Personally these two topics are the most important parts about any type of training, whether it be for weightlifting, kettlebell, mobility, or CrossFit. You first and foremost have to understand that to reap the benefits of any programming, you have to be both consistent and honest with all the factors that go into your training. Those factors include (but are not limited to): preparation, attitude, knowing your numbers and abilities, focus, effort, recovery, attendance, reflection and taking notes.
Preparation: It’s not just about showing up physically. Will you show up ready to put in work for the goals that you’ve set out for yourself? If not, how will you get yourself into that headspace ready to train? If you know you can’t then why show up and waste time? Build that champion mindset. Are you spending your extra time before class to do the mobilizing/stretching you know you need? Did you eat a snack beforehand so that you have enough energy? Are you staying positive and aggressive about the workout for the day, or did you put yourself in a bad headspace because you tend to be pessimistic about your own performance/abilities? Are you carrying the correct gear with you?
Attitude: After coming up with your plan for your workout, what are you doing to prepare for what’s in store? Yeah, your day before the gym was crap, but this session is for you to forget everything else, do something for yourself, and spend time with really good people. Get your mind right. Read. Meditate. Do what’s necessary to bring your best game available.
Knowing Your Numbers and Abilities: Do you track all of your max numbers in your notebook and are they recent? When prescribed to work with certain percentages are you using the proper numbers? Or have you moved it up simply because it’s what your partner already has on the bar? Are you adding weight that you just WANT versus the weight that you NEED? You should be exact with your numbers (rounding up/down to nearest whole number) to ensure you’re able to do the necessary work the way it needs to be done.
Focus: When you’re up for your lift, are you thinking about how you need to move to accomplish the lift? Are you trying to feel the things coaches are referring to in cues they give you? When you attempt the next set/rep, are you focused on trying to make the rep better than the last? Or are you simply just moving and hoping that you do it they way it should be done? Are you paying attention and being present, or thinking about work? Get your head in the game.
Effort: Effort is the direct product of focus. If you want something and have focused on what needs to be done, then the next thing you need is to make sure you do everything in your power to complete the work. Are you making an effort to understand how your body needs to set up, where/when you should be feeling things, listening to the cues to make the next rep better, and pushing yourself to hit each rep?
Recovery: It’s one of the most neglected factors when it comes to training. Are you getting enough sleep at night? Are you feeding your body with a proper nutrition before/during/after working out? Are you mobilizing, rolling out, etc before and after training sessions? On your off days are you getting treated by bodywork professionals (massage, chiro, PT, Leslie, etc), taking epsom salt/ice baths to help make your body feel better? Taking the correct supplements if any.
Attendance: If you’re not showing up and putting in the work you won’t get the goals. Be here, and know there will good and bad days.
Notes/Reflection: This can be anything from cues that work/didn’t work (tell us if a cue doesn’t work for you or you don’t understand it), what you felt/didn’t feel during a lift, the exact cue provided by the coach, an observation from a lifting partner, motivational quotes, etc. Andrew is a fan of recording the working weight lifts on the phone for reference later. Paper, video, etc. are whatever you need to understand why things went right and why things went wrong. These help make cues become habits. They help you become conscious of what you’re doing physically and mentally.
To help with your consistency and honesty, Andrew and I have worked together to move over to in-house programming that we will put together. It is timed specifically to peak at the time of weightlifting meets, whether you compete in them or not, meaning that the cycles will consistently be longer- five or weeks long (instead of four). The way the days are set up is to ensure growth in all the major lifts along with supplemental exercises during the length of the program. We’ve also made it easier for everyone to get the work they need for their specific goals (technique vs strength vs competition) with the following template below.
+ If you attend Olympic Weightlifting Class 1x/wk, you will do DAY 3’s workout, which includes both snatch and clean and jerk.
+ If you attend 2x/wk, you will do DAY 1 your first day that week & DAY 2 the second time you attend (not whichever one you want to do on a given day).
+ If you attend all 3 classes in the week, then you’ll do DAY 1, 2, 3 in that order.
Lastly, we’ll be keeping track of your attendance in classes to make sure you’re the right workouts. This is especially important if you miss a week and hadn’t worked with the lifts at the percentages from the week prior, creating a deficit in your training. Instead of just pushing you along to the higher percentages every week, you will have to earn them. If we get to test out week and you’ve only finished up to 85%, guess what?! You will just have to settle with where you get to with weight when we test out with everyone.
There will be absolutely no room to complain about why numbers aren’t going up- we will all be honest about our consistency, and it will be proven when we lift.
AT coaching AB through a weightlifting meet
As usual if you have any questions email us at email@example.com or speak to me or Andrew directly at the gym. Our hope is to build our USA Weightlifting club (#FoundationBarbell) to a solid level with a potential for much more.