The 3 Hardest Things About Weightlifting
This blog was written by Jake Horst, a 69kg weightlifter for Garage Strength. Jake has won national championships at Youth, Junior and Senior levels.
Becoming an elite athlete in all sports takes a lot of sacrifice. You have to sacrifice a lot of time away from work. When you travel for these competitions Work doesn’t come with you, which means you don’t get paid when you go. For most elite lifters 3-4 weeks out of the year is taken for competitions and that can really hurt an individual's work. You also sacrifice your outside life. A lot of the times I find myself having to eat other foods at family gatherings or not being able to drink because I know how it will affect my training. Sometimes you want to go out for dinner or stay up and watch a football game but you end up not going through with it when weightlifting is on your mind. You sacrifice 100’s of hours each year training for 6-12 lifts. You sacrifice family time and time with your significant other. You sacrifice your body with the one goal in mind: becoming a champion. Then it all seems worth it when you achieve that goal.
Everybody loves competing, but it’s the training that is the hardest part. Competitions are fun, but the training for them is the most important part. Training takes up a lot of time and energy. Days when you feel slow and tired still have to be good days. There is no time to be lazy when you are Olympic lifting, that’s when injuries occur. Training takes up at least 2 hours every day, but that’s only the physical side of this sport. Outside of the gym you need to recover and train your mind. These all take a lot of time each day. Staying focused in training everyday is a must. No matter the circumstances you have to train with the end goal in mind. Your free time is swallowed up by training making it difficult to do anything else you want to do. Training beats you up physically. The heavy days get harder and harder as you get older in the sport, but they are very necessary. Training can be so hot where you can’t breathe or it can be so cold you were you are wearing a sweatshirt, but no session is different from another, and they all have to be taken seriously.
3. Time Commitment
Time is my worst enemy. Sometimes I feel like I have no time for myself or my family, because weightlifting takes a lot of time. Not only do I spend a lot of time training and competing, but I also spend time going to my mobility doctor and getting worked on. Saturday’s before lifting used to be a relaxing day, and they still are for the most part, but now I drive an hour each Saturday to get worked on. This keeps my body fresh and helps me throughout the week with training. 2-3 hours each day is taken from weightlifting. It can be very hard to stay motivated each day when you know you either have to work all day right after this or you just got done working. It takes time every night to do yoga and visualize yourself being a champion. It takes time to lift each day, even when you don’t want to. It takes time each day to recover and eat right.
At the end of each day you could let all these things impact you negatively, or you could be positive about them. All good weightlifters love what they are doing, and I do love what I’m doing, but that doesn’t mean nothing bad can come from this sport. I wouldn’t change this for anything. Even the thought of being successful in this sport is enough to keep me going, making my life have an ultimate purpose.