Mistakes In Powerlifting
Having crossed the threshold of my first “rocking chair” at 16, I did not suspect that the bar would lead me so far and determine my future life.
My first strength training began with a “warm-up”, and after a few minutes I did not technically squat with a barbell that weighed 40 kilograms, it was a little over seven years ago. And this week (April 2020), I was doing a 410-kilogram barbell pull and a 350 kilogram squat for 3 reps – technically and with a margin.
Over the years, I have gathered an impressive body of knowledge, invaluable and bitter experience, and this experience, at times, cost me my own health, result, time, and, at least, the nerves of people close to me.
We all make mistakes with different consequences. Sometimes the consequences are difficult to smooth out, and they become a serious obstacle to unlocking one’s own potential, and sometimes they break physically or psychologically.
It is impossible to avoid mistakes without experience and knowledge, the consequences of which may become such that the sport becomes unnecessary or inaccessible. Learn from your mistakes, and best of all, learn from the mistakes of others.
Of course, the mistakes made by others, we will never repeat, because we are smarter! Almost every one of us thinks so, I also thought. But this invaluable experience can serve as a key to sports longevity and high sports results.
On my sporting path, I made a lot of mistakes and took unjustified risks. For the first two years of training in the gym, by trial and error, I tried to organize an effective training process. By analyzing my mistakes, I gained experience that I am effectively implementing to this day.
My whole training approach of that time was one great experience, these years can be characterized by trampling on the spot and a constant reassessment of my capabilities. Then I did not speak at powerlifting competitions.
At that time, I did not have a coach or even a more experienced mentor, but after entering the first year of college I had such a person. It is this turning point that I consider to be my starting point in the world of sports and physical education.
But still, I made the main mistake already as an experienced athlete. Eight days of severe coma broke me physically, but not psychologically. And a month after leaving the intensive care unit, I already started training not with a 40-kilogram barbell, but with an empty bar. I started from scratch. It happened a little less than two years ago.
Since then, my path in sports has been divided into everything that came before and everything that came after.
Having a lot of experience behind me, my own and those of my athletes, I decided to document this experience and present it to the general public in order to secure your sports path and minimize the number of extra steps on the road to achieve your goal.
The first part of the series of articles “Mistakes in powerlifting” can be generalized to sports in general. In the future, I will reveal the specifics of our sport – the sport of the strong in spirit. So, let’s begin!
Lack of a coach (mentor).
A commonplace that can cause all your failures in training and competition (if you’re lucky enough to perform).
An athlete is similar to a ship that went to sea, which requires an experienced captain (coach) and an experienced team (its athletes) to achieve their goal.
Lack of progress, with an inherent decrease in motivation, the constant presence of increased injuries, which can be dispensed with. All this can serve as a good reason to “hang the barbell on a nail”, leave the sport and abandon your hobby, which may well become your main activity. These achievements will surely overtake you, going into free-swimming without your captain.
If you are a beginner, then the lack of results due to the lack of a coach will become a regularity for you. The result in this context is the realization of the sportsman’s athletic potential in a competitive environment.
The importance of a coach in training an athlete is difficult to overestimate.
Choosing a coach is not an easy task. The main thing you need to know and understand when choosing a coach is:
- If you decide to immerse yourself in sports, and not engage in physical education or fitness, then you definitely need a sports trainer, not a gym instructor or a more experienced friend. The trainer in this context is the specialist who supervises the training of athletes.
- The visiting card of each trainer is his athletes-pupils and their results, and not pictures of feedback on the work of the “coach” from messengers. The result shown in the competition is the main indicator of the knowledge, experience, and capabilities of a specialist in the field of training athletes. This is the main criterion when choosing a coach.
It happens that an athlete is filled with determination and desire to achieve success in sports, but he does not have a mentor who will direct these ambitions, and maybe giftedness (which you can possess) in the right direction.
So it was with me. My sport was limited to the walls of our “rocking chair”, with the increase in the number of discs on the bar my desire to be the best very quickly took possession of me. Weights on the bar were growing, at 17 I was already doing 235 kg traction, with my own weight 83 kg. But I understood that this is not all right.
I realized that the main limiting factor for me was the lack of a more experienced mentor. I had no idea what the methodology of sports training, recovery mode, the correct technique for performing exercises, or the optimal technique for doing.
I dreamed of speaking at competitions, performing a sports title, setting a record, but even had no idea how to apply for this event. All my free time from studying, I sat on the Internet and read, read, read.
I tried to find the right training approach for myself, but all the information I received was contradictory. Each author of an article, book, or comment on the forum saw the development of power in his own way, it only misled me.
Each workout I squeezed out of myself maximum, both physically and psychologically. Now it seems to me that it was then that I lost my psychological reserve, the energy was the ocean. Now everything is more measured, I no longer run to training headlong and do not fall asleep with the thought of how I will lift the barbell tomorrow.
I don’t care how many disks weigh on the neck, I don’t even know if this is good or bad now. Of course, this kind of fanaticism and maximalism will not lead the novice athlete to anything good, but by curbing the source of such energy in the athlete, you can direct it to maximize the result of the sport, but only by using pedagogical methods to influence the athlete.
Now I understand that I would have buried my result in the walls of my first gym and lost my current life if it had not been for moving to another city, and getting to know my first coach.
It was then that I was imbued with the significance of the tandem – the trainer-athlete.
Then I realized that a coach is a specialist who not only writes a training plan and observes the technique, making adjustments as necessary, but also a teacher who leads the process of educating harmoniously developed athletes who are ready to run, swim, ride or lift a heavy barbell effectively, entering into a tactical and psychological struggle with an opponent, and sometimes with himself.
A teacher who will replace a flimsy foundation in an athlete from the motivation for discipline and knowledge, which in turn will give a more sustainable sports result. A teacher who will dispel all-athlete doubts will form fundamental sports principles and concepts.
There are successful athletes in the world whose results speak for themselves. These athletes train and raise their units in competitions without the guidance of a coach. But each of these athletes was led by this coach to this outstanding result.
No matter how gifted you are, you will inevitably encounter the problem of self-realization without a mentor. If you lift heavy bars without this tandem, then know that together you are ready to lift much more.
Today, with the development of the fitness industry and sports in Russia and the World, favorable times have come for the development of powerlifting. The speed of updating world records and the emergence of new significant individuals in our sport are proof of this.
As you know, most powerlifters in Russia train and grow in fitness clubs, but with the increase in the number of these institutions, the number of sports trainers has not increased proportionally. And returning to the paragraph on the determination and desire of athletes to achieve outstanding results, who simply do not have the opportunity to engage with a coach personally, I recommend that such athletes turn to an online coach for distance training. This has long been not an extreme, but a great opportunity to maximize your opportunities in sports.
Starting my career, I did not have the opportunity to train personally, simply because in our city there was no such specialist or even more experienced athlete. Working with an online trainer would save me from many mistakes and incorrect decisions in the training process. Today, with the development of information technology, everyone has such an opportunity.
For seven years in powerlifting, I trained both independently and under the guidance of three strong trainer-educators, otherwise, I can not identify these people who are significant for me.
They made their contribution to my development as an athlete, not only by writing a training plan but also by developing the strongest physical and psychological qualities in me, through various pedagogical methods of influence.
The approach to training athletes for all three was completely different. I will not focus on this and go into details, I can only say that having passed three different schools for training athletes, I have formed not only as an athlete but also as a coach.
To date, my formation as a coach is not completed, I continue to study and develop in this direction, because time does not stand still, and powerlifting is not stuck in the nineties, like some “specialists”. When I finish developing as a coach, this will end my coaching activity.
Three different pedagogical approaches gave me the understanding that the athlete is like a diamond, and the coach is engaged in cutting it and the number of faces will curl from the efforts of the coach and the athlete, which will be supported by the knowledge of the coach, as well as the discipline and patience of the athlete.
I mean, if a coach is not an authority for you, and you are making much more effort to find the right path for your own development, then this is not your coach. But there is a flip side to the coin.
The key to being a successful powerlifter is by training hard and smart, being consistent, and getting expert advice from successful people in this regard is the key.
Also, you need to sacrifice a lot of stuff such as keeping your social activities at the back burner. Definitely, you will overcome these mistakes as you make progress. Happy lifting!