Visualization doesn't always work

The mind is one of the most powerful things, and no doubt can attract things you visualize, but it's counterproductive when performing, especially if you have to think about it. I never knew this until I went to Bulgaria where I watched the strongest Olympic lifters in the world train. 

I must admit, not only was this a once in a lifetime experience, it was fucking awe inspiring. To be up close and personal with the world's best lifters and coaches changed me forever. If I hadn't witnessed what I saw and learned, I would have never believed it. 

I spent ten days there, with the National Olympic team, and by the time I left, it seemed everything I learned about training was mostly wrong, but it was hard to dispute on any level their overwhelming success. You see, in only nine years Bulgaria, a small country, dominated the Olympic lifting world, which was significant considering they dethroned Russia, their long time nemesis.

The reason Bulgaria rose to dominance in such a short time was because of their out of the box forward thinking, and their cutting edge training methodologies. It was about application before theory, instead of the reverse. With this training philosophy, and first hand experience in the daily weight lifting trenches, they could quickly discover what really worked, way before the nerdy scientists who subscribed to theory first before application. This was a huge distinction, and obviously a game changer on the world stage. 

Among other earth shattering things, I learned that warming up before lifting heavy was a waste of energy. Interesting I thought, however one thing that stood out most was learning that visualization techniques were counterproductive as it related to Olympic lifting. WTF, that was completely opposite of what I thought I knew.

The reasoning they gave was concise, and based on how the physiology more efficiently performed at peak levels. Specifically it was not to think or visualize about what the athlete was attempting to lift prior to the action, rather to lift the designated weight repetitively prior to competition until it became second nature. The visualization, or thinking aspect was now eliminated, therefore leaving the athlete poised to react to the performed exercise, which produced immediate results.

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)