10 Things I Wish I Knew About Weightlifting Before I Started.


1. It is not simple lifting something overhead whether it's heavy or not. No need to explain any further. As simple as it sounds. 2. You will be left with all kinds of superficial damage to your body. Whether it's bruises on your thighs, shins and/or hips, shin scraps, abrasion on the thighs, calluses on your palms, broken fingernails etc, be prepared to look like you have gone through tough times during a war.

3. You will possibly be affected by some form of niggle or minor injury. Serious injury shouldn't be a norm though. You will never be physically 100% fighting fit but your mind should be always be clear and 100% focused to tackle the session ahead. More importantly, you do what you can with what you have available. Shoulders screwed? Squat. Back sore? Lift off the blocks.

4. You wil experience frustration, confusion, joy, anger, excitement and many other feelings in a single session. You get a good lift, you are happy; then the next lift you fail and can't repeat the same movement, you get anger, frustration, confusion all at once. You think you did a good lift but you end up being told that you didn't use your legs enough. "What the?"

5. You will have to treat it like weight loss where every single kilogram added to your total is hard-earned. It can take a few days, perhaps a few months, possibly a year to add 1kg to your total and get a new PB. You just gotta keep going at it. You might take 100 attempts at a single weight before you finally get it. That could take 20+ sessions. Sometimes you just need one attempt.

6. If you take a break from it, be prepared to work at least twice as long and hard to get back to the same level as before. Strength and power take ages to build up but can be lost through detraining in a very short period of time. When taking a break from it, it is more important to ensure the movement pattern is still being practised to maintain the temporal structure of the movement.

7. Venting your anger and frustration on the bar only results in one of Newton's Laws: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Go figure. If you have experienced this, you easily know what I mean especially when no matter how much harder you go at the lift, it ain't happening.

8. Your coach gives you so many cues to focus on when lifting and yet tells you not to think too much. "What the?!" What they mean is to focus on the important stuff. What we also mean is to not fall into the notion of "paralysis by analysis". Also, when you start to over-think the movement, it's better to leave it and come back to it another session or another day.

9. You should know how to fail a lift more than anything else. Trying to muscle a weight results in undesirable outcomes. Injury is the common one. More importantly, muscling it long-term results in chronic injury. Learning to fail a lift is part of safety in lifting. Come back again to fight another day. But before you can come back you gotta make sure you survive.

10. So many different ways of pulling the bar off the ground. Which one is good for me or which should I follow? Learning more about the pulling techniques from different coaches/lifters/countries is good. Being able to understand the mechanisms or the fine points of that technique is another. Being able to apply that to your own body based on your individual anthropometric characteristics is what you need to be doing. So just lift how your body allows you to be lifting and what suits you best or works for you to lift the heaviest weights you can lift.

Olympics+Day+5+Weightlifting+qeXLjRZJv6Pl Ahhh. Why didn't you tell me this earlier? Sa Jaehyouk at Beijing 2008. Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images AsiaPac