Training for The Arnold - Update

I’m less than three weeks out from the biggest competition I’ve ever competed in! The Arnold Strongwoman World Championships! As of right now, there are no other higher level women’s strongman events planned for the rest of the year. Though, as I understand it, usually something gets hosted in Europe. For now, there is no professional strongwoman level, so our events are less organized as with the professional men’s events.

Car deadlifts at Nationals last year.

So, first of all, I want to extend a truly heartfelt thanks out to those who bought my shirt! This is definitely the most involved and expensive competition I’ve done, and I just couldn’t, in good conscience, put out a Kickstarter straight up asking for assistance. But I’m not a sponsored athlete, I work for a living, and I do this because I’m enamoured with seeing what’s possible. So, thank you again, I was able to raise enough money to cover most of the hotel room costs, by far the most expensive part of this trip. Also, I’m glad that my idea of something kind of cheeky and humorous was shared by others.

So now on to my training update:

Fully knowing the risk of jinxing myself, this is the first time in many years that I feel like my training is really peaking me at the right time. This past cycle, both the volume work in my Olympic lifting program and the extra conditioning and strength work that my strongman coach gave me, have come together to see some amazing progress in my strength and strength-endurance.

80lbs circus dumbbell. Awkward!

For six weeks straight, was doing a linear progression with sets of 8 and sets of 5 in the back squat, and a heavy single followed by drop sets in the front squat. As of last week I was able to do 295lbs for sets of 8, 330lbs for sets of 5, and I hit a new PR in the front squat at 315lbs! All this while feeling minimal soreness.

Minimal. Not non-existent.

In fact, I would say that last week is the first week I my body really started to feel the progress that I have been making. That didn’t stop the PRs from coming though. In fact, despite feeling really worn down on Wednesday, I did way better on the strength-conditioning piece from my strongman coach than I thought I would.

Then there are the event days on Sunday.

We’ve been hitting the same main events for at least the past two months. I hope my training partners don’t mind so much. Until this Arnold prep, we usually come in never really know what was in store. But this has me feeling more prepared for The Arnold that I have been for any other strongman competition yet.

Keg over bar. Where I smashed and hairline fractured my pinkie.

Of course, I say that having only done two previous sanctioned events and one just-for-fun unsanctioned event. It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind and I’m trying really hard not to put too much pressure on myself. At my first serious competition, I qualified for nationals. My second meet is nationals where I qualify for The Arnold. I’ve had to do so much learning and so much trial and error at relatively high stakes events. It’s nerve wracking to be sure.

So now I come to my last heavy week of training. Next week is my 7575 week - 75% intensity and 75% volume. The week after that is my completely off week, where I’ll also be traveling to Columbus OH to put all this prep on the line.

Wish me luck!