What is it about test days that cause that mental anguish and nervousness in the pit of your gut? It used to always happen to me in school with exams and now it wrecks me each time I’m presented the opportunity to hit a new PR. Even if I have done all the work leading up to test day, dedicated to my program, I let my mind get in the way in some form or fashion: Maybe today isn’t the day. Maybe I’m too tired. Maybe I didn’t eat right for this. Maybe I’ve done too much leg stuff this week to max out squats right now. Instead of focusing in on the task at hand and making each warm up and working set as identical as possible, I get focused in on the number associated with the weight on the bar. When it comes to the percentage work in between test days I always seem to just buckle down and get it done regardless of numbers. A PR set shouldn’t be any different mentally. I may still miss it, but I’m gonna do everything in my power mentally to set myself up for success by winning in my mind first and making it look as technically sound as possible.
Next time you are presented with a max day, or benchmark workout, instead of getting wrapped up in the numbers, focus on doing your best and win in your mind first! You might find you hit a few more PRs and remember the fun part of training 🙂
-Coach Kathleen McAndrews