Powerlifting: Don’t Try it Alone

Powerlifting: Don’t Try it Alone

Dec 20, 2012

Powerlifting is a sport that involves continual growth and a self realization, that as much as you may think you know, there is someone that knows more or knows some things you may not. If you are not growing, then essentially you are fading. If you are at the top, you have a ton of targets on your head and other lifters working their tails off to take the spot at the top and become king of the hill. Whether or not you have 20 world titles and 100 world records across 50 federations, you need someone to be there for you making sure all the little things are being done right. Even Tiger Woods has a coach for every aspect of his game, making sure he is doing all the little things right, and help keep his game sharp and consistent.  That being said, an integral part in becoming the best lifter you can be, involves getting the right people around you.

Much like a NASCAR driver, the performance of a powerlifter can often be made or broken by his/her hypothetical “pit crew”. The performance on the platform is determined by the quality of work and preparation in the weeks or even months leading up to the competition, and the person(s) in your “pit crew” will determine how that goes. If you do not have someone guiding you, or watching you lifting day in and day out, GET SOMEONE. If you don’t think you need someone, swallow your pride and allow someone to help you grow as a lifter, or remain stagnant. Often times we as lifters will never notice slight things that can make a big difference in our performance, so it is important to have a coach to point those things out and make you fix them. Whether you unknowingly brought your squat stance in, are not keeping your shoulders back while benching, or dropping your chest on deadlift, you will not notice and need someone who will. Watching videos of yourself doesn’t count. Although it is good to see yourself lift, it is not a substitute for a coach. Many times we as lifters will not notice imperfections when viewing our lifts, either unknowingly or by choice. If you are at the top, or trying to get there, there is no room or time for imperfections. We can often be our own worst enemies, and think something is okay, when really it is not. Get an unbiased and CREDIBLE opinion to critique your videos, if you do not have a physical coach, and be open and receptive to what they have to offer. Notice I said “credible”. This does not mean gym rat Johnny who does curls in the mirror with his gloves and ipod arm band. Find someone of “our kind”, and much like a health diagnosis, the more experienced, prominent, and accomplished lifter the opinion is coming from, the better.

Myself with coaches David Hammers and Curt St. Romain after winning the 2012 IPF 120kg Junior World Title

One thing all top athletes have in common, is that they are never too good to have a coach. Even the best MLB sluggers have hitting coaches. Get a group of individuals that will make you better and will not be afraid to speak their mind and tell you what and when you need to fix things in your training. Coming out of  high school, I was an uninformed kid who had things all wrong, who just happened to be strong. If not for the group of coaches I have to take the raw potential I had and refine it, there is no way I would have been able to accomplish half of what I have done so far. It takes being humble and listening to those more knowledgeable than you. Whether you are new to the sport, or an accomplished seasoned vet, if you are wanting to advance and become a better lifter, do not try and do it alone.

Great lifting is the result of great coaching
Myself with St. Romain (coach) holding the Junior World Championship team trophy

I hope everyone has a blessed and safe holiday season. Merry Christmas to you and your families and have a happy new year. God bless!



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