Complete Human Performance Coach, Jenn Rotsinger, heads to San Diego, CA this weekend to compete in this years CETC US Open. Jenn trains out of Gorilla Bench Training Center in Clearwater, FL, which she co-owns. She is coached by Trevor Jaffe, who also a Complete Human Performance coach.
We sat down with her to discuss what she’s focused most on this meet prep, advantages/disadvantages to competing back to back, her go to mentality and focus techniques, what she is most excited for, and other topics. Read the full interview below!
You competed at the USPA Battle of the Bay quite recently; did this affect how you approached your training for the US Open?
Yes and no. With having the two meets back to back, I obviously couldn’t go into an off-season like one would normally do after a contest. Instead, we basically just went right back into a meet peak. The advantage of doing the meet was that I didn’t have to test in this training block since that had already been accomplished at the meet. The disadvantage of doing two meets so close is losing a week or two to deloads and not being able to work on my “areas of opportunity”.
Did you focus on anything this meet prep that you didn’t while preparing for Battle of the Bay?
Not really. It was pretty much the same prep cycle, but with slightly heavier loads. We didn’t see a reason to fix it if it wasn’t broken.
What lift did you focus most on, physically or mentally, leading into this competition?
Squats are probably the one exercise that takes the most focus for me. Some days they feel amazing and everything moves like it should and some days, well, some days make me question why I even bother.
What part of training do you think best prepared you for this meet?
In this peak as well as the last, I think paying attention to recovery and backing off (something that I have not done a very good job of in the past) has provided me the most benefit. Not feeling like roadkill the last month of prep is definitely way more fun.
Have you learned anything new about yourself while preparing for this meet?
I enjoy lifting reps when I should be high intensity, maxing when I should be hitting reps, bulking when I am cutting, and dieting when I’m bulking. Basically, the grass is always greener on the other side.
Although you’re a coach yourself, you have a coach to program for you as well, Trevor Jaffe. Have you found that elite athletes shy away from enlisting the help of a coach? What value have you found in having someone else program for you?
If there is one recommendation I could make to other athletes it would be to hire a coach. I trust Trevor and know that he is working hard on my program to make me better. Too often I wouldn’t be able to see the forest through the trees. I would get in my own way and change things too often. It helps tremendously to put the pressure on someone else and all I have to do is lift the weights that are prescribed for me, no second guessing. So, not only do I get a great plan, someone to bounce ideas off of, but also a mental pressure release.
The physical demands of preparing for a powerlifting meet are fairly well known, but the mental demands are quite undervalued. Do you have any go-to techniques to help you focus and mentally lock in before and during a meet?
The week before a meet is the most stressful for me. I still go into the gym, but it’s just blood flow and everything usually feels like poo. The performance anxiety will eat me up if I let it, so I try not to think about it. It doesn’t help when I dream about not being able to find my singlet and I’m late for warm-ups. The unconscious mind is a funny thing. But as far as coping, I’ve found that trying to keep myself occupied with other activities, being social, and anytime my heart starts to pound when I think of the meet, I try to distract myself and think of other things. Does it work 100%? No, but it does help. As far as the self-doubt that usually accompanies me the last week (probably because I’m not actively working on improvement in the gym), I try to chalk it up to pre-meet jitters and trust the process. I’ve been through this before and I haven’t died yet. It will be ok.
Do you have any particular pre-meet rituals?
Pizza and a dessert the day before; other than that, not really.
What are you most excited about for the US Open?
Personal goal: don’t make me jinx myself, but I’m really hoping to total 1,000 at 114. If that happens, I will be the lightest woman to ever total 1k. Secondly, just being in the mix of some of the strongest people in the world. It’s amazing how far this sport has come in the last ten years and it’s competitions like this that are going to continue to elevate powerlifting out of the “niche sport” category.
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