This is going to be a relatively short post today because it's been a pretty sluggish last two weeks. Training has been rough simply because the rest of my life has been a whirlwind. It's just what happens when you chase chaos. Sometimes you're the hammer. Sometimes you're the nail.
What I'm getting at is this: If you don't take care of yourself, you're going to break down. More importantly, if you don't know what, "taking care of yourself" means, then you're in even bigger trouble.
What I'm learning is that as I grow older, there is far less room for error. You can't train on 5 hours of sleep. (Well... you can, but it won't be as productive, and you're far more likely to eventually get injured, yah dig?).
Moreover, as you grow older, you sure as hell can't fool around as much. Things like bracing during movement have always mattered, but when it's harder for you to recover, it matters even more.
See video 1:
This is 345 for 5. It felt great. I was well rested and I was under my competition weight. Life was good. I was eating clean. I have no complaints about this (aside from getting used to getting the bar lower on my back).
Now take a look at this:
This is 10 days later. I'm 4 pounds heavier, and this is my second set at 355 for 3. In the other video the barbell only has 10 pounds less on it.
In both videos, I feel like my movement is pretty fluid. I also feel like my speed is consistent. However, after the second video (the red-shirt video), I felt like my lower back was going to explode, and I was exhausted. That 355 might as well have been 405.
I've attributed the shit feeling of the movement to 3 things: (1) Lack of sleep. (2) Poor nutrition (I had been on a steady diet of Reese peanut butter eggs, and that weekend we were out until 5 AM in DC with friends), (3) A lack of bracing.
I get into conversations all the time about why people "don't train like they used to," and they blame it on getting old. They blame it on "life." They make excuses. The truth is, they don't really want to get better - and they will continue to break because they are already broken. Because it's hard to get 8-10 hours of sleep when you're 31 with a mortgage. And it's hard to eat right when you're "always out." And it's hard to brace and stretch and cool down because "it takes too long."
... But as long as you're broken, you'll continue to break.