Why the barbell doesn't lie...
Why the barbell doesn’t lie; but talks some serious shit!
Today's topic is mostly going to be discussion about negative self-talk in lifters but truly is applicable to everyone, which can be a huge detriment it can have on your lifts and your life.
Obviously it's all connected; mental health and lifting performance. It’s all one thing whether someone wants to believe it, in and out of the gym. What can be seen with a lot of young lifters (read: in age and how long they’ve been lifting) is not necessarily negative self-talk or audible self-talk, but the nonverbals of lifters...when the gears are turning. Because of this a coach can know when their lifter is not going to make a lift, or if they're not even going to attempt it. You can see those gears turning and can see that there's not a lot of good things being said in their heads. When you can't see the gears turning is when the voice is saying “yeah you can do this! Come on!” Often times what is reported is that in their head is this monologue of “You're not going to do this” or “You can't do this”, or “It's too heavy”. etc... They're defeated before they even touch the bar. The mental game needs to be just as on point as physical game or the training needs. However, it could be argued by saying that the mental game is just self concept, self-perception, self-esteem and self-confidence, all of which needs to be equal to what they're capable of doing.
That being said you don't want someone who thinks they're super strong trying to go for a 30 pound PR and just gets crushed (it happens);
...but you also don't want the person that probably has a 10 extra pounds before they PR too psyched out or scared attempt the lift.
That's what is so great about it, there's no lying to the barbell. It is measured honesty. You can lie a lot through life but there's no lying to the barbell. If you load up the barbell for a deadlift with X amount of weight you either move it or you don’t. And if you half rep it or you don’t lock out, you know! You know if you didn’t go through the full range of motion. You will be able to say “yeah, yeah I made the lift...totally…” But you know on the surface you're lying. If you're a strong lifter or an advanced lifter you can feel that kinesthetic awareness to say “yeah I made that lift” or “no I didn't” without having to watch a video or having someone tell you.
If we use the barbell as a tool to kind of dust off ourselves, our self-concept and so on, then all of our issues that probably don't come into effect in our day-to-day lives kind of rise to the top. After which they can be addressed more readily, and clearly.
So if there are times when you’re pacing in front of the barbell trying to psych yourself up there may be something else that's going on in your head.
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