Nothing induces meditation quite like staring at a barbell in preparation for a big lift. The focus. The presence. Putting yourself in a state of strength. Managing your state of being.
“Standing on the platform, I paused to breathe for a moment before attempting my first successful “heavy” clean. The barbell needed to travel from the ground to above my waist before I was to pull myself underneath it to catch it on my shoulders in a deep squat. Months of practice and drills led up to these attempts. Many times I lifted this weight and was afraid to jump under the bar, but on this day, I jumped and missed three times. Fear was creating reservations in my movement, but I first needed to learn I could miss safely in order to break through the barrier. As I stood there breathing, I relaxed and found courage within myself, visualizing success through the rhythm of the movement. Then I stepped up to the bar, stepped through the barrier, and set a new clean and jerk personal record.” – The Breath chapter.
Envision this – you step up and focus all of your attention on the bar. There is a pure intention in your steps and in your gaze. It is just you and the barbell.
Everything you do has purpose. Everything leading up to the lift is part of the meditation.
With a deep breath, you gather all of your strength and energy. You bring all of your energy into your body. You breathe strength. Inwardly relaxed, you are ready to overcome any fears and doubts. You visualize the lift and mentally rehearse, ready to move the weight with confidence.
You have practiced this lift. You have trained for it. You don’t need to think about all the details of the movement. You only need to match your vibration to your perfect execution. There is a presence greater than thought, and your body knows what to do.
How do you see yourself go through your pre-lift routine? What do you do that is unique to you?
After the two deep breaths, you take two more steps and plant your feet while your hands wrap around the bar, calling upon even more strength. Your eyes don’t move from the bar until you look up and get tight, in position, with all the right muscles engaged, solid as a rock.
With a final belly breath, you pull the bar off the ground with pure intention. Everything else follows. You maintain your center and balance that emanates from your straight spine, aided by your breath. With fluidity and no wasted movement, you instinctively know what to do to execute, feeling the rhythm of the lift and the leverage that your body creates. You feel strong at every phase, always in a secure position with the best muscles being recruited, confidently completing the lift as an extension of your will.
For more on the meditation of weightlifting, pick up your copy of Meditative Fitness: The Art and Practice of the Workout, available in paperback, kindle, and audio. This post was also composed of the Executing the Lift vision process.