Auto-Regulation Equals Success

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Auto-Regulation Equals Success

Auto-Regulation is an athlete’s ability to cut themselves off during training. I am referencing weightlifting and powerlifting specifically. Let’s face it, we all know when we are having a bad day. The only difference is that the great athletes recognize that, work up to something decent, and call it for the day. The rookies or the athletes doomed to failure are the ones that still work up heavy and miss lift after lift. All that they are doing is learning to miss, and ruining the possibility of a better day later on in the week. They are just beating themselves up even more.

Men and women are on their own versions of an endocrine system cycle. Some days their bodies are primed to move big weight, and some days their bodies are wrecked. Over the years, I have watched all the greats auto-regulate their attempts. Tom Summa is the most recent athlete that I have worked with that is a master of auto-regulation. I have only watched him miss a handful of time in the last six months. He knows exactly when to turn it on, and he knows when to back it down.

The same went for Olympians: Pete Kelly, Wes Barnett, Shane Hamman, and Timmy McRae. I rarely witnessed any of these immortals miss an attempt. They knew exactly when to go heavy and when not to. Being wise and auto-regulating your attempts will keep your body primed for the day that all cylinders are turning in the endocrine system allowing for monster PRs. When you pound on your body during a day that the endocrine and CNS systems are tanked, you are simply suppressing them even more. This will lead to over-training, and poor results.

I suggest finding that weight that lets you know how you are feeling. For example, my max is 165k in the Clean & Jerk right now. When I take 140k, I know is the weight is moving fast, and I know if the weight feels light. If it feels rough, then I will work up to 155k and call it a day. If it feels great, I will work on up that day. Of course, this is assuming that you are in a phase of training that maximum weights are being attempted.

The other form of auto-regulation is setting in stone a number of misses that you are allowed. I always write on my athlete’s workouts the total number of misses, if any, that they are allowed for the session. If they are 8 or more weeks out, then they are allowed zero misses. If they are between 4-8 weeks out, then I might give them 1 miss. At the most, they are given 2 misses per lift, but I prefer zero misses. If you are missing more than making lifts, then you are learning to miss.

Remember, weightlifting is a marathon. It’s not a sprint! The smart lifter will always prevail in the end. Become the master of the mundane, and do the little things that add up to victory over the years.

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