Honest with Yourself

by Thomas Richards

Next week is our test week at SISU for our 8-week strength cycle. We’ve been squatting twice a week for 8 weeks, and everyone who’s been following the program is looking forward to giving their all. There’s a lot of pressure when you’ve been following a program and it’s time to test out your work. 

But what if you don’t PR?

Thankfully the world will not end, but it is a frustrating obstacle to overcome. I want to talk through three potential conversations you should have with yourself if this is what happens to you.

Did I truly put in the work?

A lot of times we overestimate how much we did versus what we actually did. You say to yourself, “I’ve been following the program religiously!” Go back and double-check yourself; did you hit every session that was prescribed in your program? Or was it more like 60% of the sessions? I know I do this all the time – I overestimate how much work I’ve put into something and expect a certain result when the reality is that I didn’t do it to its fullest. 

Do I have a technique limitation?

This can apply to almost all sports, but we’ll focus on squatting for this post. If your form is not perfect, especially when you get to your maximal effort, you’re going to have a higher chance of missing your weight. Was your bar path straight up and down? Did you lose your core stability? Have you been training the full range of motion? Do your hips shoot up? If any of these are true, it’s time to address this underlying issue before you should expect to lift heavier!

Is this not my day?

This is in direct opposition to conversation number one. In the first, we’re holding ourselves accountable, in this conversation, we’re having some grace with ourselves. Did you not sleep well last night, the last few days, or the last month? Have you had an unusual amount of stress? Have you been eating poorly? All of these things and a whole hole of others can have a direct effect on your performance. If that’s the case, talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend: “no worries, you’ll get it next time!” 

It’s not always easy being honest with yourself. Ask a friend or coach to give you an objective point of view if you’re still left questioning. 

Good luck to everyone this week at SISU!