What’s Next?

Meagan at USAPL NJ State Awards Ceremony 8/10/2013

Meagan at USAPL NJ State Awards Ceremony 8/10/2013

What’s next for Meagan, the athlete?
(as opposed to Meagan the Doctoral Candidate, or Meagan the small business owner) 

It comes down to three things: 1) Keep on training and getting stronger, 2) Prepare for 2014 USAPL Raw Nationals, 3) Lean out to compete in lower weight class.

Keep on Keeping On

While I loved training for the USAPL NJ State Championships, my body needs rest from the 90-95% max training over the last two months. I want to compete again, but I am not quite ready to jump back into a 12 week training cycle.  I think I will stay within the 60-80% range for the next month or so, and potentially aim for a meet 1st quarter of 2014. End of January would be optimal, so we will see which meets pop up in the next couple of months. Although, I have to say, doing a meet between now and Nationals isn’t 100% necessary for me. I believe I executed well in NJ, especially flying solo, and so I don’t feel like I need more “competition practice” to prepare for a National level meet.  We will see how I feel in a couple of months, and reevaluate. Until then, I am going to draft up a short ~2 month training cycle that keeps me progressing. I plan to post my training logs weekly instead of daily while not in meet prep.

USAPL Raw Nationals 2014

Ultimately, I am aiming for USAPL Raw Nationals July 17-20 in Aurora, Colorado. I’d like to add a minimum of 40 lbs to my total by then, aiming for a 900+ raw total. Given my performance in NJ, I believe I was close to my ultimate maxes. I maybe left 15-20 lbs on the platform, but I believe, if you play it smart at a meet, you always will leave something. At Nationals next year, I would ideally like to squat 330, bench 220, and deadlift 400. (that would be a 950# total) With 10 more months under the bar, I think I can fine tune my form to increase my numbers in addition to strength gains. Perhaps those are lofty goals, but, hey, I love a challenge.

I know I have more strength in me to squat more than 300, and it is going to take time under the bar to reach my potential. I had some serious confidence issues going into the NJ meet because I bombed out on squat because of depth at my last USAPL meet ~6 years ago. This affected my entire training cycle. Continuous work on my mindset will improve my confidence and performance. My squat can use some good coaching as well. Fortunately I am moving back to civilization soon, and I will have access to great coaches.

On bench, I tightened up my stance significantly the week of the meet, and it helped tremendously with the heavier weights. I pulled my feet in under me tighter, set my hips angled more, all raising my chest an estimated 1-1.5 inches.  That delta helps incredibly to shorten the movement. While I am not sure why I didn’t train like that the entire time, now I am set and can train this way moving forward.

Deadlift is fun. I just want to keep picking up really heavy weight. Working on my mechanics will improve my DL.  I will be doing some negative and rack pulls over the next few months, something I did not do leading up to NJ.

All together, back to #1. I want to keep on keeping on. I want to improve on my technique, form, execution, mindset, focus, and of course strength. If I want to be competitive at a national level, I need all of these things.

Drop Weight

In the meantime, or short term, my goal is to slowly drop weight. I’d like to compete at Nationals in the IPF 72 kg class, which equates to 14 lbs I need to shed. So essentially, I need to be at 72 kg and maintaining before I start training for Raw Nationals, mid-April 2014.

Why do I want to do this? 1) I think I can be more competitive in a lower class. 2) I just want to be leaner (aka vanity).

I was trying to drop weight for the USAPL 75 kg class while preparing for this last meet, but cut that goal about a month out. Restricting calories was affecting my training, and my mindset. It is always best for me to focus on one fitness goal at a time. At one point years ago, I was training for a triathlon, marathon, powerlifting meet, and training jiu jitsu all at the same time. INJURIES HAPPENED. I did end up completing a sprint triathlon, though.

The challenge with this goal is my body really likes this weight/size.  At all of the fit times in my adolescent through adult life, this is where my body weight lands and seems to be happy. Enter again… mindset. Fortunately, I already eat very healthy, and lots of small meals a day. It is going to take hard work and commitment to literally counting calories to provide the regular deficit I need to lose fat. I hate counting calories, BUT I am going to give it my best shot over the next month. If I am still not seeing the results that I want, I am going to hire a professional nutrition/diet coach (that specializes in athletes).

 

And that is it folks. That is what is next for Meagan the athlete. On other news, Meagan the adventurer is leaving Puerto Rico after a year long stay on September 15. Meagan the Doctoral Candidate is working hard to finish her dissertation and will defend by the end of the year. Meagan the small business owner is working on some super cool projects for NAPE.  Lots of exciting things going on… This past year has been fabulous, and I am excited for what is ahead.

Cheers!

 

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