- feelings of anger or antipathy resulting in hostile or violent behaviour; readiness to attack or confront.
Firstly we should understand what aggression is in terms of weightlifting– the above definition is not what I would personally relate to my mindset when I’m about to make a big lift.
I have tried to use words to explain my feelings but I ended up with this:
I think ‘remaining fully under control whilst being able to give every ounce of your being and turning it into absolute force and effort’ is a pretty good way of putting it. Like when Goku becomes a Super Saiyan, it takes power and concentration. However I do believe this is different for everyone. It doesn’t just have to be screaming and shouting. Sport psychologist boffins may say this is your “optimal arousal”.
Similar to Goku, I have spoken to other lifters that have had this eureka moment– although for me it was a little more of an evolution of thought rather than a sudden click. I think for most people, effectively summoning and channelling aggression takes lots of practise and self-realisation.
Hints and Tips for Getting to This Eureka Moment
- Realise the amount of effort put in is inversely proportional to the risk caused by that movement. In other words, doing a movement right and with as little hesitation as possible is both safer and more efficient. This was one of the biggest realisations I’ve had in my lifting career.
- Find what gets you pumped up. This could be a loud song. It could be no song– I’ve trained in gyms that were kind enough to turn off the music while I was setting up for a big lift. It could be getting a high-five or a slap on the back from your partner or coach.
- Train with people you are not afraid to ‘expose’ your ‘true self’ in front of. If you feel inhibited in your training space, like you can’t give a squeal or roar before you execute a move or lift when you need to, assess whether you are just being shy or if you need to get new friends who aren’t style-cramping arseholes. Find some fellow “self screamers” if you need to.
- Visualise. Visualisation is a scientifically sound way to enhance performance. When you take the time to do a detailed visualisation of a successful lift, your brain stimulates your muscles! So, take a minute to imagine yourself succeeding at the movement before attempting it. Picture that bar flying close and straight, feel your acceleration at the hip, imagine yourself pulling into a catch so tight you could catch the world.
- Get into a routine. There’s a reason people often develop the same kind of lift set-up for every big lift: it stimulates their central nervous system in a useful way. Rose is kind of hilarious during a heavy session, because she will go for a walk around the gym before coming back, digging in to the chalk bucket, and settling in for her lift. You know if you see her taking a lap that she’s on a mission. While you don’t need to go to this extreme, if you find that you get into a habit of testing your grip, wiggling your bum, or whatever else before good lifts, use it.
- Want the lift. Don’t let the weight psych you out. You’ve put in the time, you’ve practised the movement. Shake off anything else you carried into the gym with you and tap in to your power. Then let it rip.
Do you have any tried and true methods for getting into Beast Mode at the gym? Help us help others and #sharethegrind.