Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

With the All England championships, less than a week away, I sit here reflecting on my preparation in the lead up.

I have been plagued by a niggling injury, competed 2 weeks ago, in an equipped Bench only that I probably shouldn’t have, and am off to assist the GB equipped Bench team at the world championships in Lithuania just 2 days before All England!!

Now, I see preparation as a very personal thing. There are many many articles, videos, blogs etc from coaches stating “you should do this, you should do that” but in reality, we are all different. As with your programming, you are very different from the next man (or woman). If you go with the crowed, you’re never going to stand out from it!

So, spending the time to find out what works for you is very important. You spend all that time in the gym, on the field, or courts. Spend money on memberships, equipment, and treatment, to put all that hard work in jeopardy because you didn’t invest the time or effort to prepare properly.

Be it Rugby, or a strength sport, I have always had my own way to prepare that I feel worked well for me. From a team sports point of view, the regularity of the competition is a massive factor. Training would be more to a conjugate format, so I was never really aiming to peak for one specific moment. I didn’t need to hit weight, I didn’t have to focus on any specific opening numbers, it was more about nutrition and mental preparation.  From a Strength competitors point of view, there is a lot more to this process. Its duration can be up to 12 weeks in the making. But for this article I will focus on the immediate run up to the competition.

This phase, for me, is about 7 days. 7 days out I will start my waster load. Though I compete in the u93kg category, and sit at about 92kg, I like to compete under 90kg. Someone recently asked me “why do you want to cut weight if you don’t need to?”. The answer to this is simply because, I feel more efficient at this weight, and the process of the water manipulation me helps me psychologically prepare. I think the hardship of it makes it more rewarding.

My last sessions are 7, 6, and 5 days out. These sessions are my warmup protocol for comp day. I’ll do each component on separate days, and work up to 90% of my openers. From 5 days out I’ll start to drop off my carb intake. Then by 2 day out carb intake is minimal.

16 hours out from weigh-in I’ll cut water out completely. And if I feel the need, I’ll have a salt bath 10-12 hours out.

Food intake is minimal pre weigh-in. I’ll consume things like Rice cakes, bread sticks, thin crackers, ryvita etc. Foods that are dry, and high in carbs. So the only extra weight you take on is food weight.

Once I’ve weighed in, it’s time to refuel. Firstly, I’ll consume a sachet of Dioralyte in 500ml of water. Then I’ll consume some high carb foods, like Flapjacks, Fig Rolls etc, along with another litre of water. It’s important not to rush the consumption of this, as you may make yourself ill, or give yourself stomach cramps. Take your time to re-plen.

Then it’s game time!!

Andy Champ – 21st May 2017