A Powerlifting Champion with a Career: Hard but Possible

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A Powerlifting Champion with a Career: Hard but Possible

by Kevin Nason, 2016 USPA Drug Free National Champion

Can you be competitive in your chosen sport while having a career? If you’re anything like me, you have real life responsibilities and don’t have the luxury to train every day or the time it takes to train some days. With the daily work grind and balancing your family duties, it is difficult to stay motivated to train. Life will often get in the way. I get it. I’m here to tell you that it IS possible to stay competitive… but only if you can stay focused on the goals you want to accomplish.

So what does it take to become competitive and successful? First, you must write a list of GOALS that you want to accomplish in your chosen sport (totals, training days, PR, competitions, etc.). The key is to write it down. Secondly, get MOTIVATED. This is probably the hardest to accomplish, but is crucial for your success. Writing the goals will help, but you’re going to have to want it. When it is time to train, go train. Don’t make excuses. After a long workday, I know the mental and physical fatigue you’ll encounter. You must be able to hold yourself ACCOUNTABLE. If you wait around after work, you’re more than likely not going to go. You must have your eye on the prize.

TRAINING and TIME are two things that go hand in hand with each other. Most people feel they cannot be competitive simply because they cannot find the time. That is so far from the truth. It’s just an excuse! Over the years, I have learned that time is essential to success… you just have to learn to balance it. Here is an example of what a week of my training looks like:

Friday – Max Effort
Saturday – Volume day
Sunday – Speed day
Monday – Recover
Tues or Weds – Frequency
Thursday – Recover

The key to the program is that you MUST rotate the MAIN LIFTS. Here is a example of my powerlifting and weightlifting rotation:

Week 1 (assistance work after main lifts)
Max Effort – Squat / Max snatch and clean and jerk
Volume – Bench/ complexes
Speed – Deadlift / emom snatch and clean and jerk
Frequency – All 3 lifts 80-90%/ both lifts 80-90%

Week 2
Max Effort – Deadlift / Snatch Clean and Jerk Max 2
Volume – Squat / Complexes
Speed – Bench / Snatch Clean Jerk 85-95%
Frequency – Same as Week 1 change percentage / emom snatch clean jerk

My training should never be longer than 2-2.5 hours and no longer than 45 minutes to 1 hour on speed and frequency day. This may work for me, but you must try different programs and find out what you like and don’t like about each one. You can then mold your own around your schedule. Figuring out your body will be imperative to adapting your training around your schedule. Knowing how long it takes you to recover from each training day will help you adjust rest days. It may take you awhile, but trust me – you will find what works. It’s all about trial and error.

To get to where you want to go, you have to SACRIFICE! I couldn’t tell you how many vacations, parties, and events I have missed pursuing my goal to be the best. If you’re not willing to put in the time, then what’s the point? If you want to be the best, then you have to be DEDICATED to all aspects of the sport. As I said before, you must prioritize your life and training around each other. When an event is important, sometimes you must go. Adapt your training around it.

It could take a year or several years to figure out what works for you. Just remember to take your time and focus on staying healthy. Life may throw a lot of curve balls, but take them as they come and do the best you can. At the end of the day, the only person you have to prove anything to is YOU. As long as you are satisfied with the end result, that’s all that matters. I’ll ask the question again – Can you be competitive in your chosen sport while having a career? YES. Know what you want and pursue it!

Remember to stay hungry, be humble, and always be the hardest worker in the room.

Put God first and the rest will fall into place,


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