Who loves hitting PR's? I know I do! What if I told you there was a way to PR on your next max-out day ? What if I also told you it has nothing to do with your physical abilities, training program, coaching, equipment , special supplement or even magic? You may be thinking "what else is there?" , I am here to tell you that you have been misusing the most powerful training tool in your arsenal , YOUR MIND. I have been training and competing for a decent amount of time , 15 meets , including 2 national championships, all while adding 67kg to my competition total. Now I am not saying I am a perfect weightlifter by any means however, in big moments, I answer the bell. I am relatively strong , but I would say that my best trait as an athlete is my mentality. I am going to go over a few tools I use in order to ensure , in big moments , in big meets , I make the big lifts. I am going to go over a few ways you can use your brain to bring you big gains in the gym and in training.
*No matter how strong you are mentally , in weightlifting you reap what you sew . If you haven't been training well , it will show up on meet day. These tips are not magic but they will make sure that you approach your max out in a way to show off all the hard work you've put in.
1.) Visualization: We can use visualization in a variety of ways. Here is a brief overview of how to visualize then we will talk about how to use it in your weightlifting. Almost all great athletes visualize , you are a great athlete (you may not believe it yet but you will). Its time to use this tool to become the person you're meant to be.
2.) Positive Self Talk: This is one I actually picked up at a weightlifting meet. Traditionally as an athlete I would come up short in big moments , but during one of my first meets I had an epiphany. I was getting ready to lift and I realized that for my entire athletic career I never expected to make the play. I would work hard and would make things happen in football or track , but I was never because I believed I would . It was just something that sort of happened. I as getting ready for a lift and that negative voice of doubt crept into my head and said "What if you miss?" then something amazing happened. A louder more powerful voice interrupted and said " WHAT IF YOU MAKE IT?". Guess what ? I did, then I made the next lift, and then the next. I ended up with a 24kg meet PR that day . All because I finally believed in myself . You need to develop and unwavering belief in yourself , even when things don't always go your way. It just takes practice. Here is how you can apply this practice right now.
3.)Being Present : This is the one that I have found the hardest skill to develop personally ( and am still working on it) . We all go into meets with goals in mind, 6 for 6, qualify for this, PR a lift, etc. Often times we end up short of these goals because we focus too much on the end result and too little on the process it takes to get there. Last year at Nationals I had this very thing happen. During snatches I took my lifts 1 at a time and focused on each attempt in front of me. I went 3 for 3 on my snatches and hit 1kg under my lifetime best. Then came Clean and Jerks. I said to my wife" Woah, I may go 6 for 6 here and smash my PR Total" . Then I went on to miss my first two clean and jerk attempts at an easy weight because all I was thinking about was my 3rd lift and a big PR Total. I lost focus on the barbell in front of me and my outcome showed it. I distincly remember leaving the session feeling as though I hadnt worked out because I closed my clean and jerks so low. DON'T BE LIKE 2017 NATIONALS TOM! .
Be like Gerald , Gerald is one of our more experienced athletes working on qualifying to bigger and bigger meets. This fall he had probably the best performance of any athlete I have EVER coached at a meet. One of Gerald's goals for the winter was to qualify and participate in the AO1 at the Arnold Classic. Here is the thing, in order to do this Gerald needed to go 6 for 6 and PR both lifts to do so. He needed a perfect meet and thats exactly what he did. O yea , he had hist first ever bomb out on his meet before this a few months prior. So we had on mission in the 2 weeks prior to the meet. Take one lift at a time. Every session, every lift was to be taken as if it was the most important lift of Gerald's life ( he missed a few during the week but thats ok ) . We ingrained in him the importance of practicing this way. He showed up that Saturday with a laser focus that was incredible . He came and hit every single lift that day. He knew what he had to do, had no room for doubt, and treated every single attempt as if it were the only thing of importance at that moment . To this day I have never seen an athlete execute that well. He went 6 for 6 because of his brain that day ...not his body.
Remember , these drills will only work if you are training hard and constantly. In weightlifting your training will ALWAYS dictate your outcomes . In order to properly express your training you ALSO need to get your head into the game . If you want to train your mind and body to be at its best contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a Barbell Assessment today !
Coaches and Athletes will be contributing to this blog. We will be discussing lifting tips, smashing goals, and much more.