Cover Photo by @IAMTIGERBLOOD // MichelleMok.com
If you want to learn Weightlifting, sign up for a free trial today.
After Kevin horrifically bombed at a Saturday gym competition…
He said to me “These lifts don’t matter because this wasn’t a real competition.”
Kevin, my friend, you are wrong.
Every single lift is significant to your improvement as a Weightlifter. Missing lifts no matter if it’s in training or in a competition will NOT help you improve; Weightlifting is a sport of consistency.
In this essay, I explain why EVERY LIFT MATTERS, and I give few practical suggestions you can use to increase the number of lifts you make. Please don’t confuse lifting with the intent to successfully make lifts in training and in competitions with the desire to lift a 6-for-6 total in competition, that’s a topic for another day.
Why Does Every Lift Matter?
Dragmir Cioroslan, Olympic Bronze medalist and ex-head coach for USA Weightlifting, is famous for say that “nothing under seventy-five percent matters”. While he was referring to intensity ranges, I’m positive that he would be upset if his athletes missed warm-up lifts on their way to seventy-five percent. This is just one random example that could, in fact, be hearsay, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold true in principle. Dragomir is so strict with the quality of lifting that he is not concerned with lifts at intensities lower than seventy-five percent, and I guarantee you he had zero tolerance for missed lifts.
I’m sure that Dragmir, and any other coaches would agree that making these lifts are important. Here’s why:
- Every lift matters because success in Weightlifting is ultimately determined by the lifts you make, not the lifts you don’t make
- If you make lifts in training, you will make lifts in competition
- Making lifts builds your confidence
- In competition, making lifts is the only way to establish a total
- Unsuccessful lifts increase your risk of injury
How Do You Make Every Lift?
Lift Within Your Capabilities
When I first started Weightlifting, I was stupid ambitious, and I was considered fearless by my coach. I wanted to be the best, and I still do, but I am much wiser with my training.
At one point, I used the USA National Senior Records to base my percentages. Long story short, I almost died. I talked to my coach about it, we set reasonable goals, the first one was: 1. Don’t miss a training session, 2. Don’t miss a lift below ninety-percent, 3. Improve my squat, it helps me make lifts.
Now, I focus more on all those key points that my coach told me. I’ve gotten smarter about programming, and I’m a wiser lifter because I lift within my capabilities. I save all the big lifts for testing days and competition days.
Take your warm-ups serious
Never wait until you get to the heavier weights to start being serious. Look at how focused and serious Mattie Rogers is with every attempt.
As soon as you touch the bar, you are aiming for perfection. Weightlifting is efficient. It is inefficient to make unnecessary changes to your positions and it’s dumb to wait until the lifts get heavy to focus. When I mean serious, I mean focus. You can have fun and be serious and focused. You can trash talk, listen to your tunes and wear a costume when you lift, but you mustn’t neglect a lift just because it’s light.
Imitate The Greats
Rarely do The Greats, like Tatiana Kashirina, Ilya Ilyin, Lydia Valentin, Dimitri Klokov, and the like, miss many lifts.
Ilya Ilin took his pre-worlds competition in KAZ very seriously and he also has this super-confident dive-bomb start. I don’t mean try to mimic their exact movements, because we are all different in our anatomical structure. I want you to study their body language, their demeanor, how long they take to get ready for lifts.
Here’s a simple and effective way to do this:
- Pull up videos from YouTube of the top lifters in the world (make it more fun, pick your favorite lifters, I’m sure you love them because they rarely miss lifts).
- Mute the volume.
- Watch their behavior in the warm-up area, just before lifting, and during the lifts. Notice how focused they are.
- Notice how they don’t miss.
If they miss, keep watching because The Greats always come back and nail the lift. Also, Hookgrip provides cool super slow motion videos of amazing lifters. Each a few of those and look for patterns, especially notice no matter the weight, The Greats make each lift look identical.
Missing Happens in Weightlifting?
Missing a lift should tick you off, but missing a lift should not derail your entire workout. Lifters who were highly skilled but mentally weak will struggle with missed lifts. Here’s how to cope:
- Ask yourself if you are afraid of the weight.
- Ask yourself if the weight feels extremely heavy?
- Ask yourself did you miss the mark on a technical issue or position?
- Keep track of the number of missed lifts from every training session. Monitor when you miss the most and then ask your coach for help.
- Ak your coach what s/he thinks you should do to improve and make more lifts
Those are just a few reasons why Weightlifters should strive to be the best that they can by making every lift. Remember, every lift matters.
Olympic-style weightlifting is a sport that has many mental, emotional and physical ups and downs. You’ll hit a period of time where your technique is coming along, you’re setting new personal records, and you’re feeling invincible. Then, inevitably, the dark times will come and personal records will seem like an impenetrable ceiling while technique seems to flirt by the wayside. During these moments, it’s important to remember why you started in the first place. What is it about weightlifting that truly captures your attention and why it holds a candle in your heart. Once you can answer these questions with clarity and certainty, these are the answers that will help carry you through your life journey towards weightlifting mastery.
Did you know…
Hong Kong Weightlifting is the only Weightlifting club in Hong Kong that teaches and trains Olympic Weightlifting every day. We are one of the most affordable small group training classes for Weightlifting, Strength and Power, and Weightlifting Technique in all of Hong Kong. We specialize in small group training with a 1:4 coach to student ratio, we have classes every day, and we teach a total number of classes 44 classes a month. Review our memberships here.