Written by Tim Rigby
For the most part, people lift weights in order to improve their physique. Building muscle and losing fat are the ultimate goals of long-term work put in at the gym lifting weights, but did you know, weightlifting for power and competition is also readily available to those of you who have a natural sporting side that seeks to find out how well you would compare with others – and yourself? Training for weightlifting is naturally all about strength gain, since very few competitions are run wherein competitors lift more than one rep in a set. The goal is to identify maximum power in either the Olympic lifts of the clean & jerk and snatch, or in the powerlifting moves of squat, bench press and deadlift. Yet, weightlifting is more than a number. It’s a dream, a journey and a quest; we here at Fitdeals.ca fully encourage you to participate in training for weightlifting competition for your personal betterment, both mentally and physically. So, let’s fill you in.
>> Discipline, Patience and Character. Did you know? As you train for weightlifting over time, you’ll no doubt experience periods where your strength becomes unpredictable; some days you’ll expect to lift record numbers but unfortunately the results just aren’t there (and make no mistake, sometimes you’ll surprise yourself by out-performing your expectations). At these times, it’s important for you to develop the discipline to stick to your program and be patient. Overtraining is a common effect of eager strength training, but patience will scale you back to a more ideal volume level. At the end of the day, you’ll have developed real human character which you can apply to just about all walks of life.
>> Current trends. Many people who never lifted weights prior to their adult life (and those who never played any sports) have in recent years turned to the gym as a means to self-accomplishment. The popularity of new fitness trends like crossfit, for example, has had appeal to many, as it possesses an element of competition with some involvement of Olympic weightlifting.
>> Measurable gains. In the same vein as bodybuilding, gains are greatest at the start of a long-term, periodized strength training program. Power can easily be identified in the form of a quantifiable number that reveals how much weight you can lift in a certain exercise. Yet, the fact you gain the most at the start intrinsically serves to stoke your motivation to high levels and give you a near-addictive desire to continue getting stronger.
>> Mental/Emotional Challenges. Nobody likes disappointment, but it’s almost inevitable when you weightlift long term. It’s therefore important for you to appreciate that progress doesn’t come in a straight line. You’re invariably going to set yourself on a roller coaster where your power lapses and then comes roaring back. Sometimes it all comes down to simply improving the quality of your sleep, since recovery is of great importance to strength training. This is to say nothing about overcoming injuries as well; but if you combine a positive mental state with intelligent rehabilitation (or volume adjustments), you can overcome this challenge too.
>> Ultimate Success. Did you know? Achieving a goal physically (such as lifting a target weight that required a lot of effort and work) will burn a sensation of satisfaction and gratitude into your psyche which reinforces the idea that you got what you wanted. You established a plan, worked through a program, overcame any obstacles, failed many times, and ultimately succeeded. Does this sound familiar? Yes, we’re talking about a metaphor for the game of life! Weightlifting success can translate to family, professional and social success too. The benefits are limitless.
>> Bonus: Athletic Performance. One of the great applications of weightlifting improvement is the strength and power you can apply to athletic competition, i.e. sports. After all, scoring a goal in hockey is not about how hard you can shoot a puck five times; it’s about how hard (and accurate) you can shoot it just once at a key moment of the game. You don’t succeed in baseball by how hard you hit the ball three times; rather a home run is scored on just one swing only. Throwing a shot put, jumping for distance or height, sprinting 100 metres… these are all fabulous applications of the positive side effects that evolve from weightlifting for strength.
What’s holding you back? Start weightlifting for strength and power today!