Two weeks ago I ended my first post-collegiate season on a high note hitting a new personal best in the shot put of 17.43m (57’2”). This was over a meter improvement on my personal best outdoors which made the 6 hour drive to Garage Strength, near Allentown, PA, well worth it.
All of the ingredients were present for a big throw. My preparation leading into the meet went really well. I felt strong and my technique felt great. The level of competition, throwing at night under the lights, and a crowd of around a hundred people made for an exciting atmosphere. I am just thankful I was able to take advantage of the opportunity.
Now that I have had a couple weeks to digest what happened it is time to reflect on this season and the last 12 months of training.
What did I do right?
- I lifted consistently 4 times a week for 12 months
- I started eating cleaner/removed the majority of processed carbs
- I threw on a semi-consistent basis throughout the summer
The main thing I did right the last 12 months was lift on a consistent basis. In my first post I mentioned that strength was my greatest limiting factor. It still is, but I was able to make some progress in this area this season.
|Year 1 Post-Collegiate Weight Room Progress|
|July 17, 2017||August 9, 2018||% Change|
When I maxed out in July of 2017, I was well under my lifetime bests in the lifts, but that was the best I could do when I started this project. The week leading into my last meet was a max-out week in my program, and I was close to or set new personal bests in all six lifts (Squat, Bench, Power Clean, Deadlift, Incline, and Snatch).
In May, I started cleaning up my diet, by loosely following the vertical diet by Stan Efferding. I cut out the majority of processed carbs like pizza, pasta, and cookies. I began meal prepping and eating a lot more meat. Also, I have made an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables which I rarely did before. Since I made these changes I have never felt better, so I am going to continue on this path.
The last thing I did kind of right was bumping shot put training up to 2-3 times a week for a couple months this summer. However, even throwing 2-3 times a week pretty consistently it took at least a month and a half for me to feel like my technique was rounding into form which brings me to what I think I can improve on…
What could I improve on?
- Train shot put at least once a week year round
- Increase work capacity during off-season
- Take care of body: Foam Roll, Stretch, and Mobility
- Always warm-up, every practice, every lift
The first two improvements I need to make this upcoming season both stem from the same issue I observed this year. It took half my already short season to get into throwing shape. With limited opportunities to compete, I need to be ready to go earlier in the season.
I think throwing at least once a week will keep my technique in a better place allowing me to be ready for a meet in a couple weeks instead of a couple months. Similarly, improving my work capacity will allow me to take more throws and get my technique timed up quicker when gearing up for a meet.
Another aspect I can improve on this year is taking care of my body. I need to do the little things like foam rolling, stretching, and working on mobility more often and consistently.
Similarly, I need to warm-up properly for every training session. Last year, due to time constraints and laziness I would shorten or just step into the ring or under a bar without warming up. Often the training session would suffer due to not warming up, and I know I was putting myself at risk for injury.
Therefore, this year I am going to do a better job of taking care of my body and making sure I am ready for every training session.
Now that my season is over, my focus is back on getting stronger in the weight room. The next big event I am looking forward to is a max-out I have planned right before Thanksgiving, 11 weeks from now.