When it comes to lifting a heavy weight, who likes knowing exactly what the weight is prior to the lift? I certainly did, until the weight started climbing higher and higher. Knowing the number, especially at this point in my lifting, has become a large intimidating factor for me to get past. That’s where the mental battle begins about whether or not I am capable of lifting such large numbers. Not that I am complaining about being able to lift more, but the higher the numbers got the more it became a mental struggle. Complete intimidation!
In the gym we individually load the weight plates on our bars, so it’s not too difficult to figure out what you are getting ready to lift. This was a huge concern for me at the May powerlifting meet. Again, thinking that they were going to yell out these large numbers causing my mind games to start before I’ve even begun. Just to find out that loading the weights on the bar is done for us. Score! Although we know what our opening weights will be, the consecutive lift weights are decided by our trainer (Jim). Funny thing is that all the weight plates are in kilograms. So unless you want to take a little time to calculate, and I certainly did not at this point, you really won’t know the full weight on that bar until the very end. Even Emily, one of the seasoned Miss Fits struggled mentally when knowing what the weight for her final deadlift would be. She even asked our trainer to drop the weight. Not because she didn’t think she could do it, but she feared that if she wasn’t able to lift it, that it would mentally mess with her. If you were to ask her now, she would tell you she wished she had just lifted the original weight.
From that point on, I started taking a unique approach to each lift in that I would load the plates but mentally kind of check out and not pay attention to the weight. The more I did this, the more I was able to concentrate on the movements themselves and my form. It also prevented me from conjuring up the self chat in my head. Of course, I still want to know how much I’m lifting. I still want some big numbers; I just like to know what those are after the fact.