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Thread: Emotional Response / Maxing

  1. #1
    Banned KingJustin's Avatar
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    Emotional Response / Maxing

    I can move a lot more weight, especially on deadlift/squat (less-so on bench/pull-up), when I really psych myself up for a lift.

    I was reading something from Glenn Pendlay that basically said the more you psych yourself up for lifts, the longer it will take for recovery -- and apparently this can be significant.

    I think there are some differences here between powerlifters and Oly lifters, but I think I also read something about how, at WSB, lifters generally intentionally won't psych themselves up during typical ME work (this could be wrong, and you dudes that actually lift at WSB would know much better than me).
    Conversely, I have seen several good (not WSB good) powerlifters psych themselves up with ammonia (etc) week in and week out.

    What is your take on it? When you lift, should you avoid getting really intense so that your recovery is good? And, if you think Glenn is right and you should not psych yourself up, how do you make the transition? And, how do you guys hit PRs week in and week out? I feel like I am getting progressively more pysched up on squat/deadlift, and that helps me keep PRing.

    (This T-Nation article gives some background)
    Last edited by KingJustin; 05-10-2009 at 02:15 PM.

  2. #2
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Im on board with Glen when it comes to the olympic lifts, which in that case there would be no transition. You compete with the same emotional disposition as you train.

    I dont know how I feel about the "slow" lifts. I get best results psyching myself up for those, but not for the o lifts.
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  3. #3
    Banned KingJustin's Avatar
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    Well, yeah, I guess when I do full snatches I generally do about as well whether I psych myself up or not (I guess since it's so technical that I'm thinking during the lift?).

    I definitely can use more weight on squat when I really psych myself up, though. But, Glenn has me thinking that this is messing up my recovery.
    So I'm wondering if the people that do ME work week in and week out think it's worth pysching themselves up or not. And, also, I have trouble imagining myself doing heavy squats and trying for a PR without getting psyched up. I just feel like I am using such higher % of my muscles when I get intense, and if I don't do that, I'm not sure how I will know whether I missed lifts because it's too heavy, or because I'm lifting like a pus$y.
    Last edited by KingJustin; 05-10-2009 at 02:13 PM.

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    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    I can certainly see advantages of maintaining a stable emotional disposition in all lifting. I think consistency would increase and total #s would fall at first, but then increase steadily.

    I think the idea behind not psyching yourself up for the O lifts is two fold. One is your point and the other is that when people psych themselves up for a clean or a snatch they generally will jerk the bar up and use arm power (as cited by Tommy Kono and his trainees)
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    GFH Lones Green's Avatar
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    I don't see too much benefit from that stuff. I used to think I did, but I don't. When it comes to powerlifting and multiply gear and the weight there are so many things you should be thinking about, and psyching yourself up can bite you in the ass because a lot of the times you will stop thinking, and then you have a missed lift.
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    I tend to burn out if I get too crazy getting amped up for training lifts. Don't get me wrong, I focus and get mentally prepared, but I save something for the meet. I figured this out after trial and error and I finally learned the difference between a training max and a competition max.
    Ultimately this is something you will have to figure out yourself. I think this is something where you just have to lift hard for a while and figure out where your optimal training zone is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonesXedge View Post
    I don't see too much benefit from that stuff. I used to think I did, but I don't. When it comes to powerlifting and multiply gear and the weight there are so many things you should be thinking about, and psyching yourself up can bite you in the ass because a lot of the times you will stop thinking, and then you have a missed lift.
    Agreed. If I'm in full SQ gear or a BP shirt I tend to forget all my cues and screw everything up if I get too wired.

  8. #8
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    You are correct, we don't really get jacked up for a ME lift.

    save that for a meet.

    I do not use amonia and most of our guys only use it for deadlifting. When I use it, I stop thinking and I just lose all form and technique. These lifts are so much more technical than people realize. Even when I'm lifting raw I do worse when I use amonia than when I don't use it.


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  9. #9
    IRL my name is Trent Hazerboy's Avatar
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    I guess I don't understand it when you say psyching yourself up.

    I visualize before all of my lifts. Before I ever approach a weight, I must know that I'm going to make it. I'll get pumped with music or whatever, though when I step under the bar my mind is usually blank. When I hit my sticking point I may think "knees out!" or "head up! arch!" or something along those lines, though I don't usually get real pissed or something.

    I remember watching something on the science network that had the top American Olympic weightlifters (male and female). I don't remember the name of the guy, but he was in the SHW division and one of those dudes who is really recognizable. He said that if you ever approach a weight, and you're not 100% positive that you're going to make the lift, you will fail. I don't know if that qualifies as psyching yourself up, but the show was a lot about the mental aspects of sports.
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  10. #10
    Resolute -JM-'s Avatar
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    save that for a meet.
    Is this why 20lb or 30lb PRs or even more are hit in meet circumstances?. Wouldnt that type of mind set/psych/chemical release be almost impossible to replicate in a gym training environment?
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  11. #11
    Banned KingJustin's Avatar
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    Hazerboy, what I meant (and I'm pretty sure this is what everyone else means) by psyching myself up is stuff like listening to heavy music, taking a few intense breaths, etc. I think some people let someone slap them before a lift. Basically just to jack up the adrenaline.

    The guys I Oly Lift with always make fun of me when I do this, but I can definitely squat more when I do it. The weight just feels so much lighter on my back.
    On Oly Lifts, I'm just now reaching the point that I do better by just thinking when I do them.

    Anyway, the point being that it seems clear that this means it takes a lot longer to recover. Given that I want to do a lot of work every week, I better learn to just focus without the adrenaline surge.

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    I think its two fold. The thing I've noticed in the commercial gyms is that the guys who snort and blow and make a big show of things almost always miss their lifts. This doesn't hold true for a powerlifting meet----too a point.

    Psyching up like that burns precious energy. Energy that I personally think would be better used to lift the weights.

    I think its also very different from someone taking a moment to focus on the bar, get their thoughts organized, visualize what they are doing. Thats something I think should be done every ME lift. It just doesn't have to be a big show.
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    Banned MPB's Avatar
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    Going crazy and getting jacked up definitely add a lot to my lifts (about +10 for bench, +20 for squat, +30 for deadlift) but after a while, these maxes become almost impossible to duplicate. That's when frustration sets in and then I burn out pretty fast after that, so I don't do this anymore.

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    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flynn View Post
    Is this why 20lb or 30lb PRs or even more are hit in meet circumstances?. Wouldnt that type of mind set/psych/chemical release be almost impossible to replicate in a gym training environment?
    Not at Westside LOL sometimes it gets ridiculous how hard we push each other. If we were getting all psyched up, it'd be even worse

    I don't get real psyched at a meet either though. Greg doesn't, but Luke and AJ on the other hand do. It boils down to whatever works for you


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    Atheist Lifter evilxxx's Avatar
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    I only get psyched up for Heavy DL's (with the help of ammonia) only from the floor. On the rack I try to think about the form and ammonia does not help you think clearly...hehe
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    You guys are over complicating things.

    Its simple. Your trying to get your body to release adrenaline to make you perform better. A slap in the face or whatever will usually yeild small amounts to be released. Its the same principle behind the flight or fight response. Ex: your walking in the woods when a bear is in attack mode, they say dont run... but you do. And I'll guarantee you'll run faster in this situation then at a track meet. Obviously you cant simulate a bear attacking you, but when you physc yourself up it can only make you stronger. Sure you have to figure out a way to control it to an extent. Which is why you should practice your setup again and again so its second nature. But to say it doesnt help, well thats false.

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    I am pretty calm at meets and generally am pretty quiet when doing/getting prepared for max lifts.

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    well Mr. Bell said it best, what ever works for you. Thats 100% true.

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    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I know on two occassions I celebrated/totally went off after good lifts which happened to be second attempts. I was gassed for my thirds. I think emotions take too much out of you. Not a big fan of the psych up. Works for some. Not for others.


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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    I know on two occassions I celebrated/totally went off after good lifts which happened to be second attempts. I was gassed for my thirds. I think emotions take too much out of you. Not a big fan of the psych up. Works for some. Not for others.
    Gassed from celebrations? What kind of celebrations are you doing?

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    Banned MPB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse Hernandez View Post
    Gassed from celebrations? What kind of celebrations are you doing?
    Video

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    LOL! Nicely done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    I know on two occassions I celebrated/totally went off after good lifts which happened to be second attempts. I was gassed for my thirds. I think emotions take too much out of you. Not a big fan of the psych up. Works for some. Not for others.


    What you felt makes perfect sense--I feel the same thing.

    The "fight or Flight' response isn't a sustained physiologic phenomenon. Its the bodies response to an instantaneous event--a surge of adrenaline to provide that burst of strength or burst of speed to overcome extreme .circumstances. Afterwards the body has to return to normal---thats why you feel gassed. You've had a sudden increase in cardiac output, blood pressure, blood glucose and other physiologic values. It'll vary somewhat from individual, basically based on degree of response, size of the individual, overall conditioning of the individual and other factors, but the basic response is the same.
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