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Something that I haven’t seen being discussed in the fitness community is the importance of visualization and recording your lifting sessions. No, I’m not talking about taking some fizeeek pictures so you can flex on the gram, I’m specifically talking about how you can use technology to your advantage, in order to improve your technique, refine your skills and bust through plateaus.

Ideally, you should already be a proud owner of your home/garage gym or in the process of acquiring the neccesary equipment in order to do so, therefore being able to record the entire lifting session if you wanted to. Even if you go to a public gym you can still take a couple videos here and there, mainly for the compound movements that you want to improve on.

For some people, taking a video while struggling with a heavy weight might fuck with their mind, but for others it will provide an external source of motivation in order to go all out. Even if you’re one of the people that feel awkward about it, if you actually go through with it, you’ll be able to find all the flaws on your technique, if you have any muscle imbalances, if you subconsciously use one limb over the other etc. You can even use it if you’re an aspiring bodybuilder and want to make sure your posing is on point.

Trust me, it’s a great diagnostic tool for any coach and especially for yourself if you prefer to do things by yourself.

Even if you want to participate in a competition in the future, whether that’s in powerlifting, in strongman or in Olympic weightlifting, you’ll have to be able to cope with having cameras and/or people looking at your lifting attempts. If you feel awkward taking a video of yourself lifting in your basement when you’re all alone, how do you expect to be able to attempt an all time PR when there are 100 people staring you down?

I’m not saying that you should post your training sessions online, you don’t need to. It’s simply for yourself and your coach, if you happen to have one that knows what he’s doing.

We all know that practice and repetition makes perfect, so why not use a video in order to make sure we’re using good form? That’s the only way to ensure you’re doing it right.

Another interesting topic is visualization, and I believe that if we combine the two together we can have a possible recipe for success.

Visualization is one of the greatest tools you can use in order to increase the rate of skill acquisition and to perfect your technique. It can apply from strength training all the way to a skill that you can use for your job, your life or your sport.

Take 5 minutes every day and consciously lay down and visualize that PR (or even skill) you want so badly to accomplish. When you do that, your mind muscle connection not only will improve, but will add a ton of added work without any negative effects or impeding recovery.

There are studies that actually show that if you use visualization you can not only improve your technique, but your strength as well. I find that to be extremely underrated and if used properly can be a game changer.

Some books that go in depth about visualization and its benefits regarding strength increases are You are the Placebo by Joe Dispenza and Mental Muscle by Logan Christopher. Certainly interesting reads.

Some of the greatest athletes/lifters have been using this technique for a while now.

A prominent example of that can be Lu Xiaojun, when he injured his lower back during in the World Weightlifting Championship in 2019. He literally laid down with ice on his back for 20 minutes and then went on to break the world record in the Clean & Jerk twice, within the timespan of 5 minutes! If that’s not crazy then I don’t know what is.

Here are a couple videos that show how the Chinese Olympic Weightlifting team records their lifts during training and what went down in the WWC in 2019.

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