Monday, September 7, 2020

What gets your arousal level up for competition?

Depending on what type of lifter you are, or where you are along in your competitive career, you may wonder why you can lift more in training, or more in competition. This can be a very complicated subject, even relating to your psychological, or current threat load.

After a few years into my competition career in weightlifting, I was routinely running into an issue where I would lift more on my test day, then less on the subsequent competition 2 weeks later. This could have been due to peaking at the wrong time, going too hard and heavy on my test day, competition nerves, threat load (stress, job, sleep, recovery) or not just dialed in with technique to be at the unconscious competence technique level yet.

Then a few years after that, I routinely lifted much more weight in competition than I could even come close to lifting in training. This could have been due to training with too much accumulated fatigue, experience level increase, or an appropriate peak. Nonetheless, it does take a tremendous amount of mental strength to attempt more weight in a competition then you have done in recent training. Hence, experience. It also has a lot to do with tapping into your flight or flight arousal system. Which does take experience and practice. You must be at the unconscious competence skill mastery level to be able to focus on raising your flight or flight arousal and perform appropriately.

Along with all the other important aspects of competing, finding inspiration can be really helpful to perform well. I would like to watch Ilya Ilyin's 2012 Olympic performance, yah I know he was busted for doping, but the you can still learn something from this performance. The top 6 of the competitors in this weight class tested positive at these 2012 Olympics.

Here are the important aspects to watch for, and apply to your own lifting:

1- Watch his confidence and comfort level in contrast to his competition. They all look tight, and Ilya is walking around like he won the competition before his 1st snatch!

2-He attacks the bar without any question that he will demolish the weight!

3-Ilya commands power and control over the weight with exceptional technique. 

 Ilya Ilyin's 2012 London performance is something that I routinely watch before competition to derive inspiration. His confidence and ease with which he attacks the weights, helps me focus and derive confidence.

Try it, I bet you will feel more confident by watching this performance. Just like visualization helps us perform better at competition, so does watching someone else who performs exceptionally.  

If you have more questions about any of the topics covered here, you can email me: 


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