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Training has been going well for USAPL Deadlift Nationals. I have completed a 14-day accumulation phase, and am now in my last week of the transformation phase leading up to this competition. The current phase has focused on front squats and safety bar good mornings to get my legs and low back ready for what should be a very demanding and productive 8-week realization phase leading right up to nationals. Accessory work for the deadlift has included 3-second pause back squats and also pause deficit deadlifts, both of which have been great for strengthening the core specific to the deadlift. I have posted a video of 510x5 on the pause deficit deadlifts on my YouTube page .
The low back injury is almost completely healed. However, I will continue to play it smart in my training regarding this injury. Rack deadlifts are still out and will remain out of the program for a while. I still, however, have some alternative means to increase the top portion of the pull, which is the main objective for the realization phase.
Recovery has been the most challenging it has ever been. I am currently involved in a very demanding schedule in my professional life, a schedule that has thrown more curve balls at my recovery than ever before. I honestly consider it a great advantage to always be able to have a very tangible edge in my recovery with the use of HMB. Sleep is important, nutrition is important, and recovery modalities are important. However, sometimes (hopefully not very often) these variable are very difficult to control, but I can always control my HMB consumption and it definitely gives me an advantage in the recovery game.
I believe that being a student of the sport (whichever sport you compete in) is absolutely essential. With that in mind, I have been reading Principles and Basics of Advanced Athletic Training by Vladimir Issurin. I have learned some very valuable information from this book that I will use in future training phases in order to better organize my training and ensure optimal results. You never arrive in life . . . any area of life. Never stop learning, never stop growing, and will never stop surprising yourself as to what you can achieve!