There is a new hashtag that has become popular by our friends south in Astoria, Queens: #PSWOTB.
In fact, I have shirt that has this hashtag on it. For what does it stand? Put Some Weight on The Bar. I totally agree with this mentality. Many are afraid to lift heavily. Whether it be fear of getting “too bulky”, getting injured, or being too slow in a WOD. Shut up and put some stinkin’ weight on that bar…
If you know how to lift….
Tonight, I was lifting in the weight room when loyal member, John Iskra, came in to chat. He acted like he was impressed by the weight that I had on the bar, but I knew that he was just being kind…. it was only 145. I was jerking. I thanked John, but told him he didn’t have to so polite. I had no choice but to decrease my lift. I had to drop weight to practice the jerk correctly. It feels as if my jerk hasn’t improved in forever. And I know exactly why: My elbows drop when I dip, I don’t land under the bar enough, and I tend the push the bar away from me. I know…I’ve seen it on video, I can feel it, I can physically see the dirt stains on my chest from where the bar slides downward, and Chu has told me at least 1,206 times…
I yell at all of you for doing it, so why do I continue to do it?
Because I continue to train it this way. Just as much a perfect practice makes perfect, imperfect practice creates and reaffirms imperfection.
The only way for me to correct these flaws in my jerk is to take some weight off of the bar.
When I explained this to John, he made a poignant statement that inspired this blog. He talked about when he was training his wife, Julia, to skate (the Iskras skate, like marathoners run). She wanted to go far; her goal was distance. He encouraged her to take it slow, focus on technique, before she attempted distance, thus fatiguing herself and allowing form to slip.
This really drove the point home that this rule, which applies to weightlifting, also applies to everything else that we do in our lives.
Think about it: if you’re struggling with your secular workload, do you take on more? Would this even make sense? Of course not, we learn to control what we already have before we accept more. And, at times, when a domineering boss requires that you take on more work, you see what this stress does to your performance.
What do you think happens when you add more weight to the bar when your form speaks to the fact that you are in no shape to accept it?
There’s a fine line behind putting some more weight on the bar to gain strength and achieve those ever-coveted PR’s, but on many occasions, taking some weight off of the bar for some time is more likely to lead to greater achievements.