Intimidate the Weight
You know what’s the limiting factor preventing many people from attaining their strength or aesthetic goals? Anger. People need to get more angry when they train. It’s as simple as that.
Granted, I’m a little spoiled in that I train (and work) at a pretty kick-ass facility where it’s common practice to brag about how many callouses were ripped off during the last training session, you don’t have to “sneak” chalk in, people request Slipknot when going for a PR (sorry, no Michael Buble), the only acceptable excuse for having your cell phone on the gym floor is if you happen to be texting with Jessica Alba or a Victoria Secret model, and when in a pinch, battery acid is an acceptable substitute for protein powder as a post-training shake.
Okay, so that last part was a bit of a stretch, but nevertheless, the training environment at CP can be pretty intense.
Alternatively, walk into most (not all: yes, Dean Somerset, not all commercial gyms are walking piles of fail) commercial gyms and it’s hard not to recognize how bored and disinterested people look. What’s more, if you take a minute or two and just watch how people train – just going through the motions and training with no effort or purpose – it’s not hard to put two and two together and understand that people need to grow a pair and train with some freakin conviction.
I mean, seriously. Take a few minutes and actually watch how people train. Many will just gingerly pick up a pair of dumbbells, do their 8-10 sloooooooooooooooow reps, delicately put the weights down, and then go off and take a sip of their electrolyte enhanced Vitamin Water before heading over to the elliptical machine that’s attached to a Bose theater system.
And, even if someone is making somewhat of a concerted effort to do something worthwhile – like squat – it’s like watching a butterfly kiss a rainbow.
Jesus people –GET ANGRY!!!!!!
I watched one guy not too long ago just go through the motions while squatting and it was just painful to watch. By the time he loaded the bar, un-racked the weight, checked himself in the mirror for the umpteenth time, and performed his “set” (if that’s what you want to call it; I did my entire training session, watched Titantic three times, read Atlas Shrugged, played in a cricket match, arm wrestled a grizzly bear (and won), and washed the dishes.
So, to say that his set was pretty much a waste of time would be an understatement.
You see, that’s one component I feel many trainees miss the mark on entirely: BAR SPEED!!!
Chad Waterbury has written on this topic extensively and has noted on several occasions that, when it comes to the Central Nervous System and performance, so long as the “effort” to be fast is there – meaning, you tell yourself to be fast, even if the load is heavy – you’ll then recruit more high threshold motor units (which also have a greater propensity for growth), and as a result, you’ll increase muscle mass, burn more fat, cure cancer, you get the idea.
Dumbing it down even further (because obviously it’s a lot more complicated than this blog post): load a bar with whatever weight you’re going to use + make an effort to lift said weight quickly = good things will happen.
I don’t care if you’re deadlifting, squatting, or benching – approach the bar and intimidate the weight!!!.
Shake it. Make it your bitch. Tell it it’s ugly.
Grab that mofo with your hands, and grip it like you mean it.
Now when you actually lift the bar – lift it like you mean it! Don’t just go through the motions. I’m not kidding, you want to try lift the weight so fast that people destroy the back of their pants.
Note: again, it’s about effort. Even if the load is heavy, so long as the “intent” to be fast is there, that’s what we’re looking for.
If you’re squatting, get your ass out of the hole and snap those hips through at the end. Try to make the plates rattle as you stand up.
If you’re deadlifting, trust me, if you don’t somehow fire yourself up, that bar isn’t going to budge off the floor. Shake the bar. Get your air. Pull your shoulders down and lock them in, chest tall, and rip that bar from the floor like you mean it. Again, snap those hips. Make the plates rattle!
The same can be said whether you’re benching, lunging, goodmorning’ing (?), or even doing tricep pressdowns – I don’t care. Lift with some balls will ya? Or, if you’re a girl, lift with some fallopian tubes.*
For those who are more visual learners, here’s a great example:
INTIMIDATE THE WEIGHT!!!!
* Credit to Nia Shanks for the awesome line…….;o)