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Pulls to a Stick

Pulls to a stick. What does that mean? It means you must use your legs. Leg drive is critical to getting the heavier than normal weight up so that the arms can finish the pull. When doing snatch and clean pulls this week, perhaps load a bit more weight on there to test yourself for a triple. No harm. Make sure that the pull looks like your normal lift. You cannot have snatch pull form and full snatch form and expect much from either.
Set the PVC pipe up so that it is mid-sternum high when doing snatch pulls and just above the belly button when doing clean pulls. Drive and keep driving with the legs as you stand up and launch the barbell up. A rep counts if the barbell hits the PVC pipe.

Watching the archery world cup finals the other day was insightful in terms of focus and direction. Each archer, male or female, shot down the same course at the same target in the same conditions. Weather was not ideal. Each archer shoots 5 arrows which are scored. Total points wins. In the gold medal match for the women, it was Turkey versus Korea. In the second round, the Turk had a slight lead and the Korean stormed back to force a good shot from the Turk. All the Turk had to do, since she had last shot, was to hit greater than a 8. You could see the look on her face as she sighted down. Something happened and as she released the arrow, her face drooped. She got a 7. In the final round, the exact same thing happened. They began even on the first three arrows and then the Turk faltered hitting 6 and 7 to virtually let the Korean win. The Korean only hit 8’s.

Both competitors had mental lapses with the Korean faltering the least. I think that each competitor began thinking or focusing on something other than the task at hand.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you had the men’s bronze medal match which pitted an American against an Australian. They tied for points in regulation. Then the procedure is to go to a tiebreaker and they go until one arrow beats the other arrow. Aussie goes first and fires a 9. In order to get the bronze medal, Brady Ellison must hit a 10. The wind is blowing, it’s raining, his coach counts down when the shot clock hits 10 seconds (“10, 9, 8…”) at 3 seconds he fires off his shot and nails the 10. Boom, bronze medal

Did the Aussie falter? I don’t know. What I did see was the American concentrating on the task at hand. Not the arrow he shot to tie the match. Not the arrow that 2 rounds ago scored only a 7. He was all in for this arrow which needed to be a 10.

This is what you as a lifter must be: all in for the lift at hand. Your mind cannot think of the last lift you missed or even think about the technical error from a prior lift. You need to look forward, remind yourself “Tight. Close. Finish.”, and concentrate on the task at hand. The barbell in front of you is the only one that has ever mattered. The music is something you don’t like. Why can you hear it? The personal trainers are arguing football. Why do you even know what they are talking about? Filter out distractions and absorb the task at hand. There is a loaded barbell in front of you which may be more weight than you have ever lifted before and all of your mental energy must be directed toward it. Apply your mind as well as your muscles to the barbell, impose your will on the barbell, and lift the weight.

Half of this weightlifting game is 90% mental.

Lift like you mean it.