Update

I’m about 4 weeks back in it in the gym.  I’ve really been working form at some higher reps, really trying to perfect the finer points while rebuilding a strong base.  I’m finally starting to see the results of that effort, hitting a double on 205 last push session.  Still isn’t anywhere near my max for a double, but it is by far the best I’ve felt this early, especially while only weighing 173 at night.  Deads have felt great as well, did 8 x 4 at 315 last night in a very short pull day (Video on my instagram @kenneystrong).  Will be hitting legs and abs tonight.  Coming in with the plan of doing heavier triples but we’ll see how that goes.

Additional note, I’ve finally set up an instagram account specifically focused on my training.  Feel free to follow me at @kenneystrong and I will be sure to follow you back.  I’m trying to build the biggest fitness community around myself so we can all constantly improve each other.

Have a great Friday!

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Skwaatz (Squats)

Yesterday brought back my love-hate relationship with my primary lift.  It always feels great to be back in the rack, but wow was it humbling.  I’ve never been one for pushing huge totals in the gym.  Depth and form with a solid volume has always been plan, and the heavy weights are always there when you need them.  However, yesterday was quite the different experience.  Breaststroke keeps my quads in PL season form, and that was evident over some high volume leg press 4x12x730.  However, my hamstrings are just not there when it comes to supporting a solid squat.  I cut off on 255 x 10, more than satisfied with my depth, knowing the weight will come after a major overhaul on my hammy’s.  Joking around in a bulk just before swim started last fall I hit a single over 535 while sitting at 186 lbs without wraps.  It’s my goal to hit that in a meet this August at 181.  Until then, it’s back tomorrow then a well earned rest day.  More high volume tomorrow, with my first set of deads making it’s way into the set.  Thinking a working lineup of 5×5 @ 50-55% of my former max and work in very slowly.  Don’t need anything pulled just a week in.

Motivation

I’ve overcome surgeries, illness, and apathy to make it to the point I’m at.  I’ve hit nationals cuts in the water, won too many races to count, and still, I’ve never felt this type of motivation that has been driving me to this point.  Being a collegiate athlete, everything in my life revolves around competition.  I live and die by how well I stack up against everyone else.  This year, I swam average.  My grades have been stellar, and my training went great, but I still swam average.  In a sense, I did everything right, but the only thing taking me out of the game was myself, and those who didn’t want me to succeed.  It had never occurred to me that politics amongst coaches and athletes even existed until I got after it this year.  With coaches and teammates trying to drive each other down, I got caught up in the mix.  I was too focused on trying to make a good impression on my coaches, too focused on my spot on the team to even worry about mental preparation and training for the moment.

This off season, I’m dedicating my training back to rediscovering why I swim… Why I’ve been pushing myself for years at something that rarely gives back.  This off season, I’m worrying about hitting that pain threshold every day, so I can blow past it when the time counts.  I want to get back to the point where no one could deny who was fasted in the water.  I fell away from that attitude this year and placed too much faith in the physical portion of my training.  The conference is up for grabs again with the exit of 10 seniors, 6 of which grabbed podium spots this season.  The stage is set for a hell of a run for me, and I’m training everyday for the love of it, but always striving to better myself than the day before.  That way, when I get on the blocks in February of next year, I’ll have nothing to fear once I hit the water.  Not even myself.

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Current Split and Week 1 Update

Week 1 is finally here (even though I truly started back Friday).  With that being said, it’s time to talk my split and the overall feels of getting back after it.  For the first 3-4 weeks, I’ll be hitting very high rep sets for the big 3 while slowly building in my accessory lifts.  So far, it’s looking like this as a set up.

Sunday – Legs, Ab’s

Monday – Chest, Delts, Tri’s

Tuesday – Back, Traps, Bi’s, Ab’s

Wednesday – Solely Cardio

Thursday – Legs, Ab’s

Friday – Chest, Delts, Tri’s,

Saturday – Back, Traps, Bi’s

Being a swimmer, cardio is a super important to my training and my biggest mistake last offseason was not hitting enough of it.  Alternating between hills/stairs or a 2 mile run for this cycle should put me in a good spot cardio-wise.

Number wise, I don’t even want to thing about where I’m at, instead I’m just looking towards getting back to where I was before swim season started.  I started off the season hitting singles of 305 on the bench, 535 on the squat, and 495 on deads during sets.  Experience taught me that working the big three and then mixing accessories should put me back pretty quickly.

I’ll be setting up an instagram and youtube to track progress.  Be sure to check out the blog managed by my girlfriend about both of our quests to reach our fitness goals (www.beautyandthebeastfit.wordpress.com).

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Off Season Recovery

178 days of training went into a total of 7 minutes of racing this past weekend, and like that, my sophomore season was complete.  In total, I wasn’t that happy with my performance in the water, but I tried something new, found what I liked and plan to change what I didn’t.  Among the changes that need to be made:

  1. Keep my weight below 185 lbs
  2. Increase my cardio
  3. Keep a clean diet

This past season, I came in at about 194 lbs, and finished my season at a lean yet strong 172 lbs.  Coming in heavy was for two main reasons.  To avoid dropping too low, since I have trouble keeping weight on, and also to keep my power up through the season.  194 felt slow and hindered the first half the season.  Running actually hurt, which was a bad thing for a person who went sub 5:00 in the mile at 13 years old.

This offseason, I plan to hit cardio pretty hard.  1.5 to 2 miles of running two times a day along with lifting and stretching should put me in a great position for next season.  I found that for me, running doesn’t hurt my squat numbers, and truly, it probably boosts them.  I’m anticipating that the additional cardio will help to keep me lean and within the range of competing at 181 this season compared to 198 last season.

Of the diet changes I plan to make, it’s a slow but steady process of subtle changes.  First and foremost, I’ve cut out soda and all sugary drinks and substituted that with lemon water.  I’ve been keeping a consistent supply of food coming in, to limit the size of my meals.  Small changes will keep occurring till I’m happy.

Overall, training starts back up this Saturday after a week of rest.  I’ll be updating on here as well as on an instagram and youtube I’ll be creating.

 

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