Don’t Chase Perfection at the Expense of Progress
By: Coach Mitchell
“I hit a 5lb PR today, but it was ugly.”
“I hit a 10lb PR, but it’s still only at 140lbs.”
Don’t be so quick to downplay your progress! Progress – no matter the weight lifted – is what we should all strive for. Sure, it might not be as much as someone else, but you can’t control what they lift. What we CAN focus on is our ability to perform to the best of our ability. OWN your effort & to be PROUD of your progress!
Every athlete in the world has their technique break down at some point in their lifting. Take an Olympic champion, for example. What would happen if we added 5-10kg above their PR they hit at the Olympics? They would likely miss. Maybe it’s a strength issue or maybe it’s a technique issue. Regardless, everyone’s form breaks down at some point. The goal for any weightlifting program should be to increase the weight at which our form breaks down at over time. Let’s say you increase your Snatch from 145 to 150 pounds today but you had a “press out” with your elbows, and as a result, it looked “ugly”. It’s the first time you ever snatched 150! Since you are now able to snatch 150, I bet your 140-pound snatch looks a lot better than it used to. THAT is progress! What if we got your snatch to 160 pounds? I would guess that same 140-pound snatch is even faster, more controlled, and much more consistent.
If we try to be “perfect” every single attempt we might just miss the opportunity to progress. I am not saying to make a lift at all costs (risking injury) or to lift ugly if it allows you lift more weight. I am saying to put your focus on small victories and to simply focus on making your next rep better.
What happens if your technique starts to break down at 85-90%? Maybe take a couple more attempts at that weight with the focus on making it sharper and fixing the technical error. THAT is progress! Progress can be disguised in many ways so be sure to look for it when it happens. Technique changes, flexibility improvements, strength increases, consistency of made reps, etc. are all examples of progress.
Owning your effort and focusing on your own progress is the recipe for a lifetime of enjoyment in weightlifting and any exercise program in general!