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Getting Reps Just Below Your Technique Ceiling


Getting Reps Just Below Your Technique Ceiling

This is the last workout for the September benchmarks!  Record it!

Every year Wilder shares apples from his trees during the fall.  Check out the bag at the shop!

Every year Wilder shares apples from his trees during the fall. Check out the bag at the shop!

Getting Reps Just Below Your Technique Ceiling

When talking about the Olympic lifts and gaining proficiency in them, Ryan often talks about the technique ceiling, opposed to a strength ceiling.

Picture this scenario.  You’re in class and working up to a 3 rep max power clean.  You do your first couple of sets and then your elbows start to break early on the third set, but you still complete all three lifts and get them to your shoulder.  A coach comes by and gives you a cue for how to fix it.  You listen and try with all of your focus to accomplish the lifts without pulling early.  But it happens again.  You go down in weight, and just by five pounds, and voila, it’s fixed!  So you go up those five pounds again, and the coach walks over to you and says, “You’re pulling early again.”

What the heck coach!?  It’s just five pounds and I’m still making the lift!

Ever been in this situation?  You’ve reached your technique ceiling.  The maximum weight that you can lift with good form.  Any more weight on the bar and while you can still accomplish the task, the way in which you did it will not progress you in the long run.

And the key to that last statement is “in the long run.”  We can accomplish the work in many ways, but there are fewer ways in which the work done on that day will propel us further in the years to come.

Listening to your technique ceiling requires a lot of listening to your brain and ego.  If your brain is telling you not to go up, but your ego is telling you that it’s ok, that is a great time to recognize the situation and work technique.

Today when you deadlift, listen to your body, brain, and ego and if a new 3 rep max with great form is not in the tank today, take pride in working your technique ceiling for the day.

How do you manage your brain and ego?  Post to comments. 

1 Response

  1. I’ve been battling a hip injury for a few months. The hardest part of recovery has been the mental aspect.
    It is SO difficult to play within the boundaries of what you are limited to when you are trying to remain active. I nearly broke down in class a few times with how frustrated I was that I couldn’t perform even the lightest version of some movements.
    What’s the big deal? Just scale, move your body and keep being patient with your recovery. Right?
    Wrong. My ego just wasn’t having it. My mind was telling me I would never be the same.
    I believe I set this recovery period back at least once pushing it too far and trying a movement or a weight I probably shouldn’t have. Those kind of setbacks are so unnecessary, but I learned my lesson.
    I’ve slowly been regaining movements from the first kettle bell I swung RX a month back to the squat cleans I performed in oly last week. The last thing left was deadlift. The ‘good morning’ movement was the one way I knew I could trigger that area in my hip to check in with how it was doing. Even all last week I was still scaling the deadlift movement completely (you may have seen my 95# backsquat Diane time!).
    Today I was determined to give the movement a shot but not push it past my comfort zone. I knew going in today that in June I hit 285 for three but I shouldn’t expect to come close to that and just focus on moving well.
    The warmup went well. Nothing was feeling tweaky during the barbell movements so I put on a normal base weight and started my warmup sets. I was able to move a good amount with good form so I opened at a decent weight and felt like I would just be happy moving that same amount for all five sets.
    I was able to go up every set and never felt anything but solid! It felt so huge to finally be deadlifting again, but to finish with a 10lb PR was even better.
    I feel so rewarded for all the patience and hard work. I am really humbled by how important it is to check your ego. I’d simply rather stay injury free and move a little bit less weight.
    Thank you to all the coaches for your patience with me. I appreciate the extra time it takes to figure out scaled movements and the encouragement that it would get better even when I was really not happy about it.
    When it comes down to it, we all just want to keep playing. Be smart and move well so you can keep coming back for more 🙂