When you compose a training cycle it’s important to base it around one major goal and then push forward by setting smaller targets that help you ultimately reach that goal. The realization here is that depending on whatever your goal is, it’s going to take some time to achieve it and that’s where these smaller targets come in handy to keep your motivation and morale up in the meantime.
For me, my ultimate goal is obviously to get stronger, but while I’m recovering from my injury I will be leaning out and building muscle (specifically upper body muscle) to increase my bench and still remain in my weight class. I realize that whenever your body becomes leaner as you lose weight, your strength tends to decrease, at least momentarily. So far I have lost 4lbs and my strength on bench has not decreased at all. I haven’t exactly maxed out lately, but I was able to hit my previous PR from my last meet for a triple, which shows that the bodybuilding style of training has been beneficial so far. Progress is going to be slow because my back is still not 100%, but I’m getting better every day and have been able to start rehabbing some by including more weight, and will probably be able to do light deadlifts some time this week. I’m not exactly where I would like to be, but I’m still 19 weeks away from what I believe will be my next competition, which leaves a ton of time for improvement in all areas of my lifting and physique. The little targets that I have set for myself for now are physique-related, in which I want to see a recomposition in my body of more muscle and less fat, while maintaining strength. Then, when I am about 12 weeks out, I will focus solely on strength and performance with the newly built muscle I have accumulated while healing.
Currently my workouts are body part specific like I explained in my last blog post. I always incorporate one of the main lifts into each workout , minus deadlifting until this coming week. Then I follow that by some major volume with accessory movements that have more focus. For example, chest/triceps day might include:
Regular bench – 5 sets total working up heavy for 5 reps
Incline bench – 4 sets with the heaviest I can handle for 5 reps each.
Peck deck – 4 sets of failure .
Flys – 4 sets of failure.
Skull crushers – 4 sets of failure.
Pushdowns – 4 sets of failure
Dip machine – 4 sets of failure
The concept with this style of training though is to squeeze on each rep, do some negatives at the end of your sets, and get that mind-muscle connection. By the end, my body feels like it wants to explode….. not really but you get what I’m saying. Then I end things with a post-workout shake, 25-30 min of low impact cardio, and stretching. It may seem time consuming but you don’t see very many world champions half-assing their workouts, do you?
Caitlyn Trout is a fierce competitor in the raw powerlifting world. She is a graduate student at Eastern Kentucky University and is based at Four Brother’s Gym in Mt. Vernon, KY where she achieved pro raw status within the 2 years of training. Her best competition lifts are 370/165/ 385 at 122 bodyweight. Caitlyn’s squat of 370 and overall total of 920 are the World Records in the 123 weight class raw w/ wraps. This young athlete has a promising career in front of her, as she looks to inspire females to pursue strength.