12 Things Every Lifter Should Know
1. Do your squats- All of them. If you want to be a good lifter you better get used to it. Leg strength is a precursor to powerful lifting. They’re not bad for your knees, your bad form is. Squats don’t kill people, they make that person harder to kill.
2. Learn to hook grip- The hook grip is a way to hold the bar by grabbing your thumb with your own fingers. The hook grip allows for a secure grip and a quick turn over of the bar. See our last blog on the Hook Grip.
3. Focus on the technique- The development that occurs from proper technique is less likely to lead to injuries. For Oly lifts, snatches and clean & jerks are technique oriented – period. By performing training lifts and exercises with the best technique, the body will develop in a manner that is conducive to powerful performance and smoother lifts.
4. Your jeans won’t fit anymore – Your body is going to change. You are going to build some muscle. Girls, you just have to know that you’re going to have to give up the Kate Moss look and recognize your ass is going to be like JLo’s and your quads may not squeeze into skinny jeans anymore. But you’ll look damn good. Guys, you’ll fill out those jeans nicely.
5. Knee sleeves & wrist wraps -Knee sleeves are designed to protect the knee from future injury or risk of damage.Knee sleeves also add a valuable compression element that increases blood flow and reduces pain, not only during but also after performance. Wrist wraps are designed to help stabilize the wrist for weightlifting. The wrap creates opposing tension that will prevent over- extension of the wrist. If you wear knee sleeves & wrist wraps, they are going to stink badly. Wash your funk.
6. Learn patience – Lifting can be frustrating, painful, rewarding, hard, easy, tiring, and exciting. Learn to be patient and not get frustrated every time something goes wrong. Go into the gym every day and set little daily goals for yourself. Trust that all the time you spend working your technique, movement, and body awareness, will totally pay off. Enjoy your journey.
7. Have fun & lift in a group- Training with others breaks up some of the monotony of doing the same exercises over and over again and it turns lifting into a social experience, provides inspiration and motivation from watching your teammates accomplishments. And don’t underestimate the value of having a group of friends cheering you on as you try to make a milestone lift – sometimes that encouragement after a brutally hard clean is the difference between making the jerk and failing.
8. Your hands will take a beating- Your thumbs may hurt from learning the hook grip. Be prepared for the formation of callouses and the special joy of those callouses tearing shortly thereafter. If having soft, smooth hands is important to you, you’ve chosen the wrong sport. If you don’t have a Pumi bar or tape, run to the Defiant Gear Shop and get them NOW.
9. You are going to be sore- The squats and presses we do to improve our strength expose our muscles and joints to stress that we need to make for the physical adaption of becoming stronger. This soreness will become more manageable over time and as you start to use more advanced recovery strategies. Don’t make me say it again. Nighttime Recovery.
10. Invest in good weightlifting shoes- Weightlifting shoes have a raised heel. This is a massive advantage, as it allows you to squat into a deeper position through increased ankle range of motion. This will help you to improve your overall position too, as you’ll find yourself sitting more upright. A more upright torso means more chance of keeping hold of that barbell and sending it in the right direction – up!
11. Record your lifts – Bring your cell phone to the gym and set it up. Watch your technique. Bad habits formed early on can seriously hold back your lifting and unlearning them is a difficult and time-consuming process. What improvements do you need to make? Using the Coaches Eye app allows you to see your lifts in slo-mo until there’s no-mo mistakes.
12. Mobility- Do some quick, light cardio (like a run, row or jump rope) to raise your heart rate and body temp. Then mobilize. Got tight hips or shoulders? Open them up. Foam roll. Take 5 mins to mobilize the muscle groups you’re going to work.
** In the Defiant Gear Shop we carry Wrist Wraps, Pumi Bars, Grips, Tape, and Nighttime Recovery.