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

Owner and Founder at PowerRackStrength.com
Brian Carroll is committed to helping people overcome back pain and optimizing lifts and movement. After years of suffering, he met back specialist Prof. McGill in 2013, which led to a life-changing transformation. In 2017, they co-authored the best-selling book "Gift of Injury." On October 3, 2020, Carroll made history in powerlifting by squatting 1306 lbs, becoming the first person to break this record. He retired with a secure legacy and a life free from back pain.
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