We all enter the gym with pre-perceived notions on how the session will go (good and bad). If we slept 8 hours and ate well, we expect to have the best session of our lives. We base the current session on how last weeks training ended. Especially, if last week's training went great. The problem with this is that we assume that everything will go well. We assume whatever we load on the bar will just magically move because we “feel” great in the moment. We think ahead to the outcome (top set) and disregard the process (warm-up) it takes to get there.
This is especially true at the heart of meet prep, we begin to enter the gym with specific weights in mind that we would like to hit for a particular session. Even worse, a specific way that we would like that weight to feel/move. “I want "X" weight to move at “X” RPE (rate of perceived exertion). You tell yourself that "If I can hit "X" number of reps at "X" RPE, then I can hit "X" weight later.
Does this sound like you?
We all do it. I am guilty of it myself. It sounds like positive thinking and forethought. Believe it or not, you are setting yourself up for mental and sometimes physical failure.
Most things never go as planned. It doesn't help that we have fantasized that plan in our head and thought of the best possible outcome. Many times we end the rep/set disappointed because the set that we fantasized about didn't move as fast or effortless as we wanted.
We begin to doubt our progress and question our abilities for upcoming sessions. We forget that if strength was linear everyone in the world would have superhuman strength. We forget that slow reps are still reps, hard reps are still reps, and there's still progressed made in the grind. We forget that the weight doesn't have to move "easy" or "fast" to show forward progress. We forget that at some point the bar will slow and more effort will be required to move the weight. However, our fantasy plan didn't account for those realities.
If you come in the gym with the perceived notion that things will be a breeze, you will miss the mark. You will miss an opportunity to get better. The session will be wasted because you were not ready to actually WORK and put forth real EFFORT.
Listen, simply let go of your expectations. Be deliberate with your warm-ups and make smart jumps in weight. Treat each rep like its your last and respect the weight like its your 1RM.
Focus on the execution of each rep and not the outcome you desire
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