EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the athlete journal of Allison Moyer. Allison is a nationally ranked NPC Figure Athlete, nationally and internationally published fitness model, an avid CrossFit athlete, BSN, C.P.T, C.S.N, C.N.W.C, and owner of Alli-Fitness Systems and Predator-Diet. Read all about Allison’s unique approach to training and diet every other week.
I spent some time this past week reading Catalyst Athletics forums posts. I subscribe to the Performance Menu, and I love it, but I actually had the time this week (which is rare) to get into the forums and dig a bit. I’m a scholar at heart I think. I loved college, and I still love reading, learning, and thinking. I wish I had more time to browse.
But anyhow, there were several posts from folks talking about how scared they were to take the plunge and do their first Oly competition. I actually felt a deep sigh of relief to read about the feelings of nervousness I was seeing – big tough powerlifters and weightlifters talking about jitters and throwing up and how they handle the pressure of performance.
I once heard that the average person’s biggest fear is public speaking – just getting up and having to speak or share experiences in front of others. I can attest to this fear being real. I spoke at the first inaugural Fit-4-Life Fit Expo last year in Arizona and I remember being nervous for days beforehand. But as nerve racking as speaking in public is, think about what it takes to lift in front of someone. Ever been to an Olympic lifting event? The big ones are actually conducted on stage – athletes get up on stage in spandex and have to execute one of the most raw and intimate experiences out there, under the scrutiny of the public eye.
Lifting is deeply personal, at least for me. It’s raw and emotional and when done publicly, the pressure is sometimes seemingly unbearable. It’s not that different from bodybuilding or figure. In bodybuilding, you spend years and months – it’s an ongoing process, really – creating a physique. Like any good work of art, you pour your heart and soul into that physique and, consequently, into a contest preparation through meticulous diet adherence and stringent training. It’s a very emotional and mental experience. Then you take that experience on a stage, in front of a crowd and a judging panel, and have to display it. It’s so vulnerable. And being in a state of vulnerability is damn scary.
If it’s so scary- then why do it at all? I was thinking about this while browsing the forums. If there is so much fear, so much risk, why bother at all? Why do bodybuilders do it? Weightlifters? Powerlifters? Strongmen? Any athlete, really? Why do you do it if there is so much risk and so much freaking fear?
Everyone has their own answers. There is no “right” or “wrong” response. But it led me to think about why I bother competing personally – what keeps making me come back to the stage year after year after year. Maybe I do it because it brings purpose to my training and gives me a reason for getting up in the morning. Maybe it’s because I like a good challenge (and I do) and I like seeing how far I can push myself. I am all about self improvement and I like the process of becoming better. Maybe I just like seeing how I stack up against others who have the same discipline as myself. I don’t know. I have so many reasons and so few reasons at the same time.
I competed in my first show when I was twenty. Since then I have done numerous shows – ten shows between 2010 and 2012 alone, including the Arnold International Amateur and several national level shows. And after all this time, my first steps on the stage are still fresh in my memory. I knew deep down the first time I touched a barbell that I had found something “for me,” and I had the same sensation when I stepped on stage for my first figure show.
Everything about me changed after that. My life became about being a better version of myself. Figure, and now CrossFit, became something grounded in the core of who I am – a spiritual pursuit. That passion, that deep spiritual connection to the barbell, to what I do in the gym, surmounts any fear I may have about being on stage or about performing. I may be scared to try, but I think I’m more scared to walk away.
I have fears – I have tons of them. But I have more passion and more enthusiasm than I do fear. I’m more scared of quitting, of tapping out, of not doing my best than I am of failing. That’s why I come back over and over and over – to the stage, to the barbell, to the gym. I come back tired, I come back sore, I come back bruised and maybe a bit tattered, but I come back. Fears and failure be damned.
Fasted A.M Training:
10x of 100m Hill Sprint/ 25 sit ups/ 60 seconds recovery
Olympic Lifting Training
3 times a week I focus on Olympic lifting/CrossFit. I do not CrossFit in the sense that I don’t take classes in a box. I follow strategic programming.
- 5 Point banded shoulder work/PVC pipe dislocates
- Warm Up: EMOM for 12 minutes – 10x knees to elbow on even minutes, 10x barbell hang snatch odd minutes
- Complex: 1 hang snatch + 1 hang high snatch @ 45, every 30 seconds for 5 minutes.
- Power Snatch @ 65% 1RM: 5×3 My snatch 1RM is 90 even, so this was a working weight of 58.5. It felt light, which was good!
- Power Squat Clean: 5 heavy singles – I felt amazing and remembered what my CrossFit coach said, which was, if you feel the PR, go for it. So I went for it. And I got a new PR of 132! Progression: 105-110-115-120-125-130 (previous PR)- 132 (failed first attempt)- 132 Got the second attempt!
- 15 Minutes Tempo Work: I just pace myself and rest/drink water as needed – 3x wall walk, 5x box jump (30”), 7x burpees
- Shoulder Circuit: One of my focuses is the development and strength of my posterior delts, both for figure and for CrossFit – 8x BTN barbell overhead press, 8x barbell upright row, 8x bent over rear delt row, 8x rear delt fly, 8x dumbbell side lateral (no rest, kept moving)
- 1 minute HARD row (100%)
- 30 seconds battling ropes
Today’s Thought: “You have two choices in life, you can dissolve into the mainstream, or you can be distinct. To be distinct you must be different. To be different you must strive to be what no one else but you can be.” -Alan Ashley Pitt