On parts 1, 2 and 3 we discussed the planning of the training program, pre-training food and pre-training supplements, respectively. On part 4, I will discuss some uplifting motivation.
And this brings me back to the times when I was working at Prentiss Hockey Performance. Ben and I were training partners during all my time there, and even now when we meet, we still train together. As part of our normal routine, we used to train when our working day was over. In one occasion, Ben was drained and the pre-workout supplements and the protocol we had before lifting were not enough, and he actually was not feeling like training, so I asked him, what lifts you up? He instantly replied, power and speed! I knew that I was able to put together those two attributes in the best possible way. The solution was Pyrros Dimas, probably the best weightlifter of all times, performing a world record in the snatch. When I told him to watch the video, he was kind of reluctant thinking that nothing could get that lifting up effect on him, but when he watched it, he instantly said “holy s…” and we played it a few more times, analyzing the movement, speed and power. After a couple of minutes, he was absolutely ready to train, and his strength was great during that session.
When you watch or listen to something that lifts you up, you will produce more dopamine and possibly acetylcholine, along with adrenaline and noradrenaline, which in turn will produce that “let’s go and do it!” effect. It doesn’t have to be only a video, also music that lifts you up, rehearsing on your head the lifts you will perform that day, or just going back into special memories that have that effect on you, will do the job.
For every person it could be different, and I’ve seen different athletes and clients getting that effect from Moto GP and Formula 1 races, fights or combats of any type and style, or a rock concert or an opera. In the end, whatever works for you is perfectly fine, as long as you get the desired effect. In my particular case, I have a couple of playlists that I listen to on my way to my gym, and at the same time, mentally I’m going through the program I’ll perform that day and the weights that will make me accomplish my goal for that training session.
The key point here is to be willing to perform and being looking forward for that training session. If you are not into that mood, and simply just go through the workout, you can be sure that it won’t be enjoyable, and the results won’t be the same.
Try these techniques and you’ll see how they can benefit your performance. And if you already use them, keep doing them to maintain your training sessions at the highest levels!
Coach Carlos Castro
Picture: Pyrros Dimas 2004 Olympics (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)