A Year of Learning and Lifting With The Strength Guys
My first year of working with The Strength Guys as Sponsored Strength Gals Athlete has been an incredible experience learning and lifting! Having this opportunity has given me a fresh perspective on the sport of powerlifting. I have made a lot of progress in the way I move, think, and approach the ups and downs of training. I attribute these changes to my program design and the support network that TSG has provided me.
Since day one of joining on with TSG, I have felt like I was part of a team. I don't just have a coach, I have an entire group of people who help and support me in my lifting ventures. TSG very much has the feel of a community. All of the TSG athletes and coaches, who I have had the chance to interact with, have been extremely welcoming and supportive.
Learning and Lifting Coaches
Jason and Ben have been my coaches and done my programming since I started with TSG. I enjoy having the combined expertise of two coaches, it allows for more conversation, thoughts, and ideas. Together Ben and Jason have provided me with a ton of guidance and information. They are excellent with communication and make a point to ensure I understand what they are telling me. Over the year I have had the opportunity to spend some time with them both. They have both handled me at different competitions, I attended a seminar put on by TSG and the three of us have had the chance to train together. I feel that in addition to online coaching the time we have spent together has enhanced our ability to communicate and has been a major help in my ability to understand the lifts. Jason and Ben have gone above and beyond what I ever expected from powerlifting coaches.
More recently, in the weeks leading up to CPU Nationals, Kedric joined in to help me with my weight cut. He has continued to do my nutritional planning as I prepare for Worlds. Kedric has shown me an incredible amount of support by making sure my diet is sustainable, removing any worry of not making weight and answering all the food questions that I have. Like Jason and Ben, he goes beyond just giving me something to follow and is continuously checking in to make sure everything is going well.
The Strength Gals Community
In addition to Ben, Jason, and Kedric as my coaches, I also frequently interact with Nicola and Debbi. Nicola the Strength Gals rep was one of my first lifting role models. When I joined TSG and The Strength Gals she was a big help in navigating the transition from my previous coach to Jason and Ben. She is always available when I have questions or to have a chat. She has been a supporter of my lifting and continues to be an inspiration to me as a fellow female powerlifter and person. Last but not least, Debbi the TSG Mom, has been extremely welcoming to me from the start of my time with TSG. She always shows support to me on my lifting ventures. She is easy to get in touch with and has helped me stay organized with a variety of things.
As a whole, the thing I value the most about this team is the amount of their own time which they have invested in me. They have shown me that they want me to succeed just as much as I want to succeed. They have all played an important role to keep me moving towards my goals!
Learning Technique From My Coaches
From the beginning of my time working with Jason and Ben, my technique was a major focus for change. When starting their programming they asked my perceived knowledge of the lifts. I realized I didn't have a solid plan or understanding of how I would initiate each lift. I was given checklists on the bases of how the lifts should be performed. These lists combined with video analysis and recommendations all added depth to my lifting knowledge. With time, practice, patience, and continuous feedback I am still progressing in this area. With the help of Jason and Ben, my checklists have evolved to thoughts and cues that best resonate with me. Becoming engaged and having a plan has made every single training session a learning experience. The time I spend in the gym practicing my technique combined with frequent feedback and reminders from Jason and Ben on what I am doing well and what I am missing has been a huge help to me. Even though my training hasn't been a direct line to technical perfection and instant gains; I have had far more good days than bad.
Practice Makes Perfect
Apart from joining an amazing team of people and learning a lot about lifting the style of program that Jason and Ben provide me is different than anything I have followed in the past. I train with a major emphasis on the three competition lifts. In the beginning, I thought I might miss my variety of lifts and movements, but so far I don't. Now that I understand the main lifts better, there are more things I want to improve upon. By repeatedly performing the squat, bench and deadlift I have been able to make positive changes in my movement patterns. Practice makes perfect! The thing I love the most about my programming is that it is never easy or boring. Between the technical changes, weight increases and volume demand I have been physically and mentally challenged more so than I can explain at times, but that's why I love it! The good days are evidence of my progress the hard days build on my resilience and patience. Regardless of how I feel there is never a day where I do not come out of the gym feeling some amount of accomplishment for my efforts.
I feel very fortunate to be part of The Strength Gals and Guys community. We have covered a lot of ground in a year and as we prepare for IPF Classic Worlds I couldn't be happier with where we are! I am very excited to represent the team on the platform!