Written by Chad Wesley Smith
As a lifter, Chad Wesley Smith was renown for putting his best lifts on the day of competition. As a coach, he has helped some of the strongest lifters in the World succeed on the biggest stages, as well as helping lifters of all abilities break PRs where it counts most, on the competition platform. Listen up and learn some valuable tips to improve your ability to peak effectively.
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1. Choose goals for a meet and work backward from the meet, choosing weights that will set you up for the subsequent weights. This is a learned skill that can only come from training and taking ownership of what you are doing and why you are doing it. Stick to the plan. Chasing PRs on strong days in the gym may give you temporary satisfaction and get you some more Instagram likes, but you have to consider it within the context of your entire training plan.
2. Move Your Training from Higher Volume/Lower Intensity/Less Specific to Lower Volume/Higher Intensity/More Specific over the course of a training cycle. Creating a large pool of volume early in the training cycle gives you something to take away from and facilitates more recovery as you progress to heavier weights. If you are training heavy singles on each lift once per week throughout a training cycle, where do you expect the peaking effect to come from?
3. Making lifts – not attempting and missing them – builds your strength and builds your confidence. Strategically selecting training weights that you can make – and make with confidence – is an important part of building momentum into a meet.⠀
4. Whether it’s diet changes, training changes, or routine changes, people love to panic in the days leading up to a meet and try new stuff. DO NOT DO THIS. Trust your plan. Eat the foods you know your body handles well and sleep on your regular schedule. The risk of trying to find some meet-week magic bullet far outweighs the reward. One of the most important pieces of advice is, control what you can control and don’t worry about what you can’t.