2020 has been completely unpredictable so this title in itself is a little optimistic. However, I am taking the optimistic approach and writing this as though we won't have a second lockdown - and it is difficult to write this with so many crossed fingers.
Throughout lockdown the majority of us had to deal with no gyms and no equipment, Gone were the fancy barbells, plates and even the fancy cardio machines - only to be replaced by bags of cat litter, tins of beans and your ancient Argos dumbbell set.
How to Approach the Rest of This Year.
Firstly, you need to assess how the 4 months of lockdown went for you regarding your training and fitness.
If you didn't train but made it through lockdown then that is more than enough. It was a weird time and probably one we won't see again in our lifetimes.
If you did train, in any capacity, it will have helped you on your return to the gym. If you've replaced powerlifting with calisthenics and yoga then you'll probably find that your mobility and stability have improved. Your strength may have dipped a bit, but nowhere near as much as you'd expect.
What will have suffered a bit is your recovery and your work capacity. You might find that you can still lift a good weight but not for as many as previously - and you will definitely succumb to DOMS the day after, maybe even the next couple of days. This is completely normal and it will change quickly. By your second week of training you will notice an improvement.
Should I compete in 2020?
This is a tough one - if you have trained throughout lockdown then physiologically you are in good shape to compete. If you haven't trained then you have a lot to catch up on, as I said above your recovery and work capacity won't be where they were a few months ago and that will take time to reestablish as competing and peaking for competing is hard.
The other side to this is whether it is safe to compete. If the pandemic is still prevalent then it is not worth risking your health to compete.
Peaking for a competition will lower your immune system as training gets harder (ever noticed how tired and how often you get little colds in the build up to comp?). As well as this, actually being at a competition means being involved in a large gathering - a large gathering of other people with lowered immune systems.
Also, and no offence to most powerlifters, most competitions aren't exactly the peak of hygiene.
What should I do training wise in 2020?
You're likely in a position you've never been in before - you have all this training knowledge and experience but you're fresh. You don't have any niggling, overuse injuries and you haven't picked up any bad habits either from training with, or watching, other people.
You can use this time to truly assess what you need to get better at, and you can do it in a time where you know what you're doing and you're not being held back by your body or your mind.
Granted, this will change if we go into a second lockdown.
Lockdown was hard for most of us on a psychological level. The return can be used for good and you can learn new things while you're fresh but also full of good, solid training experience.
Use this time to learn a new skill, fix old habits and improve yourself as a lift but most of all - enjoy it. It is a hobby, afterall, and I'm sure you've missed it.
Maybe try Supertotal?
Joe and I are trialling an online version of Supertotal starting next Monday. We currently have one space left for this if you're interested, follow the button below.