Chalk floats softly through the air. The thumping of your heart is all you hear, all you feel. You step to the bar and place your hands on it, feeling the cold knurling on callused hands. The whirling hurricane of emotion settles into the eye of the storm, the peaceful moment when you have to make a decision to begin.
If you’ve found yourself on the receiving end of an ass kicking by gravity, I can feel your disappointment, irritation, and likely rage. Missing reps is common among lifting, yet dealing with them is not. Powerlifters can go months without missing a single rep to experience the ultimate let down on a third attempt. Weightlifters who push themselves will miss in each workout, but it doesn’t make it any easier. After the initial moments of rage subside, remember that each missed rep is a learning opportunity.
The process of getting stronger is dependent on how you react to failure, and failure will be prevalent. In order to get stronger, you have to get smarter, and you get smarter by analyzing what went wrong, how to fix it, and doing it better next time. This may require a hard look at recovery methods (food, sleep, etc.), the program (levels of volume or intensity throughout the week and over time), and technique (inefficiencies in movement and bar path). The possibility may exist that you didn’t have any business attempting that weight, but you won’t know until you try. There’s always a reason for failure, but it’s up to you (and the coach) to figure out why. Otherwise you won’t get smarter about getting stronger.
Happy PR Friday (post PR’s to comments)