Top 10 Habits of the Most Accomplished Strength Athletes

Top 10 Habits of the Most Accomplished Strength Athletes

Feb 13, 2012

Top 10 Habits of the Most Accomplished Strength Athletes

By: Brady Stewart 

1.  Technical Mastery
No matter what strength sport, there are proper ways of technically executing your events or disciplines. The best strength athletes are extremely efficient at demonstrating their strength in the events they have mastered. They have learned how to lift with proper form, technique, and have mastered their craft so well that their technical efficiencies make them more energy efficient. They know that sloppy reps will create sloppy results. When they lift, they make their reps count and do so flawlessly. The best strength athletes never put their lifts in the hands of the judges, they make their lifts perfect every time.

2.  Consistency
Lets discuss two forms of consistency. First, the most successful strength athletes NEVER miss a training day. If they have to miss due to time constraints or family related events, they always make it up and are skilled enough with their programming to tweak their current training plan to make it as optimal as possible.  Second, they are consistent with their lifts.  They NEVER miss a rep. If they never miss a rep in training, statistically they won’t miss attempts in a competition. Basically, this combines mental conditioning with their physical preparation making the athlete unstoppable. They won’t ever think about missing an attempt because they don’t know what it’s like to ever fail an attempt in training.

3.  Programming Training
Many of today’s elite lifters don’t have the luxury of having elite coaches program their training for them. So, most have taken it upon themselves to understand beginner through elite programming and how to apply it to themselves. They understand that not everyone can train the exact same way, so they have experimented and applied many different training methods, programs, theories, and protocols in their own training. They know that cookie cutter training programs will only lead to dead ends, so they take it upon themselves to piece together the puzzle of how they need to program their training and do so successfully.

4.  Positive Mental Attitude
This is usually a given with most elite strength athletes. Most of the time they are extremely positive and don’t let negative thoughts infect their mentality. They know that positivity and negativity can manifest in physical form. So, they don’t let negative thoughts ever get in the way of their success. Attaining and keeping a positive mental attitude shows and proves that they aren’t only in control of their training/competing, but also their inner being!

5.  Understands that training is not religion / Always seeking knowledge
This may actually come as a surprise to some of you. World Class athletes always keep their ears open. They are always studying and educating themselves on how to become a better and more effective athlete. What they know isn’t so set in stone that they can’t listen to new ideas. They do not put themselves in the metaphorical box of limitations. They have no limitations. Nothing about strength training is written in stone. Find out how you need to train and if it means going against the norm, go against it! If you want to be average, do what everyone else is doing. If you have big goals, do not put limits on yourself. Do what you need to do to improve. The problem with many younger athletes is that they think that what they know is the only way to train. Elite athletes know that there are many different ways to accomplish elite levels of strength. And the elite athlete understands most of them.

6.  Helpful
The quickest way to the top, is by lifting each other up. The best strength athletes realize this. In many instances, it takes a team to build the athlete via coaching, spotting, critique, loading, training partners, etc. In very rare circumstances can the athlete do it all on their own. In order to receive help, you must first give help. They are usually the first ones to help spot, load, and coach other lifters.

7.  Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation
Elite athletes have a remarkable ability to prevent injury.  They are so in tune with their bodies that in many circumstances, they can forecast when or if an injury will happen. They can stave off injury for weeks by proper injury prevention technique and pre-habilitation. Notice the PRE before habilitation! They work on their body’s injury prone soft spots through prevention exercises regularly. This keeps them in the gym. Don’t let an injury keep you away from training. That’s lost time that can’t be made up. Proper form and technical mastery of strength events and disciplines will keep injuries from creeping up as well.

8.  Confidence 
The body will do what the mind tells it to. If you always feel sorry for yourself, how can you expect to lift giant weights…EVER? Never feel sorry for how things are going in your life or in training. You can only control YOU…nothing else. So start thinking positively about who you are, what you do, and how you do it! If you feel like crap, you’ll likely lift like crap. If you train with confidence, you’ll believe in yourself and what you are doing. Don’t confuse confidence with arrogance. Confidence is something that shouldn’t be ‘shown off’. No one likes an arrogant fool. Let your confidence show through how you train, compete, and through your results. If you set your mind to something, be confident in it.

9.  Focus
This may be one of the most important habits listed in this article. World champions NEVER lose focus on their goal. They have an uncanny ability to make their goals materialize. If they ever have a lapse in this focus, they are amazing at getting right back on track. They focus on all factors listed in this article and execute them with surgical precision.

10.  Not a hobby, passion, or obsession…IT’S LIFE
Most highly elite strength athletes don’t consider their sport a hobby. They truly feel that it is a part of who they are. It isn’t in their blood…it is their blood! They aren’t obsessed or passionate about it. Those two words can’t begin to describe what their sport means to them.  It is a way of life and is one of their highest priorities. It is their inner being. It is in their soul. It enhances who they are as a person. They treat their sport with the utmost respect and understand that it isn’t about them anymore. It’s about the advancement of the sport and the relationships they’ve created through the years. This thought process doesn’t happen overnight and can take several years to reach this sort of IRON-ZEN. Master the elements of this article and you’ll be well on your way to achieving this form of enlightenment. (I will say this about myself. Nothing comes before God, my wife, or my friends and family, but next in line…is the beautiful sport of powerlifting)

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