Teasing and Weightlifting ( Not What You Think )
Matt Foreman

When I was in the eighth grade, one of the hottest girls in school used to flirt with me all the time. It didn’t make any sense to me because I was fat, I wore the same Motley Crue t-shirt almost every day, I got bad grades, all the teachers hated me, and I got in trouble for cussing in class a lot. I wasn’t exactly the prize pony of my junior high.

But there was this girl… You know the girl I’m talking about, right? You had one in your school too. She was the prettiest, the most popular, and the nicest. All the other girls were jealous of her and she was the primary driving force behind puberty for the boys. Basically, she was three or four levels above all the other beautiful special kids, which made her twenty or thirty levels above dirtbags like me.

She used to smile at me and say my name every time I passed her in the hall. We actually sat next to each in a couple of classes. She would look right into my eyes when she talked to me, and she put her hand on my arm at least once a week. Keep in mind, I was fourteen years old at the time. I had enough hormones pumping through me to bring a dead rhino back to life. They must have been screwing with my brain, because I started to believe I really had a chance with this girl.

One day, I was sitting at a lunch table with the two or three idiot friends I actually had, and I was giving a pretty good lecture about how positive I was that I was going to get to make out with this girl. One of my idiot friends laughed and said, “Dude, you know she’s the biggest tease in the school, right?”

“Huh?” I stuttered. “What do you mean?”

“She’s just teasing you,” he said. “She does it to every guy. She likes to flirt, but she’s never gonna do anything with you.”

To make a long story short, he was right. I eventually found out she was just a big tease.

Now, let’s transfer this story to weightlifting.

Have you ever had a certain weight that teased you? Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you’ve got a goal to snatch 80 kilos. You’ve already snatched 77 or 78 (maybe even 79), and getting that 80 is a big deal. You’ve tried it multiple times, and always failed. You know you’re strong enough, and you’ve been reeeaaallyy close with a few of the shots you’ve taken at it. It’s driving you nuts. You want this weight so bad, and it’s obvious that you’re ready to make it, but it just won’t go.

It’s teasing you.

My first 300 lb clean and jerk was like this. I was getting really close to it when I was nineteen. I had cleaned it a bunch of times, but I could never finish the jerk. I was strong enough, but the damn stupid butthole terrorist barbell just wouldn’t cooperate. I think that weight teased me for seven or eight months before I finally nailed it.

You’ve probably had this, right? Think about the weight that teased you. Or am I hitting too close to home? Do you have a weight that’s currently teasing you? Is there some number you’re hungry for, and you’ve attempted it over and over, but you haven’t made it yet? Ooohhh…sorry. I hope I’m not treading on thin ice here. I would hate to remind you of the weight that’s laughing at you, the one that’s treating you like a punk and exposing your suckness to the whole world. I would feel really bad if I knew you were getting upset right now because you’re thinking about the weight that…. Well, you know. It’s the one you’re not good enough to lift.

Now that you’re as pissed off as I was back in junior high when I found out little Tiffany Tightbritches wasn’t going to let me touch her, I should probably remind you of a fact before you blow a gasket.

You’ll get that weight eventually.

We always do. If you train hard enough and show enough mental toughness over a long period of time, that weight you’ve been chasing is going to fall. I can just about guarantee that. And if you’ve ever been teased for a really long time by a certain weight, and then you finally nailed it, you know how bloody sweet it feels. You stand there with that bar over your head, everybody in the gym saw it, and it’s official. You get to go over to the PR board on the wall, pick up a marker, erase your old number, and write in the new one.

Then you get to walk back to your platform, stand over that weight you just conquered, look down at it and say, “Hey 80 kilos, guess what? You’re mine now. I own you. So get in the frickin kitchen and make me a cheese sandwich, and keep your mouth shut while you’re doing it.”

Now, there will be a time somewhere down the road when you’ll get obsessed with a weight and it’ll tease you for a long time, and you’ll never make it. That will be the moment when you’ve lifted the biggest weight of your life. Some weight will stay out there beyond your reach forever. Hey, it happens to all of us. But you know what the cool part is? It’s only going to happen once. The only weight you won’t get in your career is the one that lies just beyond your all-time PR. You’ll get all the rest of the weights that lead up to that, and every one of them will be a special feeling because you know you overcame it through your work and dedication.

So you’ve got a lot of fun moments to look forward to. You’re on the way up, and you’re going to get to crush plenty of tease weights before you hit your lifetime maximum.

And if you’re an old master lifter and you know you’re never going to break your all-time PRs, you should probably just start drinking heavily.

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Matt Foreman is the football and track & field coach at Mountain View High School in Phoenix, AZ. A competitive weightliter for twenty years, Foreman is a four-time National Championship bronze medalist, two-time American Open silver medalist, three-time American Open bronze medalist, two-time National Collegiate Champion, 2004 US Olympic Trials competitor, 2000 World University Championship Team USA competitor, and Arizona and Washington state record-holder. He was also First Team All-Region high school football player, lettered in high school wrestling and track, a high school national powerlifting champion, and a Scottish Highland Games competitor. Foreman has coached multiple regional, state, and national champions in track & field, powerlifting, and weightlifting, and was an assistant coach on 5A Arizona state runner-up football and track teams. He is the author of the books Olympic Weightlifting for Masters: Training at 30, 40, 50 & Beyond and Bones of Iron: Collected Articles on the Life of the Strength Athlete.

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Alisha 2013-06-25
Ha Ha :) This really made me laugh, thank you. 80kg has teased me so many times that I have found myself throwing fits like a 3 year old in a candy store. The Dip-Fu$%-jerk. Now, 4 weeks post birth, I am just trying not to pee myself when I clean 40kg. That can be very distracting ;)
Angela 2013-06-25
How did you know that I'm chasing an 80kg snatch at this very moment?!?! Well, not THIS very moment because I'm not at practice, but you get what I mean. I have hit 76 and 77, and tried 80 for my first time last week. I can feel it. It's coming very soon! Thanks for this article!
Louie 2013-06-30
80kg is my goal by the time in turn 49, which by the way is next month. I've hit 75 then 77 and I now find myself seeng the all elusive 80kg snatch just over the horizon saying, come and get me if you can. Let the teasing begin....
Dave 2013-07-13
I chased 80kg for like 5 months! Hit it once then chased it down for another 2. Hated it! Until one 5 Week Front Squat Cycle later and I slammed 90kg on the final day!
Jonathan 2016-03-09
I've been chasing 93kg snatch for 15 damn months now. I hit 92 at the Galye Hatch Christmas meet 12/20/14. Granted I'm 34 and late to the sport, only been lifting solid a little over 3 years so I know they won't come often but shitfire! As always you had me rolling with an article Matt. Thanks I needed a good laugh.
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