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Whit Matthews
09-27-2013, 03:03 PM
I've noticed I get serious anxiety on my way to a lifting session, whether I'm lifting in a gym with other people or by myself in a parking lot. I'm talking butterflies in the stomach, need to suddenly take a dump, knees feel week, crippling nerves. As soon as I get the bar in my hand it all goes away, and some of my best sessions were when I was most nervous beforehand. I used to think it happened only when I was expecting to hit a certain number that day, but lately I've noticed it's almost every session. Like I said, doesn't affect the workout at all, but I just find it interesting.

Does anybody else have this happen?

Yes I realize this is kind of a clone of my 70% thread.

bigburt
09-27-2013, 03:09 PM
Bill Russell used to get so nervous before games he'd puke.

Sean Saele
09-27-2013, 03:10 PM
I'm sometimes anxious before a session... Doubting myself, etc... But then I just follow my Warm Up routine and it all goes away once the bar is in my hands...

ForceFedFreak
09-27-2013, 03:10 PM
Sometimes if I were traveling to another gym to train and it was a long ride I would get that way. I think it's fairly normal, you're just excited about training and get anxious.

bigburt
09-27-2013, 03:10 PM
*Bill Russell is a basketball player

Sean Saele
09-27-2013, 03:11 PM
Bill Russell used to get so nervous before games he'd puke.

3 or 4 guys I used to play rugby with would puke before each play-off game.. Or any game that meant a lot for the club/championship.

fredd
09-27-2013, 03:13 PM
I sometimes get a little bit of anxiety before a Max Out Friday session, but every other session is just another practice. I think if you were to remove this emotional attachment from your training sessions you would find yourself being able to improve at a quick rate because your recovery will be better. I've always had a calm and collected approach to life in general, so I'm not sure if I can provide any techniques to help you with your mental approach since it comes so naturally to me.

bigburt
09-27-2013, 03:18 PM
3 or 4 guys I used to play rugby with would puke before each play-off game.. Or any game that meant a lot for the club/championship.

apparently he stopped puking late in his career, and he started playing poorly, so his teammates convinced him to start getting nervous and puking again and his play turned around.

CharisLouca
09-27-2013, 03:33 PM
Once in a while. You don't want anxiety.

Whit Matthews
09-27-2013, 03:50 PM
I sometimes get a little bit of anxiety before a Max Out Friday session, but every other session is just another practice. I think if you were to remove this emotional attachment from your training sessions you would find yourself being able to improve at a quick rate because your recovery will be better. I've always had a calm and collected approach to life in general, so I'm not sure if I can provide any techniques to help you with your mental approach since it comes so naturally to me.

I'm really calm in general too, so it's probably a good thing that I get anxious for lifting sessions. It always worries me when I go in too mellow.

In the Bone Yard
09-27-2013, 04:49 PM
Lifting with anxiety means you're training too hard.
You can only train near failure for so long.

You don't feel like that when you start a cycle do you?
If you do, then you need some time off!

Whit Matthews
09-27-2013, 05:06 PM
Lol I'm FAR from training too hard. That's like saying any time somebody's nervous they're doing something they shouldn't be doing. So nobody should ever get married or have kids...

In the Bone Yard
09-27-2013, 05:15 PM
That's funny. :p
Those things aren't tied into your nervous system.
Training is a direct link to your CNS. Most lifters have no idea how hard they are training. Your CNS doesn't exactly tell you, "Hey buddy, you're lifting too hard, chill out."

Then what are you nervous for?

Whit Matthews
09-27-2013, 05:19 PM
Because I'm excited. Because I have expectations about what I'm gonna hit. Because I'm anxious to work on something I read about. Could be any number of things. The point is that it's mental, it's not because I've been beating myself down too hard. If I'm beating myself down too hard I'm going to be less anxious going in the gym, I'm going to be more tired. Maybe you're misunderstanding what I'm describing.

bigburt
09-27-2013, 05:27 PM
Then what are you nervous for?

being emotionally invested in what you're doing. why would one lift if they didn't get nervous?

In the Bone Yard
09-27-2013, 05:34 PM
Perhaps, but it is one of the major psychological symptoms of overtraining; of which I have direct experience with! I know the feeling well.

I'm still baffled at how little I need to train to stimulate growth. I'm in my 40s yea, but it amazes me how strong my mind is compared to the body.

What makes a lifter seasoned is the ability to train harder and harder. It becomes very easy to push toward failure. It's very deceptive.

Not saying this is you, just a consideration.

In the Bone Yard
09-27-2013, 05:50 PM
being emotionally invested in what you're doing. why would one lift if they didn't get nervous?

I get that but you can enjoy what you're doing without getting nervous. Nervousness is not knowing what's going to happen because there's an element of fear. The fear is in not reaching one's goal.

I totally get it, but the body doesn't see it that way. I think it's perfectly cool to be nervous every once in a while if you're doing something new or trying for a new PR or something like that...I'm talking about feeling nervousness and/or emotional lifting at nearly every workout. That's not good and something different.

bigburt
09-27-2013, 05:56 PM
I personally get much more nervous when I've done less CNS taxing programs like the Texas Method versus something more Bulgarian. If you have a bad session w/ Bulgarian, you can make up for it w/ the next session in a few hours or the next day. Versus with the Texas Method, you only get one shot and if you fail that 1x5, you fail the program, and you have all week to mull over that fact and get real nervous. And you get more nervous the farther along in the Texas Method you get.

In the Bone Yard
09-27-2013, 06:18 PM
I personally get much more nervous when I've done less CNS taxing programs like the Texas Method versus something more Bulgarian. If you have a bad session w/ Bulgarian, you can make up for it w/ the next session in a few hours or the next day. Versus with the Texas Method, you only get one shot and if you fail that 1x5, you fail the program, and you have all week to mull over that fact and get real nervous. And you get more nervous the farther along in the Texas Method you get.

Exactly. Nervousness is a single factor thing because you're training close to failure at many workouts in a row, usually near the end of a cycle. Texas Method is single factor. Also, let me mention here that you can still add weight to the bar even under the condition of overtraining. You'll know this is you when you can't get back to a previous PR.

Bulgarian is two factor training, also called concentrated loading. It's a different type of anxiety because you take the anxiety or nervousness with you all day and every day. It's a precursor to one of the two factors - fatigue. It also means you're training too hard. The difference here is that you don't feel nervousness before a lift for (1), you aren't supposed to train that close failure; (2), Fatigue masks nervousness.

burt, please don't get the two methods confused.
They are totally different!

Michael Gay
09-27-2013, 06:26 PM
Because I'm excited. Because I have expectations about what I'm gonna hit. Because I'm anxious to work on something I read about. Could be any number of things. The point is that it's mental, it's not because I've been beating myself down too hard. If I'm beating myself down too hard I'm going to be less anxious going in the gym, I'm going to be more tired. Maybe you're misunderstanding what I'm describing.

Well, there ya go. You're probably misdiagnosing your excitement for anxiety.

The physiological response for both anxiety and excitement are often times very similar. Some say it's just how you categorize that feeling. Some categorize it as anxiety, most athletes categorize it as excitement.

There was a psychological study done, can't remember the specifics but it was something like this:

There was a suspended bridge which seemed very dangerous, it swayed at the smallest breeze of wind, propelled in the air by make shift looking ropes. Two groups were asked to cross it. One group was told that this was a frightening experience and the other group was told that many found that walking through this bridge was very exciting, a tourists attraction even. You get the idea of what the results were. Same physiological response was induced, but the categorization was different.

I forget what theory this was called.

Clint Darden
09-27-2013, 06:39 PM
Right now I'm looking at a couple great things.

1) Being EXCITED to train and learn, even though I'm terrible.
2) Opportunity is right in front of me.

I get butterflies all the time thinking about training. Not nerves...just excitement that overcomes me.

Once my hands get on the bar, though, it all goes away.

I DO drive to and from the gym with a 5 year old in the car with me though...

80sMediumSized
09-27-2013, 06:44 PM
Nearly every training session. I mean not during the deloads or the sessions I just go in to do technique work/powers. Butterflies like crazy+agitation and irritability. Worst is pre heavy dl session, even if I'm already tired from other lifting I get crazy anxiety pre deadlift workset.

Whit Matthews
09-27-2013, 07:18 PM
Right now I'm looking at a couple great things.

1) Being EXCITED to train and learn, even though I'm terrible.
2) Opportunity is right in front of me.

I get butterflies all the time thinking about training. Not nerves...just excitement that overcomes me.

Once my hands get on the bar, though, it all goes away.

I DO drive to and from the gym with a 5 year old in the car with me though...

Yeah, what you're describing is pretty much what I mean. I've only been weightlifting for a year, so it's still new to me, and it seems like I learn something new every day that I can't wait to get in there and try out. I really still have nowhere to go but up, and I think that's part of what is so exciting.

It doesn't result in nervous lifting though, this is all pre-workout only. Once I feel the bar in my hands I forget that I had ever been nervous.

Clint Darden
09-27-2013, 07:34 PM
I fought in Martial Arts for about 15 years, was a Pro Strongman for 12+ years, have had some decent Power Lifting numbers and I've only been doing WL for 7 months. Just hoping to achieve something fun soon.

Arden Cogar Jr.
09-27-2013, 07:53 PM
I fought in Martial Arts for about 15 years, was a Pro Strongman for 12+ years, have had some decent Power Lifting numbers and I've only been doing WL for 7 months. Just hoping to achieve something fun soon.

Clint, With your strength training background, it's only a matter of time.

I compete in my silly sport 15 to 20 times a year and lift 3 to 4 times a week then event train 2 to 3 times a week (with the deload for comps if they are important to me, etc.). I have competed in my sport for 35 years now (I started when I was 8) did my first power lifting meet six years after that, and entered my first weightlifting meet just after my 40th birthday. I have no aspirations of ever totalling 285kg, but that was my goal when I first started. I just wanted to get a total high enough to qualify for the American open. Age and injury has gotten in the way, but I persist.

With each session comes the jitters. Even after 35 years, each session comes with jitters - not apprehension - but anticipation. Just what Clint said. I look to learn even after totally maximizing my performance in my sport - I still want to improve. I still want my technique better. It's the same with the olympic lifts. Each session brings new found hope that I will finally sort out the swoop or I will contract my lats properly and get into the power position perfectly.

I may never total that 285 on a real platform or on the platform of my home gym. But whatever weight i move my goal is to move it at near perfect technique.

I truly believe that as soon as I get the technique down I'll be too weak to do anything about it. And if that happens, so be it. It's my journey. I have the fall back position of swinging a 6 pound axe or pushing a 20 pound crosscut saw. And the cool thing about it, as long as I stay interested and keep training, I can stay competive on a championship level into my late 60s.

all the best,
Arden

In the Bone Yard
09-27-2013, 09:27 PM
Nearly every training session. I mean not during the deloads or the sessions I just go in to do technique work/powers. Butterflies like crazy+agitation and irritability. Worst is pre heavy dl session, even if I'm already tired from other lifting I get crazy anxiety pre deadlift workset.

Ha, ha...that's cool. It's very good to know what not to do. Experience in training is everything.
In order to find one's limits you have to experience "the shitty feeling" at least once.

CPD
09-28-2013, 07:46 PM
What do you take pre-workout? I used to take 400mg of caffeine preworkout and had massive anxiety every time I lifted, but without it I could barely perform, if your doing something similar I suggest laying off whatever your taking

Spenco
09-29-2013, 04:12 AM
Nervousness is not knowing what's going to happen because there's an element of fear.

Whit, this is important for you because you're looking at the positive/negative associations with arousal and anxiety. It's the same hormonal response, the key is how you view it and how you have associated it with performance outcomes in the past.

You're working with high levels of arousal whilst performing skills which are quite well developed, which can be a good thing and possibly lead to increased performance. However, the same level of arousal isn't optimal for underdeveloped skills in beginners because it interferes with motor control and patterning.

Out of interest, how do you feel when you compete?

Whit Matthews
09-29-2013, 08:09 AM
I've only had one meet, and I was surprised and very pleased with the results. Nerves ended up not being an issue at all.

Judas
09-30-2013, 02:02 AM
I'm naturally a VERY calm, zero-stress lifter. Even at competitions. But recently i'm finding i'm getting a bit anxious a bit more frequently these days, but only before BIG squat or deadlift workouts. And really, only in the latter half ov what is typically a 10-12 week program. Squats continue to be almost nemesene for me... as despite being such a naturally strong squatter, i've had far more than my share ov bullshit problems/injuries/issues that came from squatting. There were literally 3 full years where i could not do ANY sort ov squat or leg volume... pretty much no hypertrophy. So now, making up for lost time, and now that i'm actually competing, squat workouts are considered 'important', and not to be 'wasted'. Therin lies that nasty, ugly, bitter word for lifters... EXPECTATION.

I have no expectation anymore when i weightlift, plus i actually LIKE to weightlift... so there is no expectation. No anxiety. I'm much closer to bench records than i am to squat and deadlift records, so bench workouts dont freak me out. But squats still feel very tentative, which makes the big sessions (the ones where i have certain goals) apprehensive. I generally do better on 'light' squat days... where i'm 'only' working up to a daily max whatever. THOSE... tend to be the PR days.

Drop the expectation... and the anxiety fades away. Go in with the attitude that you will do what you can do that day. This obviously works a lot better with Bulgarian style programming, where there are no set numbers to hit that day (regardless ov how you're feeling). This is also why i no longer do set-number programs.