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Making Success A Habit

By admin | In Lifting, Olympic Weightlifting, Psychology | on June 22, 2012

Our brains are highly sophisticated computers that are easily programmable. How many of you learned [the hard way] that touching a hot stove meant that you got burned? Some of you more stubborn folks had to do it two or more times to be convinced that it wasn’t a good idea, but eventually, you made the connection that hot stoves meant pain.

In the gym, your brain is working on multiple levels: controlling your motor skills and respiratory functions, amongst other things. It has the ability to evaluate your movement mid-lift, make an adjustment, and execute it all in a fraction of a second. How you program your brain in the gym with regards to successful lifts is critical. If 30% of your lifts end up as fails, your brain recognizes that as a habit. It will expect to fail at least 30% of the time. Don’t make your lifts a game of russian roulette.

This may apply somewhat differently for power lifts vs oly lifts, but idea is the same. When you burn out your back squat, deadlift, bench press, and press lifts, make sure you ‘leave one in the tank.’  This is critical in ensuring proper recovery as well as cementing the habit of making every lift you attempt.

When it come to Olympic lifts, selecting weights for your work sets is crucial.  Cleans and snatches are highly technical and neurological lifts.  If you had a tough day at work or rough training week, you may experience neural fatigue.  You may feel physically capable of moving the weight, but your brain is just not cooperating.  You feel uncoordinated and it’s hard to snatch even 50% of your usual work set.  If this is the case, go only as heavy as you can still keep good form and move the bar with appropriate speed.    On the days we program cleans or snatches and tell you to get a heavy double or triple (2-2-2 or 3-3-3), don’t look at it as an opportunity to chase a PR and go until you fail.  Get to a heavy set for that day and stop while you’re ahead.

Success builds confidence.  Who wants to come into the gym every day just to fail a lift?  You end up beating your head against the wall and dread getting under the bar.  This doesn’t mean you stay in a comfort zone and never push the envelope.  Instead, learn how to assess how well you are moving on a given training day.  Know when to push your limits and when to be more conservative.  Set yourself up for success and it will become a habit.


WOD 06.22.12

Bear Complex
5 sets of the following complex:
Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
Back Squat
Push Press

1. Perform 7 reps of the complex without resting on the floor per set. Touch and go only for the Power Clean.
2. You can thruster the push presses from both the squats, but the first movement has to be a power clean…(no squat clean to thruster).
3. Rest as needed between sets.
4. Penalty for a bar touching the ground is 5 burpees per violation post-WOD.

3 Comments to "Making Success A Habit"

  • the Pooj says:

    June 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM -

    great post ruth!!! damn i <3 bear complex, its deceivingly difficult! sorry i'm gonna miss it!

  • James says:

    June 22, 2012 at 2:18 PM -

    we should rename some of these workouts so they are less intimidating… bunny complex

  • Corrine says:

    June 22, 2012 at 2:28 PM -

    Great post Ruth. Of course Avie’s pic is on this post. It is her favorite WOD (or one of them anyway). Yikes. 1 set is a rep of 7??! Am I reading this correctly?! See you soon!

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