Athlete Journal: Terry Hadlow, Entry 2 – 10/28/2013

Now that all the major aspects of my training are under control, it’s time to deal with the little details like volume and mobility.

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 2 – 10/28/2013

Now that I’ve got the major aspects of my training somewhat under control, it’s the little things that have to be addressed. First of all, getting into the routine of working out is a must. I’m a momentum trainer, which means I have to create a rhythm to my workouts or sessions, and that takes time to establish. I have all kinds of deficiencies and they all have to be addressed before that process can begin.

My eating is the first thing that has to be wrestled into submission, as poor habits in this department would quickly derail any hope of a solid start in regaining competition form. I cook up batches of chicken and get all my gluten-free, lactose-free, and soy-free products. Getting back to five or six meals a day is difficult, but you can feel the energy surge as soon as the habit of eating clean and consistently is established.

I’m a firm believer that the more training sessions the better, which for me means somewhere between 25 to thirty sessions per week. I can hear the gasps now. But let’s define what a training session is. I define it as any activity that prepares the body for loading, helps the body to recover from loading, or loads the body with stress. I roll every morning and every evening for fifteen to twenty minutes. That’s fourteen sessions. We also train every day with weights – there’s another seven – and some days it’s twice a day when approaching a major completion. Add in therapeutic showers, one yoga class, and a massage once a week and you can see how easily I can reach thirty of those training sessions in a week.

In the weight room, I start by reintroducing myself to my warm up protocol. It’s long and tedious and usually takes anywhere from forty to 45 minutes. The warm up is a series of full-range movements that begin gradually and become more dynamic as the warm up progresses. During warm up the only weight I allow myself to use is the empty bar. Some of the dynamic work is interrupted with some static stretching for the stubborn muscle groups, including the IT band, gluteus medius on the left, and vastus medialus on the right.

When everything is feeling good it’s hard not to cut the process short, but if I’m not diligent over the training phase I know I will be in for a world of hurt. I have to stay true to this part of the program. Better to be proactive then reactive in this context. The movements I incorporate into the warm up are the ones I feel work for me. My training partners use a different selection of movements, but we seem to get to the start line at the same time.

One of the hardest challenges to take head on is how heavy everything is. I dread this part of the next two months, when the 10kg plate feels like a 25kg plate. During the blindfold test of ‘guess that weight,’ it can be very discouraging. I work hard in my mind to come to terms with this obstacle, and try to remember that what was very light before Chicago will be very light again – just give it time.

Now that the warm up is done, tackling the empty bar and maybe going as high as 40kg is the prescription of work for the first week of workouts. I have to discover which parts of my body need more attention so they can function properly with the others. It didn’t take long for the usual suspects to display their displeasure with me. Rearing its ugly head as predicted was my groin. It was pulling so hard during the first session of overhead squats that I had to switch to Bulgarians with the bar in the overhead position. I found that front squats weren’t too bad and I could start to push those, but back squats will need some coaxing because of my groin. Unexpectedly, my piriformis on both sides were also very cranky. Oh woe is me!