You Are a Robot.
A gross, warm, soft, bony, robot.
You need to keep this in mind as you train to become a more efficient and effective weightlifter.
Robots, for the most part, are created, programmed and built to perform a specific task.
So when you train for a specific task it should be robotic if you want to have the highest success rate.
You need to get to the point where you don’t have to think about what you are doing you just do it and you do it well. LIKE A FRICKIN ROBOT! YOU SEE WHAT I AM TRYING TO GET AT HERE?! YOU ARE TRAINING FOR A SPECIFIC TASK NOT FOR SOME ABSTRACT RHYTHMIC GYMNASTIC IMPROV COMEDY SHOW! SPONTANEITY IS NOT WANTED HERE!
This does not apply to all of your training. Some of your training should be free and open like a leaf blowing across a verdant meadow BUT if you are training to hit a big snatch or clean and jerk in competition than you should be training like a robot most of the time…robots don’t meander across verdant meadows. They smash things.
Anyways, let’s think about the thought process that goes into creating a robot (And while we are doing that let’s pretend that I know precisely what the thought process is for creating a robot).
The first thing is to understand and clarify exactly what you want the robot to do.
Do you want it to put a label on a jar as it passes by?
Do you want it to lift up a roll of toilet paper and deliver it to you on the throne?
Do you want it to locate victims trapped in rubble after an earthquake?
Once you have clarified the robots purpose you will have to break down that macro task into many many micro steps.
Using the Earthquake Rescue Robot 3000 example you will have to give it technology to seek out heat sources amongst a chaotic environment.
You will have to give it wheels, or treads, or crazy spider legs that allow it to navigate through the wreckage.
You will have to set up a live video feed so that rescue workers can see what it sees.
You will have to program it to do exactly what you want or else it won’t work.
In the same way you as a weightlifter are a robot.
Rather you are the team of engineers and the robot all mixed into one.
The programming you are following is the engineering side.
The way your body performs the lifts is the robotic side.
You can choose what type of movements your body has to preform and you choose the weights and the volume and intensity of your workload.
This will determine how you perform on the platform when it comes time for competition of whenever you decided to max out.
I read a good quote recently by the Greek Poet Archilochus: “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”
This is exactly right when it comes to weightlifting.
The way in which you have programmed yourself will be made evident on the competition stage
If you have programmed the robot to not finish its second pull and miss forward on heavy attempts than that is what the robot will do.
If you have programmed your robot to be aggressive and stick it’s jerks than that is what it will do.
If you have programmed your robot to not listen to its coach, go off its program and max out with terrible form every time it snatches then it is going to end up in the scrap heap, broken and alone.
Weightlifting is wonderful in this way. You have all the power when it comes to how good your technique is.
You have to make sure that each rep is as perfect as you can make it.
This does not mean that you have to be cautious and never have fun, but you need to realize that your movement patterns come first.
That is something that you as the engineer have absolute control over.
You control how much weight is on the bar.
You control how many reps you do with crappy form.
It is imperative that you view each rep as a building block or as new code being written. Every rep needs to be precise and you need to be focused from your first warm up to your final attempt.
This is the only way that you are going to go from a beginner to an intermediate and advanced lifter.
And remember that even though you are a robot you are a living breathing savage robot that only desires to destroy barbells and feast on the dead carcasses of bumper plates.
So get out there and be STRONG!