Monday, April 7, 2014

Post-Punch Planning

I wish I could have attended the Punch Kettlebell Sport Championships last weekend. My local friends from Pride Conditioning and my friends from the Ice Chamber and Team Kettleguard were there and performed well. Punch Gym puts on a great show, with great lifters in-house and great enthusiasm and hospitality.

I lifted a long set Saturday in a PR attempt that didn't pan out. My usual competition pace with 20kg bells is 5rpm, plus a few reps over the course. I had been training 6rpm for medium sets, so I decided to try 6rpm for a timed set. I got to 40/6:30 before I completely ran out of air. I shouldn't have tried to bump my PR from 54 to 64 in one shot, but I did try.

What caught my attention was that some of my fellow athletes posting that they had the same experience at the competition. I read "worst set in two months". I read "aggravated with myself". Another scored almost exactly the same as last year.

I'm aware that a several of these lifters build their programming around many short sets. My midseason volume work is organized the same way, but my peaking cycles include longer sets. This made me revisit exactly what I'm doing.

I'll be cycling my volume less and stretching my sets for the next few weeks, testing a long set every other Saturday. I've been training bodyweight instead of barbells lately, with good results. My legs had gotten stiff, and what I'm doing now feels like physical therapy. I must be careful to keep my strength up over the long-term. I've started using the Couch 2 5K app to avoid reorganizing my running when I'm tired. My pace is up, and my capacity is up, and I can usually still run when my sleep is inadequate to lift bells.

I think my biggest shortfall right now is inadequate sleep. I finished all my reps this morning, but the 24s were heavy. Heavy's usually a sign I didn't rest enough, as these bells are fixed sizes that I handle every session. I don't know what kind of rest people got in Sarasota, but I know how squat days felt when I wasn't rested, and it's familiar.

I will see some of you at the ATC Throwdown in May. 24kg is alone on the menu, so this will be a real test for me. I'm excited.

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