Updated: Sep 10
It's too easy to log onto instagram and see every weightlifting and powerlifting club crushing PRs in what seems like every day. But what you don't see is the weeks, months, or even years that led up to that specific PR unearthed that day. Now, when the PRs come, my team knows to hype and celebrate because it's truly the culmination of hard work, consistency, focus, attack, and overwhelming drive to get the job done as technically sound as possible. So when someone graduates to a new kilo or new pound, it's a happy day. When we PR, the whole team PRs!
What Weightlifting actually looks like
You walk into the gym. Coach asks how you're feeling today. You avoid saying "like I slept 2 hours last night" and instead say "pretty good, slept well last night." But you know coach sees through your words. You look at your plan for the day and start warming up. When things start feeling like they're no longer rusty, you grab a bar and start outlining your positions. Coach checks in again, you say "bar feels good." He walks away knowing you stayed up until Netflix paused your show and demanded you go to bed. You have a Snatch EMOM for the day, coach stares blankly as you complain about how tired you are or how trash your lifting feels. He gives a teaching point. You try it. You keep going. EMOM finishes. You move on to squats. Dang it, that knee feels tight again. You take a couple of extra warm up sets and, awesome good as knew. Squats go alright but every set ends with what feels like your legs are pushing through concrete. Then you go on to accessory work, you're drenched in sweat. You look back on a couple of videos you took in the EMOM and think to yourself "hell yeah that wasn't half bad." You finish up and hang out with the team for a little while talking about the new Netflix show you finished in 5 hours last night. Talk about some new tightness that showed up. And leave. It was a good day!
Hard days like to show themselves though, especially on hard days that happened outside of the gym. You have to be ready for these and ready to recognize that you're going to have to trust in your technique even more. You can't let anyone or anything get to you. Which includes yourself AND the barbell. These days are bound to happen and your coach can work with you to make slight changes to the plan or scale back the weights - but you need these days to grow as a lifter. Being able to power through adversity and turn a negative feeling into a positive one is going to build incredible lifting maturity and understanding of the focus you need during competition. Learning to channel stress or anxiety or even anger into focus will make you one hell of a Weightlifter. And trusting yourself and your movement is your key to entering this focused state. The barbell owes you nothing and you'll need to learn these skills to evolve. It's not all PR's and hype, in fact most of it is focused training and practice. So learn to love the training and practice.