The Razor’s Edge.

Sometimes in training, things just go your way. Everything is working. The rhythm is just nice and steady, your working hard, your feeling good, your weights are moving up. You are consistent. Tired, but not too tired. Sore but its a good sore, it doesn’t quite hurt. And because your consistently making your weights, you get confident. Maybe a bit cocky.

You are on the razor’s edge.

When you are a beginner, that edge is wide. A damn 4 lane highway. You can veer right or left a bit and still stay on teh highway, moving forward. Easy to train a bit too much, or not near enough, and still progress. Do the wrong exercises? No matter, you are training, you will make progress. Dont sleep or eat right? Don’t worry, your snatch will still go up.

When you are more of an intermediate, its a bit different. Go out drinking one night? Your training is gonna suck tomorrow most likely. Do too much? Progress will most likely stop, and you will be hurting. Do the wrong exercise? Your technique will get less efficient, and your lifts will slowly become harder.

When you are Caleb Ward, or Jon North? You are not walking on a balance beam, you are walking on a rope. You are finally really on the razor’s edge.

And one little push either direction and you will fall from that rope. You will fall from the razor’s edge. If someone pushes you to one side you will get hurt. If someone pushes you the other way, you will cease progress.

The longer you train, the thinner the edge becomes, and the sharper it gets. And eventually, it’s very hard to balance on, and very easy to cut yourself. At the highest levels, all athletes seek to balance on that sharp edge… they know the risk, but it’s the place they want to be.

I have seen 3 people in 20 years of coaching balance on the razor’s edge. The thin edge, the one that can cut you. Caleb Ward, Jon North, and Donny Shankle have all done it.

The man who does it for the longest time is the one who will be the greatest weightlifter.

I hope you are reading this, Jon and Donny.


4 responses to “The Razor’s Edge.

  • Donny

    Damn. That was better than the Hills and Valleys blog. I did not think that was possible. Very cool coach. Very cool.

  • Your Monday Moment of Zen #23 | The Iron Samurai

    […] Pendlay on The Razors Edge (Part I and Part II): Right now Donny Shankle is balancing right on the edge of a very sharp razor. After 9 […]

  • Chad

    Wow, I can really appreciate this. Not because I’ve lived on the razor’s edge, but because I’ve fallen off and gotten injured. There was a brief time, too brief, where I was on the razor’s edge. I made crazy progress and everything was perfect, and then bam, I got carried away, took it just a little too far and broke my leg. This was a great visualization and description of that “zone” that we all try to live in.

  • Xaman

    It’s an honor to be alive in the time of Glenn Pendlay, Donny Shankle, Jon North, US Weghtlifting

    Salutations from the Barrios of LA,

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