The Road to Rio: Ali Jaward
Ali Jaward is a British Paralympic powerlifter who took to the sport at the age of 16.
Ali was born in Lebanon and emigrated to the U.K during the conflict between Lebanon and Israel where he resided in Tottenham, London.
Becoming increasingly interested in sport from a young age, Ali was introduced to powerlifting by a friend and has strengthened his talent ever since.
He has competed at a high level for a great period of his career including his attendance at the 2012 Paralympic’s, Asian open Championships and the IPC in Dubai.
Admittedly, the 2012 summer London Paralympic’s compromised Ali’s confidence in the sport and himself. Although Ali still made fourth place in the competition, complications meant that Ali missed out on the silver medal. Regardless of feeling Crushed and disappointed, Ali fought back the following year and won gold at the Asian Open Championships, making a world record lift of 185.5 kg. Shortly after Ali broke another world record at the IPC in Dubai lifting 190kg.
With Rio 2016 fast approaching it would be interesting to find a bit more out about Ali and how he plans to train for the games.
How do you stay motivated?
Ever since I was 6 years old I dreamt of winning gold at the Paralympic Games. I knew it was going to be journey like no other. The motivation to always better myself on a daily basis has lead to the “perfect performance”and it is something I strive towards. Hopefully that perfect performance will be next year at the Paralympic Games in Rio.
What does your typical training week look like?
I train 7-8 times a week depending on the phase of training. I bench press 3 times a week but do a lot of bench variations to work on my weak points. I do a lot of back work to try keep my body balanced and rehab exercises to reduce the likelihood of injury.
Philosophy for strength training?
When it comes to strength training I’m a big fan of volume. I like hitting 5+ working sets. I feel volume gets you super strong. However, you need to be aware of the reduced recovery element that comes with that, so you need to be smart when heavy volume is in the programme. Another big element is keeping injury free! Getting strong is all about progression, being consistent, and doing the work required to enforce change. But if injuries occur, it reduces the level of which you can do those things.
Biggest mistakes made?
Even at the top level of sports, mistakes do occur. The biggest mistakes that I’ve made is try to PB in successive multiple sessions without thinking of the consequences or damage I could do to my body. This usually ends up with a niggle or being very tired for the next 14 days. Sometimes it’s good to hold back after you’ve set a PB.
Your journey to Rio?
My journey to Rio has been a smoother road than my previous two games. I go into Rio with a chance of winning the top medals. I start as a massive underdog for gold but I’ll be very close if my main rival makes a mistake.
What do you do outside of training?
Outside the gym, I try rest as much as possible but I do like the cinema, hanging out with friends, and reading (mainly sporting autobiographies)
It’s great to hear inspiring athletic stories. It would be great to hear what you thoughts are regarding Ali and his training techniques. You can comment on our blog 🙂