As I Approach The Bar
They call your name, the weight that you're lifting and the bar is loaded. I've got my headphones in as one of the 4am Crew Members, usually Todd Dunkle, is wrapping my knees. I say to him, "Todd give me some more heat on these things." That means, in slang, wrap them up tighter, I'm ready to go. As I'm walking to the bar, ready to put my belt on, all I can think is, todays the fucking day. This is what you worked for. This motherfucker's gonna be light as shit. Bring it today. Quit being a little ass bitch. I tell myself these things straight up because everything, all the work I've put in, is right here. All the getting up at 3am, the hours under the bar, now's the time to hang it all on the line. What I like to say is, leave my spine on the platform. Some people might not say that's a good mentality but that's how I've felt any time I got big numbers. You're going to get everything I've fucking got, my ultimate best. I never think about missing that weight.
My grandpa always used to say "If you think, you stink." He was basically saying that if you overthink it, you're probably going to miss that weight. There's no room for negative thoughts. Some people think about the pressure, injury or missing the weight but all I do is think about getting under that bar and laying it all on the line. My best squat is 540 at 181. My best at 198 is 550, drug-free. These are things that I'm proud of. DO I think I can be stronger than that? Yes. But in those moments, just like this past meet, I knew I was going to make the weight. People always ask me, squatting everyday worked? Hell yeah it worked. It gave me two elite numbers in two weight classes. I was able to front squat 405 and I could barely hit 200 when I started. It absolutely worked but it also gave me a bar confidence. Most people are scared to squat. What I'm articulating right now, that confidence, came from squatting every single day. So as I approach the bar in a meet, it's just like every day in the gym just with people in the stands.
The only thing on my mind is, G, today's the day you got up for. This is what you trained for. This is what you wanted so leave it all on the fucking line. I have no room for the negative shit that has, or could potentially happen. It's all about what I have in the tank on showing it on the day that it counts. That's why I tell myself not to be a little bitch because I want to rise up and get something I've never gotten before. Most of the big weights I've hit in the past, if you watch them, they don't even look heavy because I'm so fired up. That's what I'm looking for when I come into a competition. The mental is more than the physical. Yeah, you have to be strong but most people get defeated by themselves mentally first. Sometimes I yell, or get animated, but it's because this is what I got out of bed for. I'm not out here breaking world records, hell, I'm not even the strongest guy in my own gym, but I'm there that day; me vs. me. At the end of the day, when you approach the bar you better figure out what you're going to say to yourself because that's where most screw it up. Get that confidence up and leave that spine on the platform.
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