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Old 10-30-2011, 01:22 PM   #1
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Default Psychology Of A Personal Record Attempt

Sorry this reads kinda like an article, it kinda is. Hope you guys like it...


As I sit here in front of my laptop and partially underneath my duvet, chilling after a less-than-intense few hours of work at the gym, I have begun to wonder about the psychology that one uses when approaching a big lift attempt. Two weeks away from the biggest competition of my somewhat brief lifting career has left me contemplating exactly what will be going through my mind when I step upon the platform in front of dozens of people to lift potentially world record breaking weights. To put no finer point on it, itís going to be intense. So how exactly does one approach the situation of lifting nearly a quarter of a ton out of a rack and squatting it (for example)? Not physically, but mentally.

For the longest time Iíve been a massive proponent of lifting within a team environment. Nothing gets you more pumped and ready to approach a personal best destroying lift than a group of friends and lifting partners shouting support and advice at you. Irrespective of whether or not you have any desire to become a competitive powerlifter, finding likeminded individuals you can lift and enjoy training with is, whilst not entirely necessary depending on your disposition towards training with others, incredibly beneficial. Simply knowing you have reliable spotters can allow you to reap dividends when training hard. That and the psychological boost that I can personally say I have felt when lifting within a team is one that can push you further and harder than simply training by yourself.

So what about internally? One stands alone upon the lifting platform despite others upon the sidelines cheering you on, giving you that initial boost and psyche-up that allows for the approach the rack to be fuelled by the intensity and desire to perform (at a previous powerlifting competition my friend and I were forehead to forehead as he angrily gave me advice on how much I should destroy the lift). All that training and desire to lift has to be internalised into taking the weight out with a confidence to perform. All negative thoughts and connotations of failure have to be put aside as they will merely serve to distract and cause you to fail. Different people have different variations in how they achieve this, whether its quietly thinking about the weight theyíre about to lift: visualising themselves un-racking it and subsequently lifting with ease and confidence; or externally in a somewhat aurally violent manner.

I personally do both. In the minutes leading up to the lift I think about what Iím about to do, from taking the weight out, to performing the lift, to following the calls that the referees perform. Subsequently, upon hearing my name and the few moments before this itís game time as wraps are tightened and chalk is plastered. My focus is on destroying the weight, lifting it with my full potential. I get angry, I scream, I unleash what weeks and weeks of training have built up towards.

Whilst this may not be relevant to every gym rat in every gym or fitness centre around the globe, I think in many ways its paramount to training success. No, you donít have to unleash an inner Hulk upon every set of squats that you perform, but when approaching unmarked territory: a new weight yet to be achieved, the internal and external expression of psychological desire to lift it should be apparent in everyone who has or will be stepping under the bar.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:36 PM   #2
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Very good read. Rushing out the door but want be read it again when I am not rushed.

Would you mind if we added this as an article?
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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Thank you mate and of course, that's no problem.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:27 PM   #4
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Nice read.

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Old 10-30-2011, 06:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
My focus is on destroying the weight, lifting it with my full potential. I get angry, I scream, I unleash what weeks and weeks of training have built up towards.
This sums it up for me. Failure wasn't an option. Never have I been more determined to move a weight successfully. I went in with a do or die mentality that far surpassed any previous attempt.

My intensity and focus were beyond anything I had every experienced, and it wasn't forced. All I could think was...I am going to f*ck this up. And I did.

It can't be forced. It's time to believe. You worked hard, had good days and bad. When you get the chance, enter battle with rage and leave it all on the platform.

I am thankful for everyone who encouraged me to squat at my first meet. I had battled an injury for months, and wasn't planning on squatting at all. After their encouragement, I was determined to exceed my expectations even if I got hurt.

Sounds harsh, I'm sure. But it was game time.
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