The challenge of finding physical and mental balance in training

September 22, 2020

Finding balance in life is the end of the rainbow for many, whether it be a work life balance, or balancing hobbies and family, there is always some give and take. Kingsley Ijomah is finding his own kind of balance when it comes to training and it’s not as easy as he first thought.

For the last month Kingsley has been working with his new Strength and Conditioning coach, Roddy as part of a long term programme. “I’m finding this new programme really tough, usually I train the big muscles; shoulders arms upper back etc. but Roddy has focused on the fast twitch muscle groups and it’s a killer every time” says Kingsley.

The fast twitch muscle groups are those that contract and relax at speed including the hips, legs and lower back. These are not muscle groups Kingsley is used to working and they fatigue quickly. “The next few weeks for me are going to be about adjusting and finding the new balance to my training where I don’t just work on the big ‘easy’ muscles but also spend time developing these ‘new to me’ muscle groups, which is tough." Muscle memory is what every athlete wants but it takes time to develop and you have to work hard to maintain it, so Kingsley's love for the sport is really being put to the test with his gruelling new programme.  

"The next few weeks for me are going to be about adjusting and finding the new balance to my training"

With talk in the news every day of greater social distancing restrictions coming in and murmurs of local lockdowns Kingsley isn’t taking any chances and is out on the water, working with his team as often as he can. “I was on the water from 9 until 12.30 today, I need to make the most of the time I have with my team and utilise their expertise, I really worry about another lockdown or the club having to close as there is only so much progress I can make at home on my rower.”

While we all hope a second lockdown isn’t on the horizon, Kingsley, in true Kingsley style, is staying positive and making the most of every day training. Currently he has a time trial booked in for mid-October to assess the progress made working on these additional muscle groups and maintaining his focus. “Yes I am worried, but I can’t think too much on the ‘what if’s’, I have to focus on what I know. And for me, that’s rowing and being out on the water in wind, rain or shine.”

"I can’t think too much on the ‘what if’s’, I have to focus on what I know. And for me, that’s rowing and being out on the water in wind, rain or shine.”

Keep up to date with Kingsley’s journey to Tokyo 2021 at www.gravity9.co or follow us on LinkedIn for twice monthly updates.  

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