EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the athlete journal of Terry Hadlow. Terry got started in Olympic weightlifting in 1970 and is the only Canadian to have competed in senior nationals in five different decades -1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Follow Terry’s journal here to learn about his approach to training and competing.
Athlete Journal Entry 1 – 10/21/2013
There are so many aspects to my training approach that it will take some time to organize it so it makes sense.
First, every year I take anywhere from three to four months off any Olympic lifting. I own an athlete development program that runs seven days a week for sixteen weeks from the beginning of May to the end of August. As a result, I can be in the gym between eight to ten hours a day. When I do get free time I don’t want to spend it back in the dungeon. The last Olympic lifting I did this year was on June 15. The next time I do any lifts will be in October, almost three and a half months of break. I also own an R.V. and my September is spent driving around. I call it point-and-go, and wherever we end up, we end up. That trip can last anywhere from ten days to three weeks or more. This year’s trip was ten days. Last year’s trip was 23 days.
Once I get home from that trip, I have to plan so many things with my training and competition schedule that it can become quite overwhelming. First thing to get organized is my competition dates, as I am a motivational trainer so I need to see what it is that I’m striving for. I find it hard to workout for the sake of working out. I will do it, but it’s not rewarding.
This year’s goals are to compete on November 30 at the Manitoba championships. After that is the Coup de Voyager in February, where I hope to total enough to qualify for the Canadian senior championships. That means I need to total 245kg, which is 5kg more than my current masters world record. If successful, I will compete in the senior championship in May. Then it will be time to get ready for the Canadian Masters and Pan Ams in Toronto in the middle of June. The last event will be the Master World championship in Denmark in September. For this one I will train under the usual conditions that would send me packing, but it’s important enough that I will find a way to make it work!
Now that I have taken care of the psychological planning, it’s off to the physical prep plan. Since I do the same thing almost every year, I know what the hiatus away from the Olympic lifting does to my body. First thing to address is the stiffness in my shoulders, as they feel like someone has driven railway spikes through them. This is remedied with partner stretching and overhead squats with varying grip widths every day until my shoulders submit.
The next task is to overcome what I call R.V. syndrome. This happens from all the driving I do in September, and I now know why long-distance truckers walk like they just fell off their horse. I find that my iliacus and psoas muscles on my right side tighten up like guitar strings. When this happens the pictinus muscle pulls like a banshee and my groin is on fire whenever I do squats of any kind. I have to work on this daily with massage and various stretches. Unfortunately this is a long and drawn-out affair that takes several months to elevate. It took until March to get it under control last year, but I know it will succumb to my powers of persuasion, given time and considerable effort.
The second phase of the physical prep is to deal with the fat man in the mirror. My eating goes to hell in a handbag during the summer and working to get out of that rut is one of the hardest parts of getting the year’s strategy rolling. The ironic thing is I could easily drop 9-10kg from my training weight, which is about 87kg, and get fat doing it. I have a number of intolerances, the primary ones being gluten, lactose, and soy. Any combination of these consumed could put me out of commission for two or three days easily. So I have to plan a lot of meals in advance to make sure I’m not doing the green apple two-step to the “can.” In the past, I’ve lost some serious training time while I was trying to figure out what was sending me a running.
Part of my diet also includes basic supplements. The most important for me is called
Mila. It’s a chia seed mix that is loaded with antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatories. I take it daily in the morning, and as long as I am consistent consuming it the amount of inflammation I deal with is greatly reduced. I used to take two to three Ibuprofens a day, but now I’m down to two to three a week, if any. The rest of the supplements I take come from Genesis Pure. The monthly supply cost about $200 and I get all the nutrients I think I need to train hard and smart.
Next week I will dive into my training specifics.