I’ve made it out alive!
From a hectic several weeks/months of organising work, moving interstate, prepping for Proraw 8 deadlift comp and then GPC Vic States, it’s safe to say that I’m still in one piece. Partly self-inflicted stress (from the need to be uber organised), partly induced by external factors beyond my control. Even when I felt as though my head was just bobbing above the water I kept to my routine of getting under the bar, doing the lifts as programmed.
Why succumb myself to additional (unnecessary, some may add) stress of finding time to train?
Because the routine of lifting actually keeps me sane.
The routine of doing my prehab work, setting up for my deadlifts/bench/squat every other week, reminds me that despite all the chaos surrounding me the one static thing I can rely on is my time with the bar(bell).
I know some will relate to this meditative like experience acquired from time spent with the bar. I’m no philosopher and I don’t claim to be one, but what I can attest to is the sense of control that possesses me following a satisfactory session of hoisting weights up and down.
If you are going through something similar (or about to), make the most of your sessions with the bar. Even if they have to be shorter than usual, getting some “me” time with the bar with a focus e.g. certain weight for reps. Aimless sessions, on the other hand, I’ve found can backfire, leaving you with a sense of more dissatisfaction, and sadly I’ve witnessed some foregoing lifting altogether after struggling to keep the balance with lifting and everything else.
I won’t lie, initially getting to the routine to “work” was tricky, difficult, cumbersome even. But once the routine finds its spot, it feels just like when you’ve got the bench press in the right groove. It flies up smoothly and you leave feeling with a spring in your step. (No additional plyometric work required).
Extra satisfaction being sought from a sesh with the bar?
Here’s what I’ve found helps: Get as consistent as you can – same setup (hitting the bar at the same spot each time for the bench, getting that same spot for the low/high bar before you embark on the squat, same grip + stance for the deadlift). Keeping it consistent builds up a solid routine you can fall back on and (provided the routine is setup on the framework of good form + technique), it gets easier to track when things are off.*
*Proviso: routine is good but to avoid building bad habits, it’s not a bad idea to seek expert advice from a coach/more experienced knowledgeable lifters on best positioning, form, technique etc, especially if your training sessions often resemble monologues and selfies (i.e. you train solo).
The routine of lifting week after week, kept (and continues to keep) my head in one place and reminds me that even when things feel close to exploding, doing my routine squat, bench, deadlift (and my fav strongman lifts) helps me face the world just that little bit more.
I don’t want this to sound woo-woo-this-is-my-new-age-approach-to-lifting, but rather show how there are indeed transferable “uses” from lifting dem weights. Because real life (unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you see it) doesn’t revolve purely on PBs on the platform or comp day.
*I’ll be practising what I preach for the next 10 weeks as I prep for GPC Nationals 2016 – just got my invite to compete in the U56 women’s’ category so here’s to all the routines!!