TSC Competition Prep: The Final 2 Weeks

It is approaching. The event you have been preparing for is drawing near.

Does it approach with the sound of the Jaws theme or the Rocky theme?

I’ll let you think about it for a moment…

You may have put months of training, sweat and focus into this event. And for the purposes of this article, we will assume that event is the April TSC competition. Pull-ups, deadlifts, and snatches – oh my! Will “the plan come together” as they used to say on The A-Team?

TSC CompetitionHopefully, you began your training plan with the end in mind. Working backward from a competition date and goals for that day is the best way to lay out the plan. There are many paths you could have been on to get to the event but now the time is here. So how do you arrive on “game day” ready to perform?

I don’t know who said it, but the point to keep in mind here is:

“You cannot win an event in the last week or so of training — but you CAN lose it.”

In other words, the work has been put in, and in the short-term leading up to the event, there is little to be gained but a lot to be lost if you try to “cram.” Let’s boil this down to the last two weeks before the TSC.

Your TSC Training Should Mimic TSC Competition

In general, I am a huge fan of replicating the event day as a training day in the last few weeks of training, especially. If your TSC is on Saturday at 3:00pm, I would try to get as close as possible to that time-frame for a main training day on Saturdays. You do not want to be in the routine of an evening exercise session and all of the sudden have to get up at 6:00am to compete (or vice versa). Teach your body it needs to be ready at a certain day and time; don’t just hope it will rise to the challenge.

The training for this day should basically mimic the event. If you have never had to perform an intense set of snatches after pulling a max deadlift and pull-ups, you might be in for a surprise. And competition days are not the days for surprises.

This does not mean that every Saturday is a day where you try to max out the three events. It means you should structure your training in the format of the event. If deadlifts are first in the order, then deadlifts are your first lift of that day, etc. This is applying a grease-the-groove type of mentality to your competition. When you have lived the competition for the last few Saturdays, you can roll into the event with a calm focus.

TSC Competition2 Weeks Before the TSC

Your last heavy or intense sessions should be about two weeks prior so the week before the event is easy recovery and prep work. April 11 is the day in our scenario, so April 4 should be an easy run-through of the event. But March 28 could have been your last intense session. Between the 28th and the 4th is up to you and your knowledge of how you recover.

Some people will be able to have some specific work on the events during that week while others need to glide in with easier work. For example, an individual with good recovery might hit the last intense pull-up work on the 30th and a good snatch practice on April 1st but the last heavy deadlift will likely have been pulled on the 28th of March or before. All of this is adjusted to you the individual. If this is your first time peaking for an event, you will learn a great deal and be better able to create your plan for future events.

How to Ensure TSC Competition Success

To succeed in a competition, a long-term build-up in training is required. Shortly before an event, not much more can be gained – but fatal mistakes can be made. I really like these tips for tapering from 2Peak:

  1. Don’t try out any experiments just before (or during) an event.
  2. Remain calm and collected. Remember that long term training brings results.
  3. Don’t try to make good any training deficit shortly before an event.

So, the TSC is approaching. Hopefully these tips will help you plan accordingly as you complete your training plan and compete on event day.

TSC Competition GroupFurther Reading:

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Brett Jones
Brett Jones is StrongFirst’s Director of Education. He is also a Certified Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist based in Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine from High Point University, a Master of Science in Rehabilitative Sciences from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

With over twenty years of experience, Brett has been sought out to consult with professional teams and athletes, as well as present throughout the United States and internationally.

As an athletic trainer who has transitioned into the fitness industry, Brett has taught kettlebell techniques and principles since 2003. He has taught for Functional Movement Systems (FMS) since 2006, and has created multiple DVDs and manuals with world-renowned physical therapist Gray Cook, including the widely-praised “Secrets of…” series.

Brett continues to evolve his approach to training and teaching, and is passionate about improving the quality of education for the fitness industry. He is available for consultations and distance coaching—e-mail him for more info.

Brett is the author of Iron Cardio.

Follow him on Twitter at @BrettEJones.
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