Happy Turkey Day! I hope your Thanksgiving festivities were full of family, friends, love, and of course some good eats!
After the last four weeks you should be getting comfortable with dome events, maybe adding a pound or two of good weight, and ready for the next phase: Strength!
For the next four weeks or so, your reps should drop to a range of three to eight, and you should be adding weight. Your last reps of your last two sets should be tough but but doable, "Grinders" if you will. You should probably have a spot, especially if you are in the lower rep range. Focus on building a big back. Guys, chicks dig a monstrous back. And gals, guys appreciate what is takes to have a well shaped back.
It is time to start toying with the contest events. Now, I do not mean go full boar on each event as you think it will go at USS Nationals. What I mean is this: start varying your log press schemes and rotate in some alternate pressing every few weeks to give your body a break - no you will not lose anything... Stop being a head case.
Start mixing in some front carry events, like husa or sandbag, along with your core strongman moving events (yoke and farmers). "But John, we're not doing yoke or farmers, so why train them? Wa, wa, wah!" Look here, Cupcake, you are supposed to be a strong as f&#% athlete... so act like one and know that by training these other events you are preparing your body for 1) being a complete strongman, 2) not frying your CNS, and 3) the core and grip training is unparalleled.
Stones? yes, do them. But rotate this in and out or your event training. This event crushes you whether you know it or not. Do you need 6 weeks in a row of stones? NO! 3-4 weeks out of every six is fine right now. Again, you will not lose anything by taking a week off every two or three, and you will likely stay healthier.
What about diet? Hell, I don't know. That is not my area of expertise. if you know me, you know i have a belly and love Dr. Pepper and Cheetos. Add some ranch and I have a complete meal! What i do know is that you should stay relatively clean with your food. Have some cheats and stay sane. You and your significant other will thank me later for that! But do not be afraid to be a few pounds out side of your weight class right now. Enjoy the season.
"But John, I haven't qualified yet. When should I try?" RIGHT NOW! What the hell are you waiting on? Who cares that it is the holiday season?! Use that as a reason to see some people you care about and go compete! This time of year (now through March) is great too. Many (most) contests are indoor and they are Max Effort events. This will give you a chance to set some short term goals and get your marks for USS Nationals Prep. Check out the UPCOMING EVENTS page for many options.
If you have qualified, go compete again. You are far enough out that it will not hurt your prep. Additionally, you should be competing during prep to keep your focus sharp and competitor mentality fierce. The mental game is HUGE, brah. Lastly, many of the contests this time of year are for charity. What a great way to give back or pay it forward.
Take all the aforementioned as you will. But, at the very least, please spread some cheer, give back, pay it forward, and enjoy the time with those that you care about the most.
From me and on behalf of YOUR United States Strongman executive staff, we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and wish you Happy Holidays.