Generation Iron Don't Miss a Lift

Missing lifts are a part of the game that every lifter wants to avoid.

It’s something we’ve all been through at one point or another. The idea of missing a lift is one that many lifters try not to think about. It’s too bad for them that’s not exactly a solution that can be counted on. The fact of the matter is, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced, you will miss a lift at least once. If you don’t then you’re probably not pushing past your limits. That’s fine if you only ever want to bench up to 200 lbs, but for the rest of us who plan on putting on size and strength that just won’t do.

So once you come to grips with the fact that you wish to push yourself to new heights of lifting prowess then you’re going to have to understand that you will eventually reach failure. Nothing wrong with that, in fact it gives you a goal to look forward to overcoming. Now what you don’t want is to start getting into a hole of constantly missing lifts. It’s the kind of situation we have nightmares about, that we hope will never come to fruition.

You go up to the weight rack, ready to go for your personal best. You psyche yourself up, you feel invincible, nothing’s going to get in your way of lifting this weight. You place the weight on your back, you lift and step clear of the rack and begin your descent. Everything’s fine, that is until you try and bring the weight back up. That’s where the problems start to compound and suddenly you find yourself in a crumpled heap, the barbell still on your back. Your buddies bail you out and you’re physically unharmed. The problem is that now you’re fired up and refuse to give up on the lift. You try your hand again only to find yourself failing once more. Now you’re not only pissed but a bit disturbed that you can’t push past this limit. To go down in weight isn’t an option, it’d be like admitting defeat. So you try over and over, failing on each attempt until you throw your hands up in frustration and concede.

The kind of mental anguish you go through with missing a lift can be crippling on your psyche. Will you ever be able to complete the lift? Are you too weak to complete the lift? You start to doubt yourself and your lifting ability and you put yourself into a funk that threatens to consume you and prevent you from reaching your goals. But don’t give up so easily. There are ways to avoid this rut before you fall into it. Take a look at some of these tips to stop you from missing your lifts.

Have realistic goals

So you’ve finally lifted 300 lbs on the bench. You’re on top of the world and you feel unbeatable. Does that mean you should shoot for 350 lbs for your next lift? Hell no. You’ve finally gotten to 300 lbs, there’s no rush to start setting new personal records right out of the gate. Try remaining in that 275 – 300 lbs range and take it from there. By doing so you’ll build the functional strength to get you to your new goal.

Setting records should be secondary

Looking to lift 500 lbs without issue? Looking to be the man in your lifting crew, hauling more weight than your lifting buddies? Well that should be the last thing on your mind. Sure, competition is a great thing, but sometimes that same competitive nature could lead right into a road block. Rather than focusing on setting records, focus on the pump and hypertrophy. Record setting can always be a consolation for your consistent hard work, the key word being consistency.

Enjoy the ride

Sometimes on the quest for gaining mass we tend to forget that the whole experience isn’t just about the end result. Ultimately you’ll get to a point where you enjoy lifting for lifting’s sake. Don’t get so hung up on setting personal bests and you’ll find yourself enjoying the process. This goes double for after missing a lift. Have fun with lifting. If you’re not enjoying yourself then what’s the point in the first place?

The whole key to lifting heavy isn’t by lifting light weight, but by lifting within your capability. No one starts out squatting 300 lbs as soon as they begin lifting, it’s just not realistic. By lifting just under your one rep max you’ll build insane strength and when you’re ready to challenge yourself the chances of missing your lift will become less likely.

What’s your thoughts on missing lifts? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Jonathan Salmon
Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.