For the vast majority of us, we must train around our “real world lives.” As much as we’d love to make training our priority, our lives can take control and make our training schedules and time under the barbell much more difficult – “Gotta pay the bills.”
Recently I have been traveling a lot for work, and this is right when I have started a committed, 12-month lifting program. This means time on the road or in airplanes, living out of hotels, my diet is effected significantly, sleep schedules are off, training days must be compromised for travel or long work days… it can be very difficult to focus on training and often makes me feel displaced in my own routine.
The Jerk Rebound is a perfect example of this. The lift demands an intense amount of concentration under an extraordinary amount of stress and confusion… as if Split Jerks weren’t difficult enough. You must initiate the first Jerk (but that’s the easy part). The first Jerk happens under ideal circumstances. You have time to get your feet planted, find your heels, take a deep breath, create a strong, vertical back, think about your weight distribution, find your elbow and grip placement… all on your own time.
Then, you stick the lift… and that’s when things start to get dicey. As I hold the weight overhead, I realize what a precarious situation I am in. The more I think, the more I fatigue, and stress on my body starts to add up. Shit, I have to commit and bring the bar down for the rebound. As the bar drops you have a fraction of the time to do all the things I mentioned on the first Split Jerk, and all while the bar is displaced and moving very fast. If you are off – weight forward on your toes, weight too far back, dip too deep, drive too forward, elbows off angle… it can create a lot of havoc, and thus a failed lift. There is a split second to make it all happen, and make it happen correctly. This type of training forces you to be fast under the bar and think quickly on your… heels. There is a lot of confusion and displacement occurring, so it is easy to fail the lift, or not hit it ideally.
Travelling for work (or fun), holidays, family events or emergencies, are some examples of what can take you out of your ideal training routine. This has an effect on the athlete, and can make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. For me, I try not to be too hard on myself. Sure, I miss my ideal training routine, but that is just not the way shit is all of the time. You are not falling short of your commitments to yourself as an athlete. Do what you can, this day, and then leave it alone. These circumstances are going to occur and you can only do the best that you can do given the situation. Don’t be so hard on yourself… stress can have adverse effects on your body as well. If you miss a week here and there due to traveling or some other situation, it’s not a deal breaker. Every year around the holiday season I get thrown out of whack. I go from someone who is training 5 days a week, sometimes multiple times a day, eating nutrient dense food, getting restful sleep… to living out of my backpack, eating sugary foods, drinking beer, the gyms are closed, and my rest is not typically fulfilling. I just try and shrug it off. It will end, and it’s really only two weeks out of the year… compared to the next 11 1/2 months of the year, where does that stack up? Think about it, and I am sure your body could use the rest. Lighten up, life happens, you’ll get back into the swing of things, become stronger, and forget what the big deal in the first place was.
When you hit the rebound in the Jerk, most the time, the second lift is not often ideal… but you did stick it. Be happy, you’re doing what you love, it’s a difficult lift, if not almost impossible to hit ideally under the circumstances. You’ll get back to doing heavy singles in no time… and when you’re on the platform, your ability to deal with the displacement and stress will now come to fruition.