"I am confident that when Regionals roll around, I'll be able to switch on the killer instinct and go for the jugular."
Lucas Parker and his big red beard will be back at the 2013 Canada West Regional in June.
“To be honest, the Open was tough,” he says, referring to more than the workouts.
Parker is juggling a full-time school schedule, three part-time jobs and four hours of training per day. He has received some sponsorship opportunities, and is traveling frequently for gym openings, seminars and events like The Arnold Classic.
“You kind of just put your head down and do it, while praying that the important people in your life will still love and support you,” he says. “I am lucky enough to have a very supportive and understanding girlfriend, friends and family.”
The Open didn’t go the way that he envisioned. Despite his sixth-place finish, he is confident the Open isn’t a gauge for Regionals, as the physical and mental demands may be very different.
How is the ‘Teen Wolf’ preparing for Vancouver?
First, Parker eliminated some offseason stress by participating in only a few local competitions. Second, he made some subtle shifts in his intensity and volume. He placed more focus on his aerobic and lactic-threshold, training for recovery and work capacity.
Between August and January, Parker performed only aerobic and weightlifting workouts; no handstands, kipping pull-ups or double-unders. Since February, he has increased the volume of skill work, practicing handstand walks every day and muscle-ups twice each week, along with high-rep barbell movements.
“CrossFit means different things to different people and everyone does a slightly different version of it,” Parker says. “My CrossFit is, ‘systematically varied, effective movement, performed at reasonable intensity.”
Parker says this approach allows him to be thoughtful, to play on his strengths, work on his weaknesses and allow everything between to take care of itself.
The hardest challenge in the offseason has been improving his diet.
“I’ve actually changed my ways,” he says.
A former McDonald’s junkie, Parker now visits Wendy’s occasionally. He first dabbled with Wendy’s Junior Bacon Cheeseburger, small fries and a small root beer. He has since graduated to the full Baconator, a medium fry and a Frosty.
“As you can see, I apply the same calculated, progressive periodization to my nutrition that I do with my training,” he says.
One major challenge of Regionals is that athletes don’t have a week to recover between workouts. Parker is trying to stay calm and not get hurt or burned out.
“I’m in this for the long haul, so I’m just putting my head down and grinding it out for another four to six weeks of solid training.”
Parker’s solid planning and strategic training progression — as well as his beard — may give him an edge at Regionals. Though he feels the Open wasn’t his best effort, he knows he’ll be ready for the next level by June.
“I am confident that when Regionals rolls around, I’ll be able to switch on the killer instinct and go for the jugular.”