Get fast, get tough

I’ve had to learn not to be in a hurry to reach my goals. But to get there (200lb squat, I’m looking at you!) I have to learn to bring on the speed in workouts. And a squat that’s slow and precise is a whole different ballgame than a squat where you’re aiming for explosive speed. Not just physically, but mentally.

Speed squats, quite frankly, scare me. While squatting 160 for multiple reps is physically difficult (the 5×5 workout I did two weeks ago was the most intimidating workout I’d ever seen on the board for me), moving fast with 145 pounds on my back is  freaking terrifying, especially when I’m trying to do multiple reps on one breath.  Once I learned to get by on one breath for a set it was better — there’s something about that rapid gasp for air between reps that seems to make my body think it’s in trouble. Add in coach yelling GO and the sheer number of reps (yes 6 is a lot for me) and halfway through I’m flat out petrified. Except I’m not. I’m still moving.

But there’s a payoff. As scary as they are when I’m in the middle, I’m equally exhilarated when they’re finished (not to mention shaking and out of breath. Who says powerlifters don’t do cardio?) And besides the physical training I’ve just completed — being able to explode up out of a squat will help me when it gets seriously heavy — I’ve just proven to myself that I can keep working when it’s hard and when it’s scary. And every time I push myself through something like that I get mentally tougher, which is something I have to learn on my own.  Because as strong as I’ll need to be to squat 200 pounds, I’ll need to be even tougher mentally to get under that bar and stand up. So bring on the speed!

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