The goal of any sport is to see improvement. We want to be better than our competition. Or at least better than we were the day before. In weightlifting, improvement is measured in how much weight we lift. Any day you come up short of where you want to be, it hurts.
You’re driving to the gym and getting ready for a hard training session, listening to your favorite music to get your mind right. You’re heading in to max out on Snatch and Clean and Jerk and there's that mix of being excited and nervous at the same time. You’re drinking your pre-workout of choice and your face starts tingling from the beta-alanine. You might be about to do something you’ve never done before.
You get to the gym and get right to it. You’re focused with lots of energy and your knees don’t hurt for once. You finish your warmup and finally get on a bar.
50 kilo snatch, easy.
90, a little shaky but it’s ok.
100, feels a bit heavy, but I’ll just try and ignore it.
105, miss. Frustration begins. I’ll take it again.
105, miss. Frustration building.
This used to be how I reacted to almost any training session that I didn’t hit the numbers I wanted. I'd start overreacting to missing weights that feel light on any other day. My body would feel great, I’d be putting in tons of effort, eating and sleeping well, but for one reason or another some days just wouldn’t go well and I’d get extremely frustrated.
If a day like this wasn’t a max day and I had more to do, I’d always end up pushing through. What I realized after a few months was all this built up frustration didn’t help anything. Sure I’d get pumped up and rip the bar off the ground, but more times than not I’d miss.
That’s because weightlifting requires such a delicate balance between focus and intensity. Everyone is a bit different, but the basic premise is the same. You need to find that balance between technique and aggression. The more autonomous your technique is, the less you have to focus on things like staying over the bar, keeping a tight back, etc. and the more intensity, aggression and strength you can apply to your lifts.
When you get frustrated from missing lifts, it’s only going to cause you to miss more lifts. You’re no longer applying yourself to improve your lifts by fixing whatever errors are causing you to miss, you’re just trying to throw the bar overhead. Not to mention that it makes it very hard to coach someone that’s throwing a fit.
Next time you find yourself missing a lot of lifts, take a step back. Why are you missing these lifts?
Will getting frustrated help you fix the problem? Did you not get enough sleep? Did you eat like crap? Is there a flaw in your technique that you need to fix? Identify it and fix it. Throwing a fit in the middle of your session is never the answer.
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