Just ran the numbers and over half of my clients are competing at major contests in the next 3 months. No matter if I'm talking with beginner or extreme elite athletes every single one of them will make the same mistake during meet prep. "This week I need to take contest weight/a max to see where I am at / build confidence..." If you have been doing this as long as I have (online coaching, doggone 20+ years I guess) then you know better and you pre-plan for it to happen and you program it in so you control when it happens before they do.

So, you are guessing that I'm totally against taking a contest run or a max lift in competition prep, right? Wrong! I fully understand this need and I do understand what it can do to your mental status if you do it well. I also understand what it does to you if anything under The Sun goes wrong! Holy Moley it can make you insane and questioning everything and turning to Black Magic if you haven't yet. And, why haven't you tried a little Black Magic yet anyway...we are competing and you never know which one of your competitors have already flipped that switch!

My suggestion is to look at your programming and your training performances and ask yourself if what you've done so far leads you to believe that contest weight or your goals will be there on contest day or not. Then ask yourself what it will do for you, progress wise, to take the TEST right now. Taking the TEST means that you just gave up a super precious opportunity of training to PROGRESS. You decided to steal a study day and take the test early and lose a chance to get even better. Sometimes it is worth it mentally, most of the times it is not. I'll be honest, I only suggest taking a contest weight to my super experienced clients that I have beyond full confidence in. People that share the same mental wavelength as I do!

If all of your training has not been giving you progress then I suggest you get on the right track RIGHT NOW and start doing things RIGHT so that you will at least be closer come contest day.

If all of your training has been leading you in the right direction then I suggest that you keep that very same vision and continue repeating the process and trust that on contest day you will show up as prepared for the test as possible and that every one of your fellow competitors chose to take the test non-stop every training session for the last six weeks. They may have their Number 2 pencils ready but will they have the skill to pass the test?

Jesus just left Chicago and He's bound for New Orleans.

You might not see Him in person, but He'll see you just the same.

You don't have to worry 'cause takin' care of business is His name

So have a little faith in ZZ Top as well as what you've been doing in training. You may not see the goal right at your finger tips but it'll be there just the same. Now take care of business...