And beat the sh*t out of your weaknesses.
“It’s too heavy–go back up! You won’t be able to get up if you go down further…it’s too heavy!”
Did that just happen? Did I just talk myself into believing that I can’t do something???
GET DOWN THERE AND HIT DEPTH AND SQUAT THIS WEIGHT.
I caught myself telling myself that I couldn’t do something. Because it was hard, because it was heavy, because I was AFRAID of failing , I indeed was going to make myself fail. But, I caught myself for the first time mentally sabotaging my squat. I had failed my last time maxing out and had been scared ever since that day: scared of squatting, scared of maxing out…scared of failure. I convinced myself I just wasn’t getting stronger. That wasn’t the problem, though; I just realized that I had been telling myself the whole time that I couldn’t do it, so I simply didn’t. I was supposed to hit 265 months ago. But I failed at 245, and I didn’t even try again.
Me, not try again?? Blasphemy!! I always try again!!
I once failed my attempt to bench 145, then I got pissed and threw 150 on the bar and SFW!!!! (smashed fucking weight)
I was devastated, devastated that I missed that squat and then I just quit, right then right there, because of fear. Who knows, maybe I could have done it or at least 255 but I didn’t EVEN TRY. Last week I smashed 265. Why?? Because I wouldn’t take no for an answer. Don’t think I wasn’t shaking in my boots nervous (which gave me a legit meet experience for this attempt), because I was stressed out the past 24 hours just THINKING about squatting. When I’m squatting/lifting/benching a weight that I have never done, I’ve always been excited about maxing out, because it’s so fun and that’s what it’s all about. The thing is…you gotta fake it, you gotta tell yourself that you can…becuase YOU CAN . Even if it’s not right now, you WILL soon. So go ahead and tell yourself it’s already done, because if you get in a habit of fear…you will never do it.
Always consider it done already. 🙂
Currently, I’m preparing for a meet which is now four weeks out, and it’s a big deal for me. I don’t care about winning; I’m very competitive and I know you’ve all heard powerlifters say “It’s me against me–I’m not worried about anyone else” and that may be true, but at the same time, you still want to beat everyone there. In a fun way, of course, not a kill a bitch kinda way. But, this meet, I haven’t thought much about the people I will be competing about, because this meet….is very significant for me: I will be attempting an ELITE total. At my last meet my lifts totalled 698 pounds; elite total is 775 for the 148 class in which I compete. I am now 10 pounds away from that total, and I test my bench max tonight…..so if all goes well at the meet, it’s in the bag!!!
I can have an “off” day. A weak day. Be too nervous and screw up…anything can happen. Or, I can go in there and KILL it. So, right now, it’s all mental…and it’s pretty intense because this really means a lot to me. I’ve been training really hard….and OMG ya’ll, ya’ll know about my cake addiction right??? Hold onto your asshole…..I’ve been eating clean…..I’ve been doing a form of carb backloading where the only carbs I get are oatmeal or rice or sweet potato…and some fruit here or there.
Yes, I have cheated a couple of times….but it meant nothing I swear!!! I really only had like a cupcake here or there, but then I justified it by not having the carb I was supossed to have. Can you believe it? I think I’ve only missed one or two training days…I’ve really been working hard. And it’s scary to think it could be possible that my training won’t bring the results I so desperately want. It’s pathetic how much I want it. I NEED it. But, even if it doesn’t happen at this meet, I WILL get it. And that thought makes it better.
How Do You Get There Too?
Another thing I would like to say to anyone training for any sport is pick your coach and listen to only that person. If you start getting critiqued from more than one person it will WRECK you. You will be so lost you won’t know if you’re lifting weights or doing brain surgery on yourself. And if you disagree with your coach, offer your ideas or move on. But, you should always be researching. Always be learning, from everything. Don’t just go through the motions, learn from everything around you. If you notice a weakness…don’t avoid it…chase it down and beat the shit out of it. You’re not gonna let anything stop you, are you?? Why would anyone do that? This is AMERICA. Be American! Do it! The crazy thing is, no one has ever told me I couldn’t do something. Maybe it’s my personality….I’m pretty ummm, something, I don’t know what, exactly. But people don’t usually say that I can’t do something. I was the one telling me no. So, don’t be me, don’t tell yourself no. Matter of fact, don’t even ask permission. Just do it, dammit. Nike knows what they are talking about. I love to encourage people, so at any time you feel discouraged…reach out to me.
On a side note….
I would like to mention ONE more thing…for the ladies. A friend of mine in the powerlifting world is doing some really awesome make up tutorials…they are GREAT, so I know that you ladies love to do your faceholes with all kinda silliness, and this girl really knows some good products and some awesome techniques. From super fabulous to super natural…so check her out. On Facebook and on Youtube, Beauty Bengal. Gracie Vanasse, pro powerlifter and Westside lifter. She’s an awesome girl with some awesome make up tutorials. www.youtube.com/beautybengal
Have you ever been in a similar fear-facing situation? How do you talk yourself away from fear? Trying for more? Not backing down? Tell us below!
Stephanie Wimer says
1. I always seem to talk myself out big lifts. I get scared of failing….and then fail. Hearing that I’m not the only one who does this makes me feel a little better, but hearing your tips for overcoming the issue is priceless. It’s motivational and I cannot WAIT to SFW!!!!!!!!!!!
2. “Always consider it done” might be my new motto. That and “Your mind will fail before your body does.”
3. I am SO PROUD of you April for eating clean!!!
4. I couldn’t agree with you more on sticking to ONE coach or ONE training program. The ONLY time I see gains is when I pick something and stick with it. And you are SO RIGHT on learning from everyone and everything. My friend Reagan sends me videos and Erik sends me articles non stop on how to do something better, faster, stronger, etc. etc. It’s very important to stick to a plan and then learn as much as humanly possible about what it is you’re doing. PS–if anyone has any good muscle-up tutorials, please send them my way. I swear I’ve tried EVERYTHING!
5. Thanks for being awesome and writing such great stuff. Love you!
😉 thank you! I’m glad that you (and hopefully many others) relate to my post because that means you’ll keep it in mind and start kicking ass even more than you already do!!!!
Reagan Beasley says
What a great article! I do Crossfit and Olympic lifting. Normally I love maxing out in my Olympic lifts, but I literally haven’t hit a new PR in my snatch for months!!!! And not like 2 months, try 4-6 months!! I can’t even remember because its been so long!! It feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy! That weights is so damn heavy… Why would I want to commit completely and throw my body under that weight?! (A few weeks ago my and buckled and I dropped the damn barbell on my head!!!) I love your articles and how you write! This is one I can really relate to because of the mental toughness of Crossfit and lifting heavy weights. Next time I go to max out I will think of you, and make sure I am building myself up with confidence and not tearing myself down with negative thoughts! Good luck in the Elite division! I am sure you will crush it!
Thank you!! I know how it feels to not PR on a lift for a very long time. I also have experienced getting weaker than I previously was and THAT was a huge mental circus. I almost quit several times, especially when I listened to too many people and changed my deadlift form to the most godawful disgrace of a bodily movement imaginable!! Ha! I’m really glad that now you’ll remember to catch yourself and nip it in the bud so you can hit the numbers of your goals!!!! 🙂