30 Training Tips – Part 1 of 3

During the month of January, we put together #30DaysOfTrainingTips on our Instagram account (@delta_weightlifting).  In case you missed them or found value in them and wanted a hard copy to refer to, we decided to break up the 30 tips into a 3 part blog series.


Tip 1: Be Consistent

Consistency yields results. One of the easiest things you can do when it comes to training is show up. Be consistent with the days and times you train.

If you’re sore, show up. If you’re tired, show up. If you have a “busy” schedule, show up. If you don’t want to do it, show up! Consistency builds discipline, resiliency and grit.

By doing this, your mind and body get into a rhythm and flow, making it easier to execute on those tough days. As Zach Even-Esh says, “success leaves clues”. High-level performers tend to be the most consistent with their schedules and daily tasks.


Tip 2: Be Present

If showing up is step 1, then step 2 is being present. If you’re just going through the motions, you’re not maximizing your training. You must be mentally engaged. You must train with purpose. You must train with intent.

Be mindful of how each rep felt. Be mindful of how you approach each set and rep. You must find your own personal way to do that, but when you’re present in what you’re doing, you’re able to make that mind/body connection and flow.


Tip 3: Get to the Bar As Soon As Possible

If you’re an athlete who takes an hour to roll around, stretch and warm up before touching a barbell, I’m challenging you to get to the bar within 10 minutes of getting to the gym.

Warm up with the bar using the specific movements you’re going to be doing in training. The body doesn’t need much to raise its core temperature and get blood flow pumping away. You’re also priming your CNS for the movements you’ll actually be doing.

If you have mobility limitations, incorporate in your mobility work with bar work. If you’re one that typically needs more time to warm-up, no problem, do more sets with the bar and lighter weight until you feel warmed up and ready for the big weights.


Tip 4: Minimize Distractions

Training takes just as much, if not more, mental effort as it does physical effort. Minimize distractions during training that will take your focus away from the platform.

Put your phone on airplane mode or away completely. You’re here to train, not to troll through social media or text your friends. Save the social conversations and discussions for after training.


Tip 5: Simplify Your Focus

From a technical standpoint, there are a lot of moving parts and things going on during the snatch and clean & jerk, and because of this, beginner and intermediate athletes tend to make a lot of mistakes. What compounds and prolongs those mistakes is that the athlete tends to overthink. STOP IT!

Identify the biggest issue that’s going on and narrow your focus to just that. Additionally, focus on external cues that are very general, as opposed to internal cues or the specifics. Remember, at the end of the day, all we’re doing is getting weight over our heads or to our shoulders. Simple. And your focus should reflect that.


Tip 6: Rely on Internal Motivators, Not External

The best motivator is yourself. The encouragement and yelling of your training partners or your favorite song blasting loudly may help from time to time, but train yourself not to rely on it.   When you step up onto the competition platform, those external factors are gone. You’re alone.   It’s quiet.

Your motivation must come from within. The music shouldn’t matter; the fact that the gym is busy or empty shouldn’t matter; whether or not your training partner is there shouldn’t matter. External motivators are fleeting and you might not be able to rely on them when it matters most, but what you can rely on, when it counts, is YOU and your internal and intrinsic motivation.


Tip 7: Prepare Before Walking into the Gym

Preparing yourself both physically and mentally before getting to the gym to train will put you in a better position to succeed and maximize your time in the gym.

When it comes to physical preparation: did you eat properly? Did you sleep enough? Is your gym bag packed and organized with everything you need?

When it comes to mental preparation: Did you review the training for the day before hand to know what to expect? Did you visualize or meditate?

If you answered no to any of those questions, fix it! Preparation begins before stepping foot in the gym.


Tip 8: Stick to the Plan. If You’ve Hit a Rough Patch, Don’t Panic and Start Changing Things

When you’re in the later stages of a training cycle and you start to hit a rough patch, the worst thing you can do is start to make adjustments and changes to things like your grip, stance, or start position. All that’s going to do is make things worse. Changes like that should happen at the BEGINNING of a training cycle.

Take a step back, take a deep breath, relax, and keep pushing forward. It might also be worth reflecting on what you’re doing, or not doing, outside of the gym that may be negatively affecting your training.

Again, sometimes the best thing to do is to keep your head down and keep pushing through the depths of Mordor until you make it out on the other side. You’ll be better off for it.


Tip 9: Don’t Underestimate the Value of a Good Night’s Sleep

Make sleep a priority! It’s probably one of the simplest, yet most effective recovery tools on the market today, and guess what?! It’s free!!!

If 8 hours a night isn’t possible, no problem, take what you can get. Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier, and waking up 15 minutes later. Just that 30 minutes can make the world of difference.

If there’s one day a week where you don’t need to set an alarm, DON’T! You’ll find that your recovery is better, your mood is better, and your mental sharpness is better.


Tip 10: Listen to Your Body

Know when to push and know when to hold back on the reins in training. In order to listen to your body, you must know your body, and this is something that can take a while to master, especially if you’re a new athlete. Going back to tip 2, the more present you are in your training, the more connected you will be with your body and the easier it will be to listen to it.

Percentages should be relative, so if there’s a day where “80%” feels smooth, fast, and coordinated, strike while the iron is hot and push the weights a little more. On the other hand, if there’s a day where “80%” feels like the world and is crushing you, back off and lower the weights. Try not to be so dogmatic in your approach towards training to where you have to do exactly what’s written. Be flexible. Listen to your body.


Stay tuned next week for Part 2!

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