It's Saturday afternoon and you're just leaving the gym all pumped up. You just hit a personal best on your deadlift. Knocked it out of the park even! Everyone was even saying, "man that looked easy" and "you've definitely got more in the tank!" You've heard all the catch phrases before. You just hit a life time best of 700 pounds on the deadlift. The amount lifted is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is, leaving the gym in the back of you're mind now is what's next? If the 700lbs was "man that looked easy," you've got to be good for at least 720lbs next pr attempt right?
So you focus your training to get dialed in for another pr attempt in a month or two. Training is going great until about a month in on another strongman saturday. Everyone is training events for their next upcoming contests and the deadlift is up next on everyone's list. Now you're following your programming, but the gym is buzzing. Guys are smashing weights. The atmosphere is great and the question of course comes up, "so you going to break the 700 pr today?" You answer, "of course!" You're not going to back down now, it's the same atmosphere where you hit your last pr. Warm ups feel good and seems fine. 600 flies up, 650 as well. After some debate, you decide to go for 725. You approach the bar, ready pull and the bar flies off the ground! Everyone is yelling, the bar gets to your knees, only for you to drop it. "So close!" You can hear everyone buzzing. "One more pull, you got it!" You hear off in the background. So you strap back in and one more attempt. The bar breaks the ground, to your knees and it drops again. Everyone gives you a pat on the back and a lot of "man almost there, you'll get it next time." So you didn't hit your max attempt, reps comes next right? Now normally you hit about 600 for reps all day long. You strap in and can't even move the bar. Nothing. You shake your head, try to pull again, nothing. Now you get advice from the guys. "Move you're feet out wider," "keep your head up," whatever training partners might think is going to help, of course they're going to shout words of encouragement. Only it's frustrating you more and more. You just missed 725 and now you can't even budge 600. Mentally you are checked out.
So what do you do next? A lot of thinking and that's when "Quicksand" effect can set in. There is mention of this in the movie, "The Replacements," with a reference to football. But this, "quicksand" can happen in any sport. With deadlifting, now you have a lot of thoughts running through you're mind. Did I go for too much weight? Was my set up wrong? This could dramatically effect you're deadlifting for months unless you can mentally fix the problem. You need to have self confidence and know that you can and will do it next time. And if you don't have that self confidence, get a coach that can help get you back there to the confidence level when you hit your 700lb pr. If you don't work on you're mental aspect of strongman, you're missing the boat. You should be planning in your head and visualizing what you are going to do even before approaching the bar. If you don't you could psych yourself out, while you're strapped in to the bar, with out even attempting a pull. I've seen it many times and i'm sure you have too. That guy in the gym who rolls the bar back in forth, bends his knees a million times before they pull. Don't be that guy! Know your plan of attack before you approach the bar and do it! Other wise the quicksand effect will happen. The more you fight, adjust your stance, add one more knee bend, etc, the harder it will be to get out of the quicksand!
It's important that you have a check list of what your going to do set up wise for you're deadlift. You've done it a million times and every time should be the same. Keep the emails coming. The response from the blog has been great so far. Email questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!