Updated: Jun 23, 2019
A good start equals a good finish.
Here at the Lift Lab, us coaches use this phrase quite often when working with our athletes. We are most often referring to the setup from the floor in order to ensure a quality first pull. If the person’s weight is shifted back on the heels or forward on the toes or if the hips and shoulders are at the wrong height, these mistakes will manifest themselves to a greater degree once the bar is farther from the floor, causing more and more issues and most likely a missed lift.
However, if weight distribution is over the mid-foot, elbows pointed out, and hips and shoulders are at optimal heights, the athletes set themselves up for a successful lift. This phrase can also be applied to overall training sessions and infused into our daily lives. Think of this article as part 2 from one that I wrote a few weeks back.
Here’s a short example of having a great start to a training session. It was a beautiful Saturday and for a nice change of pace, I didn’t have anything that I absolutely had to get done. So I decided to only have one goal that day…pull 500 pounds for the first time. I started off my day by having a great breakfast. You can’t pull a PR on an empty stomach. I always seem to feel stronger with at least two meals in me before my training session so I had a healthy lunch as well. After some light mobility work and timing my caffeine consumption by use of the 8th wonder of the world (coffee) I pulled up to the gym after it had closed. I love to train alone and control my environment.
My warm-up choice, type of music, clothing etc. were all optimized for one thing… a big deadlift. I made bigger jumps in weight than I typically would in my first sets because I wanted to end at a total that I have never done before. Eventually I got up to my goal weight, got my mind right and nailed it the lift. Mission Accomplished. End of workout.
Everything I did up until then was meant to set myself up for a goal I’ve had for a while. If my mindset was off, skipped breakfast or didn’t warm-up properly, I most likely would have failed.
In your day-to-day life, I encourage you by setting yourself up for success by having a great start. I talk about this in a previous article by staying front-sight focused. This can be something as simple of making a to-do or taking deeper measures like meditation list first thing in the morning.
Do whatever works for you to have a great start to your day and get your mind right.
If we shift the focus from the day to the overall training week, we can see this impact as well. I don’t know about you, but I always feel that my training goes better when I can get into the gym more often during the start of the week. If I keep putting off training sessions the stresses of life tend to catch up with me. For instance, I try to plan out 4 training sessions per week in the gym.
Sundays are for family time only so that gives me 6 days to possibly train. If I make excuses on
Monday and don’t get to the gym, now I am only left with 5 days to get all 4 sessions in. Not only does this take away a possible rest day in between sessions, it also leaves little room for error. If something drastic comes up, I get sick or just want an extra day to recover, my training week is compromised.
On the flip side, if my first training day is on Monday, my workouts are usually better for that entire week. Compound these better training sessions on a monthly basis and it can leave a drastic impact by simply starting my week off on the right foot.
Having a great start does not guarantee that you will always have a great finish. You must also put in the work and execute. However, you can tackle obstacles in business and in training much easier if you have set yourself up for success. I encourage you to focus your energy on the start of your day and see the effects pay off!