Erica has been lifting for 10 years total, and three years with Barbell Therapy and Performance. Erica has some questions about finding the motivation to lift heavy. Here is what she said:
“About 5 weeks ago, I joined a jiu-jitsu gym. I’ve been loving it and I’ve been wanting to train jiu-jitsu all the time. But because of that, my body is tired and beat up a lot of the time. I’ve completely sacrificed lifting time for training jiu-jitsu.
I have no motivation to train in the gym with barbells and weights, even though I know it will make me better in the jiu-jitsu arena.
What do you do when you are not feeling the motivation to lift even though you know it’s the right thing that you should be doing?”
This can be a difficult realization to come to. To know what is best and what might be better in the long run. I think this is something a lot of people go through.
Sometimes you need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You need to prioritize what is most beneficial to your goals.
Goals can change over time, and there is NOTHING wrong with that! In fact, we encourage our clients to re-evaluate their goals from time to time. Especially when you find something new that excites you!
Some good questions to ask yourself are: – what is my real goal? – what do I have in my tank of capability? – what is my total volume of training?
Let’s use Erica’s situation as an example. Since her mind is set to get better at jiu-jitsu and have a good 5 minute round, picking up one weight as heavy as possible for all of 5 seconds doesn’t exactly align with her new goals.
Is it something she should do in the off-season? Yes, most likely. But if she’s trying to do two sessions a day of jiu-jitsu, work a full-time job, and be a homeowner, etc, we need to lower her expectations for lifting heavy. There’s only so much we can do, right?
Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and train just to train, with your new goals in mind. Making your coach aware of your new goals is a good start, so we can take a better approach to your training.
You can’t expect your best from powerlifting/weightlifting if you’ve only been training for something else, like a marathon or jiu-jitsu, etc.
If X is your priority, then lifting should be a supplement to that. Sometimes we have goals and expectations of what we think we can do, and it’s not the reality. Remember, getting down on yourself and negative self-talk won’t help you. By lowering your expectations, you’ll have a better chance of having a good day in the gym!
Expectations can lead to disappointment and stress.
So, let’s lower your expectations. Once you stop comparing yourself to the person you were when you did nothing but strength train (or worse- someone else), and start keeping your new goals in mind, things will fall into place.
Having little to no expectation can sometimes lead to PRs. There have been plenty of times when I have prescribed a deload week to an athlete, they have no expectations, they are moving extremely well, and I keep telling them to put more weight on the bar. Next thing you know, they hit a PR, and they weren’t even supposed to be peaking.
“Todays the day” mindset doesn’t always end up being the day, because the stress of the anticipation of “PR day” can be enough to push your body and mind out of alignment.
The point of being a strength athlete is to be as strong as possible. However, if you pick up a new physical activity that you enjoy more than strength training, then realize that going into the gym doesn’t mean you have to lift heavy. That will be a huge turnaround point in your mindset.
Mindset is key. Rest is key. Knowing your limit is key. If you want to have a great day in the gym while training for jiu-jitsu (or whatever it is) take a rest day. Come to the gym with low expectations. Leave some reps in the tank. Do the exercises that supplement your new found sport. And don’t worry about the small stuff. Keep your new goals in mind, and enjoy the process of trying new things.
With so much love and encouragement, the Barbell Therapy & Performance Team