Part of learning about how to be a power lifter — and an athlete in general (a term I still am getting used to) — is discovering what you are really capable of. And then pushing through it. It really helps to have someone coaching who will call you out when you’re only just doing something, not ferociously working at it.
I have plenty of weaknesses when it comes to my training. One of them is thinking I’m capable of less than I am. When I saw my workout for today, which included three sets of five reps at 140 pounds on the squat, all I could think was how I only did 145 at the meet in February. 145 is a lot! I knew I could do it, after getting 120 pounds for four sets of 10 on Friday, but I was still too focused on how heavy it was and on what a big deal this is. This is a no for an athlete. I have to lose the mentality that I’m already strong for a girl, and believe that I can get stronger, period.
I worked through two sets, Ben correcting me when I started to tilt off to the left side a bit. I was pretty satisfied to be completing the full sets. Then it was time for one of my talks. Never one to take criticism well, I’ve learned while at CrossFit to take what I hear and apply to to becoming better and stronger, so I listened up. He wanted me to explode up out of the bottom.
As usual, my initial mental response was something like “WTF? That’s a hundred and FORTY pounds! Explode? I just want to get it up!” I didn’t have to say it — he knew that’s exactly what I was thinking, because that’s how I was working. “You’re just squatting it,” Ben said, “you’re not really working for it. You’re thinking about how heavy it it. You need to be sweating, your face should be red, your eyes should be bugging you’re working so hard. Everything about that 180 is going to feel heavy. But your legs are strong enough to do it if you are tight, if you keep your chest up and if you explode up with it.”
So I decided to put away my idea that all I was capable of was barely getting through it, and try to do what he said. Rather than just creaking my way up from the bottom, on the next set I tried to heave that weight up, thrusting up from my legs, my traps, my chest. And I did it! I don’t know if I was red-faced and bug-eyed as prescribed, but I did grunt cave-woman style coming up.
And now I have no excuse for just doing another workout, no matter the weight.