5 Things You MUST Do When Training For Competition

By: Brian Carroll

1. Be patient. Don’t push and peak too early just because you feel great. This could be the start of your end in this training cycle. Sometimes athletes feel GREAT after a very productive offseason and want to IMMEDIATELY jump the gun and go heavy as hell right away because they feel ‘ready’. This is a trap that many fall into and end up peaking 5 weeks out from the meet. Always err on the side of caution in training.

2. Have a plan (and a back-up). This piggy-backs on number 1. Having a plan will help you see the big picture instead of going ‘big’ whenever you feel like it and having a back-up plan will sometimes save you from throwing in the towel! You will know your limits each day and when they day comes to push heavy; you are all locked in and ready. This is part of building momentum that I’m always talking about.

3. Eliminate distractions that are unnecessary. Anything that will unnecessarily pull your attention away – i.e. getting into trouble with the law, having too many girlfriends, partying too hard, trying to play multiple sports just ‘because’. I get it – we have responsibilities outside of the gym but at the same time, if you are going to invest all this time, money and effort into something, you might want to take it seriously.

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4. Be ready to feel terrible some days when pushing hard toward a meet. As I talk about in 10/20/Life, weeks 5, 6, 7 will likely feel the worst and as if you are almost barely treading water if not regressing. This is the norm if you are pushing hard enough. If at 2 weeks out you feel ‘fresh’ or ‘great’ you may have not trained as hard as you should have and depending on the outcome of the meet, make sure to adjust accordingly.

5. Visualize yourself doing your goal numbers. That’s exactly what I do. See yourself picking up the weight – whether a squat, bench, dead – whatever and ‘feel’ it and imagine yourself successfully doing it. Play out all possible scenarios in your head and see yourself doing what your goal is. How you will feel before, during and after. Think of every case scenario as you envision this happening and never talk yourself out of a lift in a meet unless you are facing serious injury.

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Brian Carroll

Brian is a world-class powerlifter with over two decades of elite and pro-level powerlifting under his belt. Coming back from a devastating back injury in 2012 that broke multiple bones and that most experts said he would never recover from, he has returned to the pinnacle of world-class lifting (while 100% pain and symptom-free) and is now dedicated to helping others avoid the same mistakes that he made in the past through private and group coaching in Jacksonville, FL. Brian’s impressive recovery has given him the opportunity to teach and deliver talks to physical therapists, chiropractors, medical doctors, professional strength & conditioning coaches and experts from all facets of sport, on how to avoid injury, while building anti-fragile strength and resilience in athletes.
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