Effective peaking - Going from 1 rep in training to 11 in comp

If you've followed my content for a long time you'd know that i'm very big into peaking effectively, it absolutely boggles my mind to see athletes constantly performing better in training than they do in competition. Why, just why??

Although there is some science to peaking correctly its not rocket science, you can easily learn about it, but you dont even have to. If you pay attention to what some of the top coaches in the world have their athletes do you should be able to figure it out. 

For those of you that are reading this article im going to post a reply that I gave to an online member when he asked how one of our lifters went from barely getting one rep of a weight in training to 11 reps in competition at an international event.

* Star key and italics used for extra notes in this article

Question: How did she go from struggling to get 1 rep in prep to pulling 11 on comp day? That makes no sense to me

I know adrenaline helps, a lot of people perform well on the day and get PB's in comps a lot but 1>11 is not computing in my brain.

Answer: It's mostly down to peaking correctly, which most people make an absolute balls of because they don't understand it. There's a few thing behind it.


1) When she was struggling at 1 rep she was extremely fatigued from the prep of the comp, which at that late stage in a prep you should be. It's called functional over reaching, which in layman's terms is basically over training then de-loading.

The basic idea of this is to push athletes into an extremely fatigued state and after a full deload and recovery period the body will over-compensate, be stronger and lead to PB's.

*Something to note here is that you dont push an athlete to an extremely fatigued state with junk volume, its extremely well structured over-reaching volume that you need.


2) She seems trains particularly bad when fatigued, even more than most people. So she gets a little more out of being recovered than others.

* This is very individual and sometimes may even be per lift, you and/or your coach will figure this out as time goes on.


3) Adrenaline is a part of it aswell as you alluded to above.

*Im sure your all aware that adrenaline plays a large role in improving performance but dont read that and think you just need to go bat shit crazy, most often when athletes go to far with the adrenaline, it ends up having a negative effect on performance as you wont be able to focus properly on technique, cueing and/or commands. Adrenalin is good but it needs to be controlled!


4) We always do squats before deadlifts in training to fatigue the deadlift muscles as they will often be in competition, at this comp the deadlift was the 2nd event, it's was after overhead so fatigue in deadlift muscles wasn't high.

*Training deadlifts first all the time in training may not be the best method for competitive strongmen, you dont always pull in competitions as the first event, perhaps something to consider when looking at your programme.


5) We usually train on harder kit/conditions than competition. For example we do most of our deadlifts on stiff bars even when a deadlift bar will be used in comp.

*Make training harder than competition and the competition will feel easy!

 If you liked this article make sure to share it with someone it might help and if you have any questions around it let me know!

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