First off 1RM stands for 1 rep max. A 1 rep max is as mentally difficult as it is physical, if not more. Many people often psych themselves out of weights they can lift simply because they have a bad mentality about it. If the mind isn’t as ready as the body is to lift it, then there is little to no chance of making the lift. Of course, this is hard when you look at a weight and it’s more than you’ve ever lifted. This article is going to tell you how I mentally prepare to take on max attempts.
Don’t Overthink It
This is by far the hardest part of the lift. Mentally you’ll think that everything has to be perfect and you end up thinking yourself out of the lift. Sometimes it’s better to just go for it, grip it and rip it. This takes the thought out of the lift you’ve already done a 1000 times before. A 1RM is NOT the time to suddenly try to change your form by putting more legs in it. Work on the technical aspects in the weeks leading up to it, not the day you decide to change your technique.
Don’t Quit at the First Sign of Struggle
As nice as it is when you see a weight fly off of the floor or for your squat to shoot straight of the bottom, that likely won’t happen. This is especially true with sumo deadlift which is extremely slow off the floor but moves easily once it starts to move. A big weight should make you struggle, and if it doesn’t then it isn’t a 1 rep max. Take your time and accept the struggle of the lift without quitting before you even get started. Strain, struggle, and push through it.
I started thinking about this after hearing Bradley Martyn talk about it. It is one of the biggest aspects of lifting a PR attempt. You have to convince yourself that it will work before you even do it. Yes, it can be hard, but if you sit there and tell yourself that you can’t then there is no way it’s going anywhere. Before you walk up to the bar, sit there and think about whatever internally motivates you. It doesn’t have to be anger or aggression, but you need to be able to pull on whatever it is that gets you emotional. Use that emotion, get the mind ready, and prepare to lift some damn weight.
At the end of the day, you may physically not be strong enough yet, but being mentally weak for the lift can be fixed that day. No reason to miss because of fear.