Happy Holidays!  In this blog I reflect on this past year of training and look forward to what’s to come.

The Holiday Season has arrived! This has always been my favorite time of the year; it’s a great time to be around family and enjoy the season.  Plus, the holidays always make for a tremendous training atmosphere at Jackals Gym. Every year we have several of our Jackals Nation members come back home over the holidays who stop in and workout.

With 2020 drawing near, there is no better time to make those New Year training resolutions and set some new training goals.Setting goals is what drives us all to put in the extra work to make those tough gains.  Everyone should have a lifetime goal of staying healthy and strong!

While it’s important to set new goals, it’s equally important to determine if any training mistakes or shortcomings took place the previous year. Learning from mistakes and identifying and strengthening our weak areas is the key to continued gains. Therefore, as part of my effort to stay healthy in 2020, I am going to start by re-visiting the training goals I set for 2019 and re-evaluating mistakes that I made in 2019.

Training Mistakes I Made in 2019

I learned a couple valuable training lessons in 2019. Even as a seasoned veteran in my training, coaching, and writing programs, I still manage, at times, to make rookie mistakes. Last winter, my training leading up to the Arnold Classic Pro Deadlift started out really well. Unfortunately it ended up stagnant from a string of minor injuries, medical issues and beat up back.  I blame on one of the worst Minnesota winters in the last 20 years. 

My first rookie mistake was not listening to my body.

In preparation for the IPF World Championships, I continued to train heavy following the Arnold. My back condition deteriorated.  Eventually I was forced to drop out of the Worlds, and had to take almost two months off from squatting and deadlifting.  It is necessary sometimes to fight through injuries, but sometimes being stubborn and not taking a break can make things much worse.  Had I taken a longer break after the Arnold, I may have been able to recover and still compete at Worlds.

My second rookie mistake was spending too much time training without a specific goal. 

With the back injury, I developed a power-rack hybrid system to train the squat.  This worked well for the squat, but I did not set specific goals in the deadlift and bench.  I spent too much time “spinning my wheels” in these lifts and my strength declined. Now it’s time to re-establish my training goals in 2020 and get these lifts moving again.  

Happy Holidays! Make sure to sets some new goals for 2020! Remember to keep Mastery of Technique in mind whenever starting a new exercise.  It is important to learn good technique before pushing your limits. 

Stay Strong!

Brad Gillingham, CSCS / Team myHMB athlete

Hall of Fame Powerlifter Brad Gillingham

Brad Gillingham

Brad Gillingham is a Hall of Fame Powerlifter who is a 6-time IPF World Powerlifting Champion and has more than 30 IPF World Championship medals under his belt.  Brad is the co-owner of Jackals Gym where he coaches a variety of athletes.  Brad is also strength and conditioning coach for wrestling and volleyball at Southwest Minnesota State University.


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