I love powerlifting. But, it can also be annoying at the same time. You realise there are always people stronger than you and no matter how much work you put in, someone always seems to walk past you in the gym who is two steps ahead.
Someone told me a quote: winners focus on winning, while losers focus on winners’. I think this quote is so important to me because usually at meets or on the gym floor, sometimes my mind gets fixated on that stronger person rather than keeping my own head in the game and focused.
How is it for you guys? How do you keep your head focused on your own shit without worrying about what others are doing or how good they are?
I don’t compete or lift heavy by any means but strength training has allowed me to get some athleticism and vertical jump back. I do however feel a little nagging pain in my knees now which I’ve never felt in my 15 years playing my sport.
If I lift, I could wear my joints faster but I can jump higher. If I don’t lift, I spare my joints, but I can’t jump as high and can’t enjoy my sport as much. Crap.
I trained in MMA and jitz for a while about 7 years ago and I got injured way more. In a meeting at the hospital I worked at the time, the social worker asked me if she need to call APS (adult protective services) because I had bruising on my forearms in the shapes of finger prints, black eye, mat burns on the back of my head (bald) a wrist brace on from and injury and a swollen lip.
So yeah it’s rough but I’d still be doing that if I wasn’t lifting heavy crap and I’d hurt a lot more.
I love powerlifting. Its true that it seems like every time someone tells me what I’m doing is impressive, I see someone else my age doing better. I don’t let that discourage me though. I see it as a challenge to beat them. I competed at my first meet last weekend and did not pay any attention to the weights my competitors were hitting. I was surprised to come in third in my weight class. I barley even looked at lifters in my flight, I just got super in the zone. I used to see the weight room records at my high school gym and think “those guys are so far ahead of me, I’ll never lift weights like that”. I used to be super focused on how I could break them, buy knee wraps for squats, focus on training those lifts only, etc. I stopped focusing on those records, and seemingly out of nowhere, I broke most of them by huge amounts. It wasn’t out of nowhere, I just wasn’t looking at those records as my end goal. I just trained hard and took a look at the records one day and realized I could break all of them.
That’s why you do YOUR best and push yourself to YOUR limits. Chances are you’ll never be the best in the world and honestly, that’s all that matters. No one cares about state records, national records, etc who actually competes. They only care about that top title. Realistically, that’s all that matters in a sport like powerlifting since it’s number based. No Olympic athlete cares about anything other than the Olympics, no top level strongman cares about state or national records because it doesn’t matter. Just do what your body is capable of and push yourself to where you want to end up.
This is just a confidence issue. Once you have more confidence in yourself, your future and your program, things like that won’t bother you. If anything, they should motivate you.
People are afraid nowadays to talk to people who are stronger than them which is so ridiculous because that’s how you get stronger. Start hitting those guys up after their workouts and picking their brains. If they don’t talk to you or want anything to do with you, fuck them. Go to the next one. Eventually someone strong will talk to you and help you out. Truly strong individuals want to help or are willing to talk if you listen.
It was the absence of competition on a local level that drove me away from the sport. I had nothing to push me to do better and get stronger, compared to strongman, where I had someone I had to beat THAT day if I wanted to win.
Here you are WITH competition…and you consider that a negative?
Too many people want to be the best in the world right now, and they just started lifting. That just isn’t realistic at all. Look at it like this - how many people in commercial gyms do you see squatting and deadlifting over 500 and benching over 315? Few, if any. Once you reach what is a mediocre level of strength by powerlifting standards you are already stronger than over 90% of the people on this planet (maybe closer to 99%).
As far as success in powerlifting, it take a long time to get anywhere and there are a lot of other people doing the exact same thing so don’t think that you deserve to win anything just because you put in the work.
Of course all-time world records are the ultimate goal, but few people will ever reach that level and to get there you will have to first break a bunch of regional and national records. I just set a few national records last weekend, but considering I only have about a 400 wilks then yes, you could say that those records don’t mean much at all. If anything I hope that at least it will encourage other people to break those records. But there are other records out there that have stood for a long time so to break them is definitely a significant accomplishment, even if it falls short of the ATWR.