Saturday, November 25, 2006

Getting Psyched!!!

Do you try to get yourself worked up and psyched up for a lift during training?
If this is for anything other than a new Personal Best in the gym or on the platform for competition - you are confusing training with competing!
Why are you getting psyched up for your work sets?

I have had some great conversations with Mark Rifkeind ( a Senior Russian Kettlebell Instructor and someone very knowledgeable about Westside Barbell training methods - Mark has told me many times that the "max" effort days in the Westside method are to be done with out any psychological arousal (no psyching). This is an important part of the method for a couple of reasons.

First - when you create a high level of psychological arousal you dump adrenaline into the system and try to take advantage of the fight or flight response to increase your strength. This cascade of adrenaline and the physiological responses that follow might provide a temporary boost but have a downside as well. Your adrenals are under a pretty constant load just from the stress of life, and nutrition (sugar, alcohol and caffine overload your adrenals) and now you want that system to provide you with a strength boost just because you want to really hit a big set. This can overload the system and reduce the impact of "psyching" when you really do need it.

Second - if you can approach your training with a worker's attitude and treat your sets as just another set - but you are producing new personal bests - What do you think you will be able to do when you do get a boost from your psyching?
You might actually get that PR on the platform.

Training is training. Competition is competition. Try not to psych up for your training sets. You can have a consistent pre-set routine but for anything short of a personal best or competition lift - don't try to psych up.


Anonymous said...

good post brett and so true. Louie always told me to take those max attempts in a "workman like" fasion. i.e. just do it.
adrenaline is so easy to deplete and so slow to return.

Franz Snideman said...

Or as Dan John says, "Champions are built from punch the clock workouts." Get in, do you work ,get out and go home!

Great post!

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