I have been working with my coach Phil Sabatini for almost a year now and I am learning more and more about weightlifting every day. This year is the first time I have had a fully planned out year and trained constantly throughout, without any breaks, forced or otherwise. One lessen I have learned as of late, is how important expectation management is during a tough training cycle .
In the context of training I am defining Expectation Management as your ability to perform lifts in relation to their time and place in your training. This training cycle in particular has been difficult for me during the last workout of the week . We currently are squatting 3 days a week at relatively high intensity. On day 5 , we do snatches and clean and jerks at above 80+ . My expectation going into this training cycle was that during these attempts I would be able to work up to 95+% on my final lifts each week with little to no issue. After my first two weeks in the program I have left both sessions disappointed and frustrated after only being successful in the 85-90% range at best. Technically those lifts have improved , but I have hit a big wall above that and things fall apart.
At this point in my weightlifting career, my legs are stronger than ever, my technique is better, but when I have the opportunity to push things my numbers aren't better. So what the heck is going on??? Am I getting worse? Should I just retire ? What could be to blame? I was fired up! Once I calmed down I had a hunch about what was going on but I had to text my coach to find out.
When I did, I found out my program for the next 6 weeks is designed to help increase my raw strength and improve my positions, NOT increase my total...yet. Once I asked I realized that the 80+ attempts were meant to stay closer to the 80% range and not so close to the 100% range. No wonder I was leaving my training sessions frustrated and down . My performance expectations for the workout were way too high when I took the rest of my training week into account. So what does this mean for my training going forward?
Now that my expectations are lined up with my abilities during my training, I can enter into my workouts with a better mindset and be present in my situation. This will help me improve my training in a variety of ways. This will allow me to focus on the things in my training that will make me better. Good positioning in my lifts and pushing the strength when I have the opportunity during my squats and pulls. This will help increase my overall attitude towards my training and identify the victories in each day. Weightlifting is hard, if I am going to be successful long term I need to be able to gain momentum by racking up these daily victories.
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