Should You Get Psyched Up Before A Heavy Lift?

May 28, 2023 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “should you get psyched up before a heavy lift?”. Everyone has their own rituals that they go through before a heavy lift.

Some prefer to keep calm and take a measured approach. Others really get fired up and use their anger as fuel to help them conquer the weight. This article will explore this topic in more detail. 

I hope you find my article interesting and informative – enjoy!

Should You Get Psyched Up Before A Heavy Lift?

Different lifters will have different views on this topic. It is highly personal and dependent on the individual. Some people find that they need to get into a dark place mentally before they can lift heavy weights.

Others are very calm and cool and like to just concentrate on the task at hand without getting amped up.

What you will find is that as your life becomes more stable and you mature, you will be more likely to take a measured approach before lifting heavy.

Very often, when you are hungry and have a point to prove, you can embody a me against the world type of mentality. This mentality would cause you to get very fired up before heavy lifts. You would often take your anger out on the weights.

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Everyone Is Different

It is important to remember that every lifter is different. A good friend of mine who is a very strong lifter, takes a calm and measured approach. You will never seem him being vocal or getting angry before a big lift.

Instead, his demeanour is always very relaxed and he approaches the bar in a calm state. On the other hand, I like to get psyched up before heavy lifts.

When I was younger and used to deadlift heavy frequently, I would shout and get angry before the heaviest sets. I found that this helped to fire me up and give me the strength to lift the weights.

However you like to prepare before big lifts, it is important to stay consistent in your approach. If you are more calm and relaxed, then enter this state every time you are getting ready for a heavy lift.

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With Time You Can Change

Something that is very interesting when it comes to this topic is maturity. As you mature as a lifter and get older, often priorities change and your approach can change.

Pete Rubish is a great example of this. Pete was a high level powerlifter and well known for his insane deadlift. Previously I have interviewed Pete on this site

When Pete was younger he tied his entire identity to lifting. His aim was to just get as strong as possible and he went to great lengths to do that through using anabolic steroids and other compounds.

Other things in his life were falling apart but the one thing that was moving in the right direction was his lifting goals. As Pete got married and his life became more stable, his priorities shifted.

His focus moved more towards health and longevity and being a good father and husband. He still continues to lift but has a much calmer demeanour. When you have less to prove and lose the me against the world mentality, the way you approach heavy weights also changes.

You are a lot less likely to get amped up and be really vocal. This is something important that should be taken into consideration. 

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pete deadlift


Everyone has different rituals when it comes to lifting heavy. Before a heavy lift there are many different things that lifters do.

Some lifters like to stamp on the ground before a heavy squat. This becomes a habit and helps to prime their bodies in preparation for the lift.

Others like to just walk side to side before a lift, others prefer running up to the bar. This topic is fascinating as everyone is different in this regard. Personally, I would walk side to side before a heavy deadlift and then run up to the bar.

Some people clap their hands before a big lift. Ultimately, rituals become habits that are engrained over time. Your brain associates these rituals with lifting heavy.

So when you perform a certain ritual, your body will instinctively be getting prepared for the big lift that is to come.

George Leeman Story

Much like Pete Rubish, George Leeman is another freakishly strong deadlifter. He actually set the all time raw American deadlift record at 909.4lbs! 

George believes that to do great things in lifting you have to have some demons. He enters a very dark place when he is getting ready to lift heavy weights.

When George was 10 years old his little brother David got cancer. David went on to die, George also had two siblings before David that passed away. So his childhood was painful and traumatic.

When he lifts he thinks about completing a rep to get his little brother back. This helps to fuel him and is what he uses as motivation to grind out super heavy weights. You have to enter a very dark place before lifting as heavy as George does.

In the end this trauma that Leeman went through in his childhood helped to mould him into the great lifter that he is. He made huge sacrifices for lifting and achieved a lot. 

Final Thoughts

Should you get psyched up before a heavy lift? Ultimately, everyone is different in this regard. If you prefer to keep calm before a heavy lift, this is perfectly fine.

Some lifters feel that they have to get angry and vocal to give them the boost they need to conquer the weight.

It is important to mention that attitudes can change over time. As priorities in life change, your attitude to lifting can also shift. You could find yourself being a lot more calm and measured as time goes on.

Very often, great lifters have often gone through some trauma in their lives. They use these traumas to fuel their lifting and be successful. 

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