by Trent Blanchard
I have just experienced a huge career transition over the past few months requiring me to move 6 hours East, to a strange city, without an equipped gym, making it difficult to stay focused on my training.
When I was prepping for the IPF World Championships I had complete control over my work and training schedule. I had access to excellent Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, and Facial Stretch Therapists. I trained regularly with multiple National champions and with other members of Team Canada. When I needed an extra push they were there to give me that, and then some. When I had a big lifting day, I had the flexibility to book off the morning with no questions asked, just so that I could train at an opportune time. Training-wise, it just doesn't get better than that.
Prepping for the Ontario Provincial Championships was a totally different story. I was starting a new career, working 8 +hours a day, 5 days a week. Like many other lifters with careers outside of lifting, my training had to take place outside of those hours. I was on my feet all day, unable to take regular breaks for food and hydration. It was exhausting learning an entirely new career, and then I had to find the energy and motivation to train for 3 hours at a gym that was foreign to me. It was tough to train at a facility with equipment that was much different than I was using in the past. It was no easy feat. Luckily, the gym allowed me to bring my own bar instead of using an Olympic bar.
Having Jon Stewart as my coach was incredibly helpful, because I didn't have to worry about my programming. He was always there to make adjustments based on how I was feeling day to day. It hasn't been an easy transition but I'm making it work.
My prep wasn't perfect leading into Provincials, but I went in with the mindset of hitting small PR's and having fun in my last completion as a Junior. I was able to go 9 for 9, increasing my Junior and Open National squat record to 272.5 kg, benching 150 kg and deadlifting 285 kg to total 707.5 kg. Each lift was a 2.5 kg PR, adding 7 Wilks Points to my score making it 477, which was good enough to take the title as the strongest pound for pound Junior in Ontario.
I have proven to myself that I can find a healthy balance between lifting and my career. That balance will have to be adjusted as my life changes, but I believe that if you have the passion you can make the time.
Trent Blanchard is a Powerlifter from Northern Ontario who has been competing since 2012 and has competed at 14 competitions, including the 2015 NAPF Championships where he won gold, and the 2016 IPF Classic World Championships where he won the bronze medal.