We’ve all seen those lifters at comps running around screaming, getting abused by their handlers, head butting bars…. then, on the other hand, the lifters sat quietly, headphones in, calmly contemplating what they’re doing. Personally I sit in a bit of both, up until about 2 lifters out I’m calm in my own world until wraps start being tightened and bar loaded, then it’s time to try and switch everything on and hate the bar. Now I never go as far as to head butt or be beaten about the skull with a 2x4” block but I accept that is just how that person needs to feel when approaching their lifts but it does get me thinking, does it work?? If you’ve ever seen the videos of Scot Mendelson benching it will really get you thinking, his (now ex I think) wife is pretty much beating him up just as he’s about to attempt in the region of around a 500kg bench press. When you speak to him he is one of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable benchers I’ve ever met and you can’t imagine him for a second having to put himself into that sort of place to execute his lifts but he does and it works. To me it has always been a case of running through what I need to do and installing a self-belief, whilst at the same time a healthy respect for what I’m about to attempt. Anyone that tells you that you shouldn’t respect the weights is an idiot and you should really question any other advice they give you. At the same time don’t fear it, just give it the respect that half a ton of solid iron deserves and you will be good to go. Then there’s the negative lifters, the ones you see calling themselves all manner of names and insults, that’s one I don’t understand. I had enough of being called a useless fat prick when I was at school! Why would I go to the trouble of dressing myself in a lycra outfit and in front of 100 people start calling myself names in the hope it will bring out some form of super human strength from all the resentment built up through my childhood? There are some very good counsellors out there that can talk you through all that, which won’t result in you being trapped under god knows how many kg when you burst into tears instead of reminding yourself to not try to good morning your pb squat. As with most things, this is about retaining a healthy balance between being ready to put yourself through hell and keeping a good head on your shoulders. Cos that to me is key, a lot of us are doing this for fun and it’s a hobby. Do you see hillwalkers screaming to the gods when they have to sit for a minute half way up a mountain? Do you see knitters stabbing their cat with their needles when they mess up a row?!!! I know they’re extreme examples but I stand by my point.