Training and the digital midia: should you post your maxes for everyone to see?

No, you shouldn’t.

Now you ask: “so how are we supposed to benefit from what obviously only digital video sharing can do, which is to understand how the outstanding athletes get there?”

So here’s some interesting news: they don’t post their maxes. Most of them will only post competition videos (with maxes, of course) or accessory training material. Try it: google your favorite powerlifter and check if you have some training video prior to a big event with something close to a max.


And you should do the same.

Each coach or athlete will justify this action in a different way. Many will say it lets your adversaries aware what you are planning or capable of and will prepare for that. In my opinion, this is not so important. Your adversaries will plan their strategies whether they know or they don’t know what you’re doing. They will be there, they know what you did last Summer and where you hid the body.

In my opinion, posting every single fart you do under the bar on youtube creates unnecessary expectation over something your control is actually limited. One thing people fail to tell newbies is that maxes in strength are not that predictable. If they were, championships would be boring.

There’s the great supercompensation enigma, where in spite of the thousands of published pages on the subject, no one actually knows what factors are at play, how they vary and how, ultimately, they determine how a certain stimulus is supercompensated; there’s hidden and unhidden injuries (which may become a problem right there at the platform, on day D); there’s your diet and your weight category struggles; there’s your mind, which may not be able to cope with whatever is over-stressing you.

Finally, there is what I call “the imponderable screw-up”. The ponderable screw-up is the phenomenon that happens when you screw-up and you have a number of possible culprits. You didn’t sleep well, your nutrition was bad, you broke up with your significant other, you’re injured – it doesn’t matter: there’s a number of possible reasons for failing and you know them all. The imponderable screw-up is what really drives a lifter mad. You are happy, well fed, your new significant other is smiling at you and cheering, your training was great and you go there and fail. You may even bomb out (I’ve seen that).

It’s rare, but it happens once in a while. Sorry: no one will provide an explanation. Forget it and go for the next. Chances are it will never happen again.

Other athletes, actually the best I know, will perform better than planned under competition stress. There’s published material on that, too (I’ll find it and edit this post). One friend of mine tells me he knows he’ll get there and “do his ‘thing’”. What his “thing” is, we don’t know.

So, why post a three rep squat four weeks before the meet and allow everyone to say “Wow, Dick, so 315kg will be the first attempt?” Do you know what will be on your head during warm up? That’s it…

So, do yourself a favor: don’t post your maxes or “near maxes” close to a contest. Stress is bad enough as it is. You don’t need more of that.



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