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Old 11-14-2008, 02:42 PM   #31
Dave Van Skike
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I've been thinking about this issue for a couple weeks now. I think like all things, the answer is..."it depends" I struggle with the mental prep part of competition a lot and for many years seemed to only hit big goals when I was least prepared and least expected it . I came into some my best bike races completely hung-over and shitty. My mental prep a was that I was pissed off and had nothing to lose.

Now, I do most of my training at a PL gym where all top sets are done with some degree of rage psych up as mental prep.. I find that most of the time, it actually is detrimental to the session...I get too angry and lose focus, or get too aggressive with the weight selection. Even if it let's me hit PR's every other week, the danger is that sessions will devolve to record poaching.

OTOH, I've had some amazing competition experiences where I went into the event relaxed, gradually worked my focused until I was completely jacked up and then nailed it. Doing this takes a lot of practice at turning it on and turning it off.

Here's what I try to do,

At all times be mindful of what you're doing and why you are there. If it's a volume day, getting you're Gorgoroth face on is not going to help. Focusing on perfect movement, staying at lighter weights if need be and really visualizing your practice between sets is the important mental prep.

OTOH, if it's a PR day or a competition, you've got to let yourself go a little at the right moment but stay relaxed until it's TIME. For me, it's ok to come a little unhinged. Just like with a true max effort lift, things look might get a little ugly or borderline, The mental state can be a little sharp and raggedy. It's OK to care enough about the outcome to get excited.

The key I think is to learn how to get yourself in and out of that state quickly without letting it rule every session. Use it as a tool.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:12 PM   #32
Yuen Sohn
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Originally Posted by George Mounce View Post
In the Zen/Buddhism world its called samadhi. If you've even been doing something so intently that you forget the outside world, that is a form of samadhi. I guaruntee if you lift weights like that, you will lift a ton of weight.
I remember feeling something akin to this at practice not long ago. I had arrived at LBH very late and didn't get started until well after 9PM. Now I'm usually very slow and methodical in my warmups so of course, only having about 15 total minutes to lift, I was pretty frantic to say the least. Funny thing is that while I was running around like a chicken with no head -- shuttling back-and-forth with bumpers and frantically loading the bar -- when it came time to setup for each lift, it felt like time had stopped. I was able attain an extreme sense of peace and focus in the moments before lift-off. I don't think I'd ever felt that focused while lifting and I ended up making all snatches, including 5 consecutive heavy (for me) singles at the end...and I never go 5 for 5 in the snatch at that high a percentage. I've tried replicating that feeling since, but have yet to match it.

There's so much variety in pre-lift behavior I've seen at comps so far. There are lifters who meditate and/or talk to themselves for a good 15-30 seconds, one guy I know who does smelling salt and charges onto the platform screaming (ee-yah!), and others who approach the barbell with the excitement level of Eeyore. All of them are very accomplished lifters who settled into a ritual that works for them.
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