What to do next?

I recently lifted in the 2019 APF Raw Challenge in Chicago. I ended up with an 1802 total via a 705 squat, 463 bench and 633 deadlift. I'll be starting an offseason right after New Years. 

While I won't really start training again until January, I have been putting some thought into what my approach will be. I will be looking for a late April - early June meet to give myself 8-10 weeks of "offseason."

The Squat

I hit a big PR. I don't need to change anything.

Seriously, why would I change anything? What I did worked really well and I was riding a lot of momentum into the meet. There is no need to make drastic changes.

What worked well - My primary assistance work included a lot of squatting against chains, pause squats and work with the SS Yoke Bar. My off season will include variations of these things. Assuming the off season continues to progress nicely, my next contest prep will include this stuff too.

The Bench

I hit another PR and was also riding a lot of momentum. Again, not much to change here.

What worked well - Incline movements and close grip movements. Also, alternating between a barbell benchpress and a dumbbell press each week went a long way to keeping me healthy (dumbbells on weeks that I squatted with a straight bar especially.) Finally, a monthly visit to both my chiro and my massage therapist made a huge difference.

What didn't work - Floor pressing. I got hurt floor pressing. It always feels like I am going to rip a part floor pressing. No heavy floor presses for awhile.

I'll stay the course here for the most part. Lots of incline and close grip variations for me. Avoiding the floor press.

The Deadlift

I struggled here. Reflecting on my training cycle, I realize I didn't pull much. I squatted heavy about 5 times, but only really pulled heavy once. I think a big key that I need to change is balancing my training cycle better and putting more effort into my deadlifting. I need to get more volume and a little more frequency. I also need to get back to the things that have worked for me in the past, namely block pulls for reps from various heights.

Usually my combined squat and deadlift day is a main squat movement followed by a deadlift and then one big assistance exercise. I think what I will do is make the main squat movement one of the major assistance movements mentioned above and then make the main assistance movement for the day a deadlift focused movement. Its a simple change that I think will work out well.

Meet Day Nutrition

I ran out of gas big time at the meet. I never felt sick, nor did I have any major GI distress. My stomach felt pretty good all day, but I just ran out.

I think I might be leaving some performance out there by not having a little more discipline during the refeed and then on meet day. I think I could clean this up a little and have a better strategy for food on Friday and Saturday. Some simple changes that I might consider will be around the meals I eat during the meet. I've been a little too loose with this and should structure it more.

Where I think I am messing it up is with eating too much fat. My usual diet is pretty low fat, high carb and high protein. I think I could benefit from replacing some of fattier stuff I am eating over the refeed and on meet day with something a little leaner but still loaded with carbs and sodium. No major changes, just substituting in some heavily salted lean red meat and rice/noodles.

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