T Nation

Some Interesting Things Maybe. How I Got Stronger

You guys might remember when i was just squatting 120, had painful knees and wasnt progressing on many lifts. that was only like a month ago

I’m now squatting 175 with good form, never any pain, and my overhead press has been improving too every week by 2.5 lbs much more consistently than before. 102.5 now (did an extra jump after i did a deload after 5 weeks of lifting)

What i realized is the difference between my 210lb deadlift and 120lb squat was too much to be from weak squatting muscles, i just didn’t have the right mental state since squats just felt different and more “scary”. My bracing seemed okay but it wasn’t. I just put it in my head that my squat should be near my deadlift so there is zero reason i should ever miss this weight, and i started warming up my core with weighted planks before my squats, well now its 50lbs more without pain and it goes up way faster.

With overhead press i think i was afraid to struggle, the bar would go up very slowly on the 4th rep of the 3rd set so i assumed i was finished. Now i ignore that and sure the bar shakes its way up very slowly, but that is what is allowing me to progress weekly now.

So i push my self harder and have a better feel for what i can actually complete. I stopped being afraid of the weights and i got way stronger.


You have hit a major breakthrough that many trainees never will. Good stuff. Now you can start actually getting stronger.

This is also one of those things that is impossible to convey to someone who HASN’T come to this realiziation. There are TONS of threads where experienced dudes tell new trainees that they need to just try harder, and the new trainees are adamant that they are working as hard as they possibly can. It’s a new level of discomfort you have to get used to.


Thank you, I will continue this forever. It even improved my squat endurance. If I stop being afraid and taking 8 seconds in between each rep and just go through the motion properly it always goes up. I get it done quicker, I get it done stronger, and I realize I’m making more issues for my self than the weight is. It was simply an over reaction and fear.

I shouldn’t fear “failure” either since I don’t believe im actually failing. I didn’t hit what was planned for sometimes, but that only means I am working in a higher % of my 1rm and training something new, I still benefited in some way. Dropping a weight and resetting is something I shouldn’t fear once in a while. I implement different styles of the lift like more paused work in the rom that I struggled, and varying amounts of speed and time under tension and it helps me get stronger in different ways than simply adding weight, and more reps. It doesn’t happen often anymore either.

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x2 with Pwnisher.
This is pretty much the biggest life lesson you can learn from the weight room. Im pleasantly suprised

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Good to see you taking advice at a young age. Just to let you know, you will have to continue in this fashion of increasing effort over time. 175 took you to a new level of effort…wait until you hit 275…or 375…

It’s fun for me to look back and think about what felt hard not so long ago (I’m still a beginner as well so the gains still come quickly). Not sure how anyone else feels but it seems to me that even though I’m stronger pulling 300 than I was when pulling 200, more weight always equals more effort and takes me to a new level.

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Haha i was always wondering that. i asked before “does 200 @ 80% feel like 80 @ 80% for me?”

As im doing it the weight feels similar but a lot different too. Those old weights never feel “light” as i thought they would. i guess it’s relative to my center of mass more than strength, i have to maintain a good center of gravity no matter what, as you get higher it becomes even more important. ill have to focus on perfect form more now so there’s less wasted energy in my lifts. not like i wasnt before, but in a few months it could be impossible to manage slightly fucking up and cause me to fail.

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Good work. That’s a major step.