Resist The Temptation

A common temptation lifters feel as they are preparing for a test day or competition is to do a test before the test. “I just want to see where I’m at.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that by lifters. To some extent this urge stems from a lack of confidence, and it takes time to build that. I can’t just tell someone “be confident!” and expect anything to change. So part of the solution to this problem will come from proper programming and training earlier in the offseason. But that is a preventative measure. When a lifter comes to me asking to do a test day anywhere from 1-12 weeks before a meet, I need to get them to understand that this is a BAD IDEA.

This test can only really go poorly. Even in the best case scenario, with the lifter hitting the weights they wanted to in order to feel confident in their performance on competition day, we have still lost a week of training and have built up lots of extra fatigue. On top of that, the odds that the lifter will do much better on meet day than the maxes they just hit are low, which can lead to some disappointment. I have seen lifters alter their plans too close to a meet because they had a good day in the gym only to have a rough day at the meet. On the other hand, if the test before the test goes poorly, a lot of other things can start going wrong. The big one is confidence will drop, and often confidence is low already going into the session.

You don’t stand to gain much from doing a test shortly before a meet or test day. However, you can get a lot from some solid training sessions. You can build confidence with heavy but sub-maximal weights, and save your big stuff for the platform!

I’ll talk more about what you should do if you aren’t feeling confident approaching a meet next week.

- Nigel, Kizen Coach (IG @captain.planet)