Becca: Nationals/Relentless Prep Week 1

Posted by Becca Abrahams on

It's been a few weeks since my last strongman contest now. Leading up to that contest, I figured I would get a sanctioned show out of the way and get going on my training for Relentless Detroit. I ended up qualifying for NAS nationals there and wasn't exactly sure what my plan would be moving forward as I anxiously awaited the weights and events to be posted.



About a week ago, the weights and events were finally posted and after a lot of deliberation and talking to people wiser than me, I decided, oh why not. Given the fact that there are only four weeks seperating nationals and Relentless, I had some serious reservations about committing to both. But I figure, why not? Admittedly, the question, "What's the worst thing that could happen?" may have popped into my mind. 


I've known for awhile that quite a few things needed to change moving forward with my training in order for me to see progress. I may have been told a few hundred times that I would be a lot stronger if I would chill out a little and recover better. I can be pretty stubborn when I want to be, but I feel like the challenges ahead are a good opportunity for me to make a fresh start and train smarter. 


A few changes I'm making this time around: 

  • Minimum of 2 rest days per week 
  • Better attention to performance-based nutrition 
  • Prioritizing sleep 
  • Choosing purposeful assistance work 
None of this exactly sounds earth shattering, but all of it can be really challenging for me. 
Coming to strength sports later in life, I probably second-guess myself quite a bit. I often think that I need to work harder to make up for my lack of athletic background, because you know, hard work beats talent.

 I just have to keep remembering that even though I may be doing less, more is not always better and I am choosing to be purposeful with my assistance work, do the things that matter, and set myself up for success.


My current plan for training for nationals and Relentless includes 5 training days. Rather than a seperate event day, I am incorporating one event into my powerlifting days.  I'm still doing a decent amount of volume and programming accessories that I believe will best benefit my main lifts/events.

Monday-Light Squats/Deadlifts/Farmer's Walk
Tuesday-Overhead (Log/circus dumbbell)
Thursday-Upper Body Assistance/Dumbbells
Friday-Heavy Squats/Zercher Carries
Sunday: Rest 

Every once in awhile, I find it really helpful to look back and remember how far you've come. The changes that I've experienced through strength sports have been so much more ones that no body can see. But on days when you get lost in your single-minded focus on your goals, the struggles that training brings,and begin to wonder if anything has really changed, its good to say Yes. Yes it has. 

I'm back to tracking my macros and my weight has been pretty stable. I've been sitting around 2200-2500 calories daily with one refeed meal weekly. I pretty much try to choose whole foods, lots of lean protein, veggies, and good carbs, but I don't train this hard to feel guilty about eating good food! Ice cream is almost a nightly thing for me that I'm not looking to give up any time soon. Hoping to maintain in the range of 180-185 so that I have no major drama when it comes time for weigh ins. This seems to be where my body is pretty comfortable training and where I feel my strongest.

This is the first week in quite a while when I feel pretty great about training. I haven't set any PRs in the gym, or done anything earth shattering. My powerlifting numbers are pretty far away from where would like them to be but I am trying not to stress over it and remember that I have plenty of time to get stronger. In spite of all this, all of my training days felt successful. It feels great to train hard, eat well, and recover!

Here's a little clip of a few highlights of my week of training:


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