Weightlifting is simple right? Pick it up, put it down, push this, pull that. Just go through the motions and hope it translates over to the field / court. Pretty simple right?
Is there more to it? I’ll save you the anticipation. Yes! There is much more than meets the eye. Learning movements, attention to detail, consistency, hard work, integrity of form, and how our nervous system reacts to all the exercises. The list goes on and on.
How we move is extremely important. If we cannot move well with just our bodies, how are we going to move while holding onto weights?! We often overshadow how we move with the amount of weight we want to move. AKA ego lifting (and we’ve all been there).
Basic movement is the base of weightlifting. Ideally, you would want to dominate your basic movements like squatting, deadlifting (hip hinge), push-ups, rowing, pull-ups, and walking first. Once those movements have been ingrained, you are better prepared to start a weightlifting program. Movement and weightlifting are great ways to learn body awareness. In other words, understand how your body moves, and learn how to move weights properly to keep us safe as we continue to build strength.
When I first started to lift weights on my own, I had this idea that if you can’t move the weight, find a way to move it because that’s how you get strong. Of course, I did this instead of backing off and starting at a lower weight. It was this macho mentality that moving lighter weight meant you were weak and soft. I like to compete to be top dog as much as the next guy, but If that macho mentality puts you in unsafe positions when lifting then it’s time leave your ego at the door and work your way up the ranks.
Weightlifting can be an awesome way to blow off some steam. After a long day at work, multiple things can transpire to stress out about. To have the ability to put on your favorite playlist and hit the iron with a tough workout could be just what you needed. Depending on how you chose, it can just be you, or you have a couple buddies that you meet up with and decompress that way. Either way, it’s great to get frustration out before going home.
It might not seem like cold iron could teach you a lesson but it can. The iron will show you that it’s unforgiving. If you’re not strong enough yet it will be hard to move it. One of your first lessons is patience and consistency. If you think you’re going to walk into the gym and achieve your goals in a short amount of time you better think again. How to deal with failure, just like anything else in life sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fail. If you can’t squat X pounds for 6 reps, are you just going to pack up and go home or are you going to continue to work until that goal is achieved?
The next lesson is putting in the hard work. You’re going to have to work for it, plain and simple. Day in and day out, work your a** off, and over time you will start to make some gains and working to achieve those goals. Humility is another important lesson, the weights serve up one hell of a slice of humble pie.
When you’re involved in weightlifting you generally get interested in nutrition, sleep, and recovery methods. These are essential to help restore your body, and get ready to get back in the gym faster. The best way to make changes faster, especially in the gym, is to make sure you are eating foods that will help heal your muscle tissue, getting enough good and sufficient rest, and finally other methods to recovery and heal faster. This can be done through activity such as lighter workouts that focus on blood flow, active mobility with body weight movements, or more extreme methods like sitting in an ice bath.
So, weightlifting, is there more to it? I’d say so.