Athlete Factory Fitness Powerlifting
August 30th, 2013
What’s your limiting factor?
I have a bit of a knee issue, it’s actually an old logging injury from when I lived in Squamish… that is a blog for another day. While it gets back to normal I have (OK Michele has) stripped the weight down on the bar and it’s all about technique. Which might just be a blessing!
I was reading a blog the other day that talked about “limiting factors” in powerlifting, it reinforced the philosophies that I already train with at The Athlete Factory! Lifting comes down to three things; headspace, strength and technique. You can argue the merits of all three but one of them holds more power…
At one point I would of said headspace and strength. That was before I had at an inkling of how much technique was actually required, especially in the back squat. Solid technique will trump headspace, because when you panic and your mind goes blank and you wonder what in the blazes you were thinking even attempting such a weight, your body is already starting that technique that you have practiced time and time again. Technique even trumps strength, because there is a breaking point. I can “bully up” a fair amount of weight but (for me) when I hit 285 pounds if I don’t have proper form I am not making that lift. My butt is on the floor and the bar is on the safeties! My hamstrings are strong enough to lift the weight, but without the proper technique, I’m not using them! At this point proper technique (as close as I have it) has me pushing a white light over 300lbs.
Most lifters are stronger then they think. Many lifters claim to have reached plateaus.. it’s not because they can’t get stronger, they probably are getting stronger, but that strength simply isn’t being used because the technique is lacking. Worse case; lifters are out with injuries because of it. When I miss a lift it is rarely because I am not strong enough to lift it, it’s because my form is off. I walk past a chalk board at The Athlete Factory every day that has max lifts on it. I am up there with a 265lb (unbelted) lift.. with PERFECT form.. a have 2 ladies above me, one lift is 350lbs and her body weight can’t be more then 135. (TOPS!)
Slow down. Don’t worry about the weight on the bar. Focus on the technique and get proper coaching.
I bet you will surprise yourself.
I know I did.
Excellent points Susan. As a martial artist those three items: headspace, strength, and technique, apply to fighting. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, or how geared up your noggin’ is, if your technique sucks you will lose everytime. If technique is practiced to perfection over and over again it becomes embedded in your muscle memory thus eliminating the need to “think” about the technique and gives rein to the mind and the muscle.