So here we are at the end of another cycle. It’s an exciting time for sure, but also one that can obviously bring with it some anxiety as well.
This week is the culmination of an 8 week cycle, but in many ways it wraps up a larger 16 week cycle. That’s the cool thing when the programming arc for the whole year is planned in advance, is that each cycle builds upon the last one.
After the Open, we worked our uni-lateral (one side at a time) development for a full cycle. This was an important step to fixing imbalances and finding a good strength base, free from injury or movement limitations.
We then took that foundation into our current cycle, using it to build the basics: back squat, front squat, chin-ups, and shoulder press.
This week you’ll have the opportunity to see how far you’ve come in that time. As the volume has decreased, the load has increased, and we’ve already had some touches on those high percentages and maximal loads.
We’ll also test the snatch, as well as some of our energy system domains that we’ve progressively been building upon. So this is it! An exciting week, the big event, seems like a pretty major deal, right?
…but what happens if you don’t PR your lifts? What happens if you don’t PR any of them? What if you can’t do “Amanda” RX on Tuesday?
This is where you have a to take a look through the lens of perspective, and sometimes that can be hard. Especially if others around you are getting their PRs or performing as you had hoped you would.
There are a lot of factors that go into making a lift, completing a WOD, or reaching any goal in life. How diligent were you in your training the last 8 weeks? How consistent were you in attendance?
Did you do each lift, movement & WOD with good technique rather than speed and reckless abandon? Did you cherry-pick and only come on the days that looked “fun” or easy? Was your focus on your own progress and movement patterns, or was it transfixed in competing with someone else’s progress?
The work we put in at the gym aside, how was your recovery? Did you get enough sleep? Keep your stress low? Did you work on your mobility and stay hydrated? Were you nourishing your body with good food and abstaining from things like sugar & alcohol?
Maybe all of this isn’t even realistic…and that’s the point I’m trying to make here.
You need to set your goals for this week and view them through the lens that most accurately portrays the effort & lifestyle you’ve been able to apply and maintain throughout all of your training.
Testing isn’t just about one day. It’s about lots of days, consistently, where you’ve treated each one with the same approach & mindset.
So don’t get bogged down by the tests. Enjoy them! See how well you can do on that day, with tools you’ve built in your kit leading up, and considering all the factors that have influenced it.
Your job is to do the best you can do for today. What you choose to do with that outcome is always up to you. You can learn & grow…if that’s what your priority is. Or maybe it isn’t, and that’s ok too! Just be realistic with yourself.
My parting advice in these matters is always the same. If you’re feeling a little defeated or things didn’t go as planned, take a look at your numbers from two months ago…six months ago…a year ago!
No better way to see how far you’ve come than to look at where you’ve been. Progress is never about one day, one PR. It’s an arc over a lifetime of training. Remember that and have a great week!
Good luck, and happy testing!