a pretty big year for me and I am happy to say that in many ways I’ve achieved more than I could have imagined 12 months ago.  This is not to say that everything was perfectly plain sailing and there are a couple of goals I really wanted to achieve that are going to have to wait until next year but overall I’m pretty happy with how things went with my training and I learnt a lot of valuable lessons.


Pulling 240kg in April

So here is a summary of the good and the bad from 2013 and some lessons that you might be able to apply to your 2014.

1. Competing in powerlifting turned out to be lots of fun and a great challenge.  Focusing on a specific sport and not worrying about trying to achieve a dozen different fitness goals gave me a lot of focus and helped immensely when life got in the way or when training got tough.  I think over the year I missed only a very small handful of training sessions and those were simply unavoidable due to illness or overseas travel.  In each case I got back to training as soon as possible and kept heading towards my next comp.  The result was that in my first comp of the year I totalled 555kg and in my last comp I totalled 610kg and I hit all time personal bests on Squat, Bench and Deadlift.

The takeaway – Train for SOMETHING and make sure it is a big enough goal that you can still focus on it when little obstacles get in the way.

2. Training with great specificity turned out to be a double edged sword.  Toward the end of the year I started to realise that my lifting was becoming limited by a lack of basic back and core strength and that even though I was getting quite strong in the powerlifts I was reaching the limit of my potential with my current technique and was starting to suffer from some aches and pains.  To this end I have now had to take a big step backward and have embarked on a program to rebuild my lifting technique and base of strength from the ground up.  To be honest this kind of sucks.  I’m using weights that should be easy but doing them out of position and sticking to perfect technique is making it a very humbling experience.

The takeaway – If I had kept training the way I was training in 2013 I am pretty sure I would have hit a wall in mid 2014 and may have hurt myself.  I had to swallow my pride and take 2 steps back so that I can try to make 3 steps forward this year.  Now is a good time to evaluate your program and figure out if there are weak spots that are holding you back that you can fix.

3. This year was busy but that was no excuse not to train.  I worked a 9-5 job, wrote a new book, trained clients, sent newsletters, bought a house, went to Europe on business, looked after 2 kids and still managed to train on average 7 times per week.  To achieve this I split my training between lunch time sessions of a single main exercise and evening sessions of all my accessory work.  Getting up at 6:30 training at lunch for an hour then coming home and training again for another hour makes for some long days but I got it all done.

The takeaway – If you want it bad enough you can find a way to do it.  I don’t watch commercial TV (I only watch one episode of something a couple of days per week and we watch pre recorded stuff to skip the ads), I cook in bulk on weekends to save on meal prep time, I have my own home gym and I have someone to kick my ass if I don’t train.

So, when you go to plan your new years resolutions keep in mind the following.

  1. Have a big goal that motivates you.
  2. Shit happens, life gets in the way, figure out how to work around it.
  3. Be prepared to analyse where you are and what’s holding you back, then figure out how to fix it.
  4. Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance.  Order your supplements and stuff in bulk, write out a plan, get a coach to kick your ass.
  5. Have fun with your training.

If you need a coach for military fitness goals you know where to find me (probably in the garage training)


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