Finally, the high volume work of the training cycle is done. It was a lot of reps believe me (7×7 with 70% for deadlift and bench, to mention a small part of it). The focus on volume work was only for the beginning of the cycle. I kind of liked it to be honest; maybe at the end it was a bit too much for my lower back. But the rest was fine, so I might do it again later in the year. If I trust the guys in the gym, I definitely made some good gains. Looking bigger and feeling stronger than ever. But if you see yourself every day in the mirror, it is hard to tell at some point.
So what came next? Unfortunately for me, it is time for a deload week. I know that the body needs a break and everything, I just don’t like deload training. I can’t handle the short training and the light weights. It feels so wrong. Anyway, I was able to focus on mobility and get ready for the strength test in the following week.
After some cake on the Easter weekend, I was more than ready for the strength test. I started with deadlift and front squat, but left bench and military press for the next day. Lifted 210 and I knew it was a good day for new PRs. I lifted a ‘relatively’ easy 220 and was more than happy with that. I didn’t go too crazy because we had the deadlift competition in Galway upcoming. Front squat was 125, 5kg more than in February. Bench and military press went very good as well, both up by 2,5kg. I never ever benched 125 in my life before, didn’t even think about it last year. But that’s the thing as a powerlifter, you just cannot stop. You always want to lift heavier. It doesn’t matter if it is up only by 1kg or in my case 2,5kg. More is more. The important thing is that you don’t get injured and that you keep doing what you love, hard heavy lifting.
The next cycle that I did was focused on speed training, especially for bench and deadlift. One of the other top priorities was my lifting technique. You can always improve a little, nobody has the perfect technique. Speed training went really well, you just do one day after the other. Also, I could pay close attention to one of my other concerns. My body weight for the Euros. I qualified for the 75kg category, but the scale says +80 kilo at the moment. So I had to start my diet. The plan was to start the diet early and not to lose the strength towards the end of the cycle. No more cheat meals during the week and only once in a while some cake, maybe, depending on the body weight progress of course. This is definitely the last time for me that I cut down to 75kg. Way too hard for me and when you get bigger, you do not want to lose your strength. So back on track and a 100 percent focused on the Euros in July.
The IDFPA deadlift competition was awesome, great to see all the lifters again and to have the competition feeling in our gym. We had a very big group lifting from Maximum Results and also some lifters doing their first competition. I think deadlift is a good lift to start your competitive powerlifting career. I lifted 215 at the end and it went up easy. Definitely more in the tank for next time. It was a small competition but with a great atmosphere in our gym. Looking forward to see you all again in July. So keep on lifting and don’t lose your focus for the Euros. I try my best to only lose fat during my diet and not all my strength. And always remember, No Pain no Gain J.