– the wise, and probably grumpy (it was 6:30am, after all) Alexi Bergeron (aka my coach)
A couple of weeks ago I was getting frustrated with my cleans (which happens pretty frequently as it is a movement with which I struggle), and during a morning class, I said something along the lines of
And as any good coach should when their athlete starts down a destructive thought pattern, Alexi pretty much shut me up right there and told me that if I wanted to improve I needed to remove the phrase “I should” from my vocabulary (at least in that context…I’m sure he would be OK if I said something along the lines of “I should go to the store and get bacon”).
Yes, there are websites and calculators that allow us to plug in our strength numbers …
deadlifts, squats, strict press, etc, etc
… and using some formula or equation can calculate (roughly) how much weight our bodies can physically handle for the more technical lifts. There are also those general “rules of thumb” or the ”common knowledge” that we often default to using when we assess our physical abilities:
- “I should be able to clean more than I jerk”
- “My power snatch should be less than my squat snatch”
- “I should be able to do ‘x’…”
But that’s all they are — equations, guidelines or “general rules of thumb” — and we need to remember that they don’t and can’t take into account the physical and psychological differences that make up who we are and contribute to how well we handle (or don’t handle) different movements.