Powerlifting AKA Mindfulness
Mental Health. A term we hear thrown around on a daily basis. We see it on our Instagram feed, hear the ads on our Spotify, and awareness campaine posters can be found in every bus shelter.
So what does it mean to the individual? That’s where this blog comes in. I want to make you understand how something as simple as moving some iron around can help you, or people you know, take control over their sometimes debilitating thought processes.
Psychology has come a long way over the past 100 years. It wasn’t even that long ago that people were administered with electric shocks to the brain in order to ‘cure’ them. These days, we have other less invasive methods to overcome feelings of depression, anxiety, obsessions, intrusive thoughts and generally being overwhelmed. One of these methods is a state of mind called ‘Mindfulness’.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a state of thinking, a state of being in the moment, a state of clarity for some. There are many ways of achieving this state, and one you have no doubt heard about is meditation. There are many apps these days that help you meditate with voice clips of a person speaking and taking you through various meditations. This has become increasingly popular among people of all ages and walks of life, and is no longer deemed weird or cringy. Why? Well, it’s discreet, simple and if it helps people become more productive then why the hell not? It works wonders for some, others need a little more than that.
I believe that just like with learning, every person has their own style of achieving a relaxed state. There are 4 main methods of learning, Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing and Kinaesthetic. We are going to focus on the latter.
Kinaesthetic - ‘’Relating to a person’s awareness of the position and movement of the parts of the body by means of sensory organs in the muscles and joints.’’
Just as we have learnt our disruptive behaviour (whether it be anxiety, depression, or any other feeling that disrupts you from feeling happy and content in your day to day life) we can also learn to become ‘Mindful’ of what we do. I know what you are going to say, it’s not as easy as that is it Kim?! You are right, it’s not if you don’t know what works for you. The key is then, the find out your ‘learning style’ and trying to adapt your coping mechanisms.
(I will get to the point of this blog post now, I promise..)
How lifting can be used as a form of Mindfulness
Surely you have heard of the term ‘moving weight’ before. I refer to this when I see people throwing a dumbbell around without any thought, without any real focus or point. When I coach people, I teach them the most effective way of executing an exercise in order to get maximal results with their valuable training time. You must have focus in order to do a lift properly. End of. There is no 2 ways about it, if you are unaware of the steps you take in order to lift a weight then it is simply not good enough in order to sustain good form and to progress. But think about this, when you are focussed on lifting, and I mean truly focussed, do you even have time to overthink anything else? More often than not, you don’t, you’re in the moment.
Being ‘in the moment’ is exactly what Mindfulness is. Being aware of your body, your breathing, and your focus. When you are truly focussed on the bar, things seem to disappear, from intrusive thoughts to feelings of sadness, you are truly in the ‘now’.
Why Powerlifting specifically?
Powerlifting is simple. I never said it was easy, but it’s simplicity is what makes it beautiful. It is in-discriminative, anyone can start the sport TODAY, and can progress tomorrow. Powerlifting promotes growth and progression for the individual, anyone can get better. It also requires total unbroken focus when it comes to a big lift, you need to know exactly what your steps are; the set-up, the brace, the execution. This all takes practise, months and years of practise! But guess what you are practising? A state of focus, a state of clarity, a state of mindfulness!
Powerlifting is my escape from myself. I have built myself up from where I once was, and I will continue to do so. Powerlifting reminds me that I am in control, I am in charge, I am responsible for my own happiness and peace of mind. And that is why I am sharing this with you all, it doesn’t really matter what works for you, as long as it works. Powerlifting is my therapy.
If you would like to explore how lifting could help you, you know where I am.
Athena Personal Training