Monthly Archives: May 2017

Instant gratification

What is the biggest problem with American weightlifting today?  The pursuit of instant gratification.  This has always been a temptation, but with the advent of the internet (and social media) the temptation has become overpowering.  And unfortunately, the training that leads to the most dramatic short term gains often isn’t what leads to long term progress.

Case in point:  Almost everyone understands that fatigue from a big squat workout is likely to lower your capability in the clean and jerk for at least a day or two!  And the kind of strength program that leads to bigger numbers in the squat and deadlift and vastly increased potential clean and jerk is likely to leave your weightlifting numbers depressed for a while.

As a beginner, you should be completely recovered (or close to it) before every workout.  Every workout holds the potential for new records not only in the snatch and clean and jerk, but also in the strength building lifts like the squat, deadlift, and push press.  But as your career progresses it takes more and more training stress to cause an adaptation.  Soon squatting hard enough to make continual progress in the squat means you will not be able to approach each and every workout in a completely recovered and fresh condition.  At some point, the start of a training cycle becomes the time to work on weak points and improving the squat and deadlift, and the end of the training cycle becomes the time to put it all together and use that strength to lift new numbers in the snatch and clean and jerk.

In fact the more you advance as a lifter the more you have to live with delayed gratification.  Not being able to take the long view is the sign of an immature mind and an immature lifter.  If you know it takes time to build a big total you might be ready for a program that requires more than simply maxing out every day and hoping for the best.  For those of you who enjoy a challenge and have the maturity to stay the course, the X-Files might be right for you.