My training partner Ariel prepares for his top set of 300kg on the deadlifts, his warm ups had been a little laggy, he had to attack this with more than 100%. As Ariel chalks up our crew is getting in his ear, as he approaches the bar I scream "Don't be f**king shit Ariel!!!" There was a very slight hesitation, I could tell that one hit him. Like a warrior he was full of rage, his nervous system fully ready to recruit every muscle fibre needed for the job. Ariel hit 300kg sweet, locked it out at under 100kg bodyweight, game over!
Myself and most of my training crew responds to negative energy, the constant reminders that "we are shit" and "we are average" is what pushes us to become great. We don't care for good.
Negative Affirmations, Positive Results
"The moment you think you are great at something can be a risky play. This can breed ignorance which then breeds average results."
It takes a certain mind to respond to negative affirmations to create a positive outcome. We don't want to be babied, we are all highly independent, highly driven and we know exactly where we are trying to go. We don't need someone telling us we are doing a good job, in fact, that is the last thing we want.
We can all agree that every highly successful person/athlete is great at what they do because they aren't satisfied. I believe some successful people forget to acknowledge what they have achieved and that can become an issue but if you can find the balance between never being satisfied and acknowledging your progress as you go it is a recipe for destruction!
Without trying to sound like an egotistical douche bag, in the back of our minds our training group knows we are some of the strongest lifters in Canberra, we get praised a lot for our lifting from people which is absolutely lovely so of course we know we aren't average lifters to the public eye BUT if we chose to take on those words there is a chance we become complacent and grow big heads. We are average for OUR standards, we are watching the world, not Canberra! ..
We had 6 of us squat 300kg/661lb in the same night at training, this was pretty cool and unheard of in Canberra. I clearly remember afterwards over Facebook Messenger we almost immediately started discussing that it needed to be like 350kg+/771lb+ because that is more of a world standard. A hungry pack of wolves not satisfied with the kill.
Learning A Competitive Mindset
Our training crew has the privilege of having our good mate and world class Powerlifter Eric Lilliebridge train with us whilst he preps for Big Dogs 3 in October. I remember in our group chat we were all winding each other up with lots of banter and then Eric said that I have to try keep with him on deadlift night that was coming up. Now keep in mind that my max is around 322.5kg/710lb and Erics is around 415kg/915lb. At first I thought he was joking but he was serious.
The thought of versing someone or being competitive actually makes me really nervous and feel weird. I have always used Powerlifting to try better myself but the guys I train with are teaching me to be competitive and I LOVE it. Im not sure if they know they have been influencing me like this but they have. It is stupidly obvious that you need to have a competitive bone in your body to be the best at any sport. I have a lot of admiration for highly competitive but humble athletes.
So, back to Eric. He messaged me personally after the group chat banter and mentioned if I try keep up with him it will be a huge advantage for my growth. Obviously I can’t lift as much but I can attack each lift and try have better/faster intensions and better form. Sure it is a tough ask, he is one of the best in the world but the least I can do is try right!??
Ariel has also played a huge roll, we recently found out in our next competition we are competing in, our totals are going to be very similar so we have been into each other about it and spurring each other on. Sure he is 30kg lighter than me, a father of 2 and recently just tweaked his hamstring, he still assures me not to go easy on him. He isn’t going to go easy on me on the day and he is pecking at me to make sure I do the same! SO, Ariel, I know you will read this, I would wish you luck for the day but even with good luck I am going to beat you anyway ;).
If I am honest with myself I still feel funny about being competitive and competition banter but I know it is for the good and I am having fun learning how to use it to be a true competitive but humble athlete. After all, I am not interested in affiliation records and 2nd or 3rd place, I want to dominate and win competitions.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you found it interesting! :)
- Jake Fisher