a few minutes ago
12 DAYS OUT FROM THE XPC FINALS AT THE ARNOLD CLASSIC...how should you feel in the days leading up to a meet? I can’t answer this question with any type of universal applicability to every lifter under the sun. We all have our own processes. The truth is, you’ll have your own process in year one, and you’ll have your own process in year ten. If you make it that long. The chances are, the processes will differ greatly the more times you find yourself floating in this void. For me, the taper down has started. My body needs time to heal up. Ten years ago, I was still pushing pretty hard 12 days out. I felt needed it then. I needed to know that I could hit my openers, maybe more than once. For multiple reps. What’s changed since then? I know after almost 20 meet cycles, the work is done. My openers are my last warmups. I need no reassurance. I know I have given all that I have to this meet training cycle, and the peak is coming down. Pushing it further only makes things harder on meet day. This foresight, like so much in this sport, is a skill. Powerlifting is just as much developing cognitive processes and mental skill as it is physical. If you don’t learn from your past, you’re damned to repeat your past mistakes. 12 days out, years ago, I was basically not sleeping and an uncontrollable emotional train wreck. I referred to every meet as, “the biggest meet of my life.” This becomes maladaptive when your physiological response is activated so highly for so long. What’s interesting here is this is something often beyond one’s control. I still don’t sleep well the night before a meet. But I know if I let myself activate too soon, I’ll fade into exhaustion before the meet even gets here. I still plan my life up until a meet. I still romanticize numbers. I still love this sport as much as I did 10 years ago. But I find peace in knowing that powerlifting does not control my cognition. My cognition controls my powerlifting. And that, in a nutshell, is one of the greatest and most valuable skills I’ve been able to develop as a powerlifter. And that shit comes with having Calloused Hands.