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Mental Blocks in Going Heavier

When I put out a request for blog topics, one that came in was “how do I get past a mental block in going heavier with weights?” 

This block is actually pretty common. When coaching, we often have to tell someone to increase his or her weight when we notice that either they’ve been using the same weight for a while and/or it looks easy for them. 

For the first few months at Vero Strength, we emphasize consistency and practice. That means we try and help people fine-tune their technique while also getting their tendons and ligaments ready for heavier lifts. But, once you’ve done the work and move well, it’s appropriate to challenge yourself with the weights that you lift. 

I think many times, the mental block is a matter of building confidence. If that’s the case, ask a coach to watch you and give feedback. 

If it’s more of a negative self-talk issue, then identify that behavior. For instance, are you telling yourself “I can’t do this?” Change your narrative.

Other ways to get past the mental block are: 

  • Keep a training diary. That way, you know what you did on a particular lift last time and you are able to increase when you can, even if it’s just a few pounds. 
  • Don’t think about the weight on the bar, think about perfectly executing it. 
  • Set goals.
  • Imagine success. 
  • Know that you may get a little uncomfortable and that’s OK. Growth comes out of being uncomfortable. 

As a final note, if you’ve put in the time to move well and work on technique, believe in yourself. Performance is more mental than it is physical. 

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