In celebration, Tamara and I were interviewed again for Mental Meatheads to discuss our own views on what you can expect when you show up. Yesterday, we heard from Chip Conrad (who is co-hosting this with us), now it’s our turn
We can’t wait to see you in person in Asheville! You can CLICK HERE to learn all about this sweeeeeet 2-day seminar.
At the end of this month I’ll be running an amazing 2-day workshop at our gym with Chip Conrad.
It’s all about how to finally connect your mind and your body so that you can become a better weightlifter.
This is going to be a VERY hands-on workshop, so be prepared to have a heavy barbell in your hands. We’re going to go over everything you need to know on the physical and technical side to learn the Snatch, Clean, and the Jerk.
And we’ll also be going in deep into some practical ways you can “get your mind right”, be a better and more useful member of your tribe (as Chip would say), and all around become a better person.
We both believe that if you take the process seriously, learning how to snatch will make you a better person.
“Dear sweet wonderful coaches o mine… am I supposed to be this broken after starting the programming?”
The answer is Yes
This is meant to be a “kick the living crap out of you” type of program that eventually REQUIRES that you take a deload week periodically so that your body can bounce back.
The goal is ALWAYS to work as hard as you can for as long as you can – intentionally creating such massive systemic fatigue that your lifts in the gym go DOWN. That is good.
Embrace it as a sign of success. Because that is what it is. You are doing everything right.
The bigger the dip, the bigger the gains after we taper you.
This type of training is NOT for beginners or weak-minded people, it is for people like you have progressed into a much more advanced place.
The greater the stress, the greater the adaptation. The ability to drive through the tough periods is THE difference between those who see big gains fast, and those that mire in mediocrity forever.
I know it’s frustrating, but I like to use that as a lesson in how to harness your ability to accept things as they come.
I have NO number goals for you in any workout. That is, I don’t care what weights you hit.
That is meaningless to me. On some days an empty bar is more than enough.
My ONLY goal is for you to lift huge weights in a contest… not in the gym.
In the gym, you will go through phases when you feel strong and lift heavy, other phases when you feel like shit and can’t lift anything. That is GOOD.
If you only have good days, that means you are wimping out in your workouts, and your results will reflect that. If you have more good days than bad days, I’m suspect: either you are wimping out or on steroids.
Most days should be in the middle. But don’t freak about bad days. You WANT them.
When you feel totally overwhelmed by the shear work you have been putting in, feel crazy tired, sore, can barely move, can’t snatch the bar without wanting to take a nap… be PROUD of yourself. That means you are on track and great things are going to happen.
It’s a massive mindset change that many lifters who are past the easy beginners phase are never able to embrace. Those are the people who’s booties you are going to kick.
A theater teacher of mine was asked once why she didn’t video the performances we did so that we could see them later.
She said, “Why? The actors will only watch themselves and ignore the play.”
I know that with the advent of smart phones, we all have the easy ability to video ourselves doing just about everything. And that means that in the gym you can video yourself doing your lifts and then watch them immediately to see if you “did it right”.
DON’T DO THIS!
Confidence Is Everything In Sports (And Life)
My teacher was right. Every time we watched a play we did, we all just sat there hyper-focused on ourselves and missed the entire POINT of the performance as a whole.
Your COACH is supposed to get nit-picky. That is THEIR job. You are NOT.
YOUR job as an athlete is to guard and nourish your confidence and belief in yourself like your life depends on it… because your athletic life DOES depend on it!
Nothing is more precious, rare, easy to lose, and fragile than your honest belief that you WILL succeed NO MATTER WHAT. There is NOTHING that will stand in your way. (NOTE: this is not arrogance, it is intelligence and honesty at it’s most piercing. Arrogant people are often those with the lowest true confidence in themselves. You need real confidence, not that fake crap.)
Constructive criticism is important. But that is someone else’s job. Your job is to find every opportunity you can to remind yourself how much of a freakin’ bad ass you are. BECAUSE YOU ARE
If you are self coaching, that is OK, too. But that means you need to watch those videos LATER when you have your coaching hat on. NOT IN THE GYM.
It is far too easy to see on that video what you think is some glaring mistake, focus in on it, and have it spiral your emotions downward into a pool of self-loathing. You’ll start whining about how you will never reach your goals, how you are not as good as anyone else, this one thing is proof that “I” suck. And that is all…
Listen to your coach (or your coaching-self) and implement the shit you need to work on. But never let anything destroy your fundamental belief that you are going to reach your goals, that you are more than good enough to do so, that you are a bad-mo-fo about to open a can of whoop-ass on that barbell.
Don’t Know, DO!
The second issue is about how to learn the lifts themselves.
The Olympic lifts are extremely technical and must be performed at maximum speed and with maximum weight. What that means in practice is that when you go for a lift, it cannot be a conscious activity!
You cannot learn how to do something subconsciously by constantly making it conscious. By watching a video of yourself at every turn, you are keeping the entire learning process in the conscious part of your brain and you are short-circuiting the subconscious (parasympathetic nervous system) learning that MUST occur before you will ever be any good.
Your goal is to learn how to FEEL the weights correctly. That is not possible if you are thinking.
You literally need to lift with a blank mind. But what do you think happens when you watch yourself between every set? You start thinking at full speed. It creates the OPPOSITE mental environment that you are after.
Stay in the right ZONE mentally: blank.
You ARE Doing It Right
There is nothing worse than a new lifter posting a video online – looking for help – only to have a shit-storm of utterly USELESS drivel thrown at them about all of the things they are doing “wrong”.
“Wrong” is a relative term, in part relative to your level. If it’s your first day and you finally lock out the snatch for the first time correctly, you did it right. I don’t care if you missed your hip, the bar swung out, or you didn’t have the right facial expression.
What both you and the internet idiots miss is that you are not supposed to do everything “right”. Learning is a PROCESS, and processes have STEPS. Your goal is NOT perfection, it is practicing the ONE step you are on right now, and dialing that in. Everything else is noise.
Video is a powerful and potentially extremely helpful tool for your lifting. I video all of my lifters and post their stuff publicly. I believe in it. Like this one of Lauren hitting a PR snatch:
But video is a disaster if used wrongly.
An athlete’s job is to develop confidence and proper feel. A coaches job is to help the athlete accomplish both of those things.
Don’t fall into the trap of watching yourself lift mid-workout. You are BANNED from your own videos until you go home!
Never forget: The point is the play, not the actor.
Now go lift something heavy,
PS. Chip Conrad and I are doing a seminar that will combine the mental side of training with the physical called, “Creating The Holistic Weightlifter” on June 22nd/23rd here at my gym, Asheville Strength. We want you to join us!