How to Bear

It does not matter what you bear, but how you bear it

Seneca

The weight on the bar isn’t the only variable that counts. Yes, you could deadlift 600lbs, but your form broke down and you tore a bicep, this isn’t exactly the result we were looking for.

Lifting technique and form is a very important part of the picture, when it comes to bearing a weight. If we change movement parameters, we are in essence comparing apples to oranges. This is why we set standards for lifting, a quarter squat, is in no way comparable to an ‘ass to grass’ squat, or a squat to parallel for that matter. Not only does form serve to create uniform movement patterns, it creates the most efficient movement pattern to exert force. When we set up correctly for a lift, we are using our bodies’ anthropometry and individual movement patterns to our best abilities, which allow us to effectively move a lot of weight.

There are many variables that come into play when it comes to strength development and the weight on the bar is only one measure of progress. We want to look at rate of perceived exhaustion, how many reps we did lift, how many sets we did, how long the rest period was in between, how long the overall session was. All of these are variables that will affect performonance. Ideally, we are able to keep everything else the same, so that a 405lb squat today, can be compared with a 410lb squat next week. We are, however, biological creatures and not robots, so all of these things may become different between training sessions. But our goal is to minimize the variables that can affect the lift, so that we can get a more objective approach to measuring progress.

Finally, our mindset heading into a training session is vital for success. Some days we don’t want to be there and that’s fine, but I would argue, that it those are the exact days that we need to go train. It is subjecting our brain to a task that it doesn’t want to do in the short term, to make sure our long term progress is going to be on track. This helps us further use this mental exercise in every other aspects of life, since life consists of actions we must take that we don’t want to take.

This can also expand to more of a bodybuilding mentality of the ‘mind muscle connection’. This is easiest to illustrate with a biceps curl, when we have a strong mind muscle connection we can truly feel the bicep contract as we curl up the weight and we almost inside the muscle during the movement. We become hyper-aware of the  movement happening and paying extra attention to the primary mover during the exercise. Next time you do a set of bicep curls, try to flex the biceps for a few seconds before you start curling and really concentrate on the biceps growing and flexing.



Categories: Stoic Powerlifter

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