You know by now that is one of my favorite words. This weekend specifically it really resonated with me. I spent Friday with Neal Maddox, he could easily be tagged as one of the fittest men in history. He’s been the to the Games 7 times and each year he has been one of the oldest competitors to qualify in the Open division. The guy is a freak of nature for sure but he also takes great care of his body and trains wisely. He said for him the changes really started to happen around 38. He started the sport later than most competitors at 32, so he still views me as even a young buck and laughs when I tell him that I’m beat up. But he said at 38, he felt older, joints ached, recovered slower, and honestly just lost a “gear” in his performance. I told you he takes care of himself and when I say that I mean, he weighs and measures his food, he eats all organic home cooked meals (thanks to his Fiancee’ Tracy) aside from 1 meal a weekend, he sleeps at least 8 hours a night (has no young kids, he daughter is in college) and he structures his day for optimum performance in his training and recovery!
The biggest thing that has changed over the last 3 years for Neal is his volume. He openly says that in his younger years he would throw down with whoever, he’d be game to do whatever as well. But now it’s different. He knows what he can handle and what he can’t. Neal even changed coaches a couple years ago because he had to tone down how much he was doing and only he knew what he needed. Now you can still catch Neal training 2x a day but its different. He spends an hour warming up in the morning, then coaches, then hits it hard for 2 hours or so with a lift or two and conditioning. Then his PM session maybe also more focused on breathing work or conditong that won’t beat him up and recovering for the next day. The biggest change for Neal is that he doesn’t lift heavy just to lift heavy. He stays light and focuses on form. When it is time to compete he goes heavy, or sometimes he throws heavy weights amongst his conditioning. He said heavy weights are what make him feel old and beat up, so he avoids it. So the question is….how does he stay so fit now that he trains less? Well he simply said,” intensity”. He goes as hard as he can, knowing there isn’t “extra” to do and he has noticed his results are great, still gets a bit fitter or holds onto some of his better lifting numbers without feeling so beat up!
So intensity IS the answer folks. You don’t need more, you need to go HARDER. If you dread the workouts, you are doing them right. This week 18.2 and 18.2a will show how your intensity in training is. Most people don’t like this workout and don’t realize the people will ahve the ability to go sub 4:00 in this workout and still lift a crap ton of weight! So while we are leader boarding this week, take a second and look at 18.2….it will show you who trains right in all energy systems. The shortest one, under 5 minutes is the least fun to visit!
Build to the heaviest Muscle Snatch Possible   in 8 minutes
Build to the heaviest Power snatch possible   in 8 minutes.
Amrap 8 minutes
Snatch x 12 (85/60)
BMU x 4