3/7/14

How Much Does The Bar Weigh?

It's like doing a mental max effort squat. That exact moment when you find yourself propagating failure before it even happened. Or it's the exact opposite; you congratulate yourself for a challenge not yet completed.  Either way, both thoughts are an act of failure even though nothing has really been done. I've seen a lot of ambitious kids come in and out of the weight room. As each one begins to progress and fall in love with the idea of being stronger I also see them make the same mistake.



Think with me for a second. Let's set down the barbells and pick up some mental slack. To you, how much does a weight weigh before you pick it up? If I placed a barbell in front of you with your deadlift max and I asked you, "pick it up," how much does it weigh before you deadlift it? Until you wrap your calloused hands around the bar and flex your muscles to drag it from the floor, it weighs nothing.

Obviously this answer is subjective. To some people, they will mentally make that weight 110% of their max and assume failure. To others, they will make the weight light and begin patting themselves on their back. Nevertheless, until that bar is one micrometer off of the ground it weighs nothing.

Sometimes we have to tackle the bar with this understanding. The mental load that a challenge presents can be far greater than the weight itself, especially if you've already tasted failure. When I train athletes I see this happen all of the time. They will crash with a weight that they should have gotten easily, and from that point on their technique is trash and so is their strength. Because of their failure, they walk around with the weight of the bar on their shoulders the whole time. But the truth is, at that moment the bar weighs nothing.

This is a concept. Of course the bar actually has a weight whether or not you're touching it. But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about the mental struggle. There is no need to struggle until you've begun to lift that weight. Granted, it's okay to envision getting a lift, but do not let the idea of failure stop you.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.