Why I Don't Want To Power Clean 315 Pounds By Charles Staley
Do you think that motivation is a fundamental issue when it comes to successful exercise or athletic training programs?
I don't. In fact, I KNOW it isn't!
How can I say this? Easily, often, without hesitation, and with supreme confidence.
Look: You are exactly where you want to be right now. You've already taken the steps necessary to achieve your station in life, and not one bit more. And you're completely satisfied with that station in life. Even if you know you could be much leaner, stronger, faster (or whatever trait or quality that applies most to you) than you are.
Now you might say "Well, that's not true- I know someone who is 100 pounds overweight and he's miserable!"
To which I say, no, he's satisfied. Clearly, the benefit he's deriving from his behaviors still outweighs the drawbacks, or else he'd change those behaviors!
OK, let's use me as an example. I'm reasonably lean and my goals revolve around physical capacity- strength, speed, and so on. And I've got a particular affection for the power clean- probably because I'm fairly good at it relative to other lifts. Anyway, I sometimes catch myself telling someone that I'd "love" to be able to power clean 315 pounds (my current best is 275 pounds).
But whenever I say that, I'm lying. Why? Because, quite simply, if I REALLY wanted a 315 power clean, I would have already taken the steps necessary to accomplish that particular feat!
Now, if I wanted to find excuses for my inability to clean 315, I could probably find them. I'm 44 years old. I've had several very serious knee surgeries. I'm ectomorphic. I don't use performance-enhancing drugs. I got picked on a lot when I was in elementary school. Come to think of it, this could end up being a pretty big list!
I'm not really interested in excuses though. The fact is, I'm healthy, knowledgeable, athletic, my profession provides me with ample time and energy to train, I know lots of great Olympic weightlifters and coaches, I have a great gym right in my home....OK, this can potentially be a bigger list than the excuses list!
Which leads me to the following conclusion:
I don't really want to have a 315 power clean.
Man, that really hurt. But you know what? It's absolutely true. I simply cannot escape the plain fact that I have not done what it takes to achieve a 315 clean. Perhaps, someday I will, but for now, it's obvious to me that the enjoyment I get from not having to train in a way that would permit me to clean 315 outweighs the enjoyment from being able to actually do a 315 clean.
And that's OK! And there's a great lesson here: maybe some of your goals aren't appropriate for you, because they don't really mean enough for you to take action.
Question: What's your #1 goal? Right now. Do you have one? Statistically, you probably don't. But if you do, here's what I'd like to have you consider: how important is that goal to you? Have you arranged your entire life in a way that supports your accomplishment of that goal?
I certainly haven't (in the case of the 315 pound power clean).
This article is primarily meant to inspire some self-analysis- not to provide hard and fast answers. However, if you'd like some avenues to pursue some serious reflection, here are a few:
Develop self-reliant behavior- create the mindset that all of your limitations are self-imposed (because they almost certainly are)
Get out of your comfort zone, and find a way to enjoy it. When your stomach is growling because you're hungry, think "Perfect! This is what I need to experience if I'm going to drop that extra bodyfat!"
Find out what works, and then do more of it. Find out what's derailing your efforts, and do less of that.
Cultivate dissatisfaction. After all, that's why you're where you are now- you're satisfied with it
Seek out and cultivate empowering personal relationships. The people you spend the most time with have a profound effect on your life. Make sure it's a profoundly POSITIVE effect.
I hope this article has been instructive for you.
Perhaps you're thinking that the psychology of motivation is a lot more involved than the way I've presented it here. Of course, people who are excuse-makers always think that way. As long as you've got enough reasons why you can't succeed, you never will.
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