Why I Love Lifting Heavy

Written by: Kevin Cann

Sports are a way for us to explore our inner makeup.  To see what drives us and understand ourselves better.  Sports then affords us the opportunity to work towards becoming the person that we want to become.  Everyone should participate in competitive sports in my opinion, but of course I am biased.

These last few months of training have been as brutal of a stretch as I have experienced in any sport that I have participated in.  It started with a hamstring issue.  My left proximal hamstring tendon has been pissed off for a few months now.  Hurts right on the sit bone and squats and deadlifts can be pretty painful at times.

About 8 weeks ago, after training I was sitting on my couch.  I got up and my back had a massive spasm.  It would be another week until I was standing upright.  The back pain feels like left side QL.  I trained through it the best that I could and started to hit some PRs on the other side of it.

I was feeling pretty good and gaining momentum up until about 3 weeks ago.  After a squat training day my back seized up in the same spot.  However, this time I had very painful burning and pressure radiating down my outer thigh, and I couldn’t stand upright again.  3 weeks later my outer thigh still has numbness and I have experienced a loss of strength, especially on the squat.

I have a competition in 3 weeks, and this is not the ideal.  However, fuck the ideal.  This has been the best training block of my lifting life.  It has presented challenge after challenge.  I have showed up every day and given my all no matter how frustrated it can be.  I even showed up in the heat in Daytona during nationals to train and then in 118 degree heat in the desert.  Traveling twice during this meet prep has not been ideal either.

These injuries started popping up because I was training like an idiot.  After I came back from Westside, I had a nice blend of heavy and light work in my training.  My lifts were going pretty well, but the light work was not carrying over like I would have liked.  Training only 3 days is tough.  I made some adjustments that really got me in a good groove with my lifts.

Problem was that lifting heavy is like a drug for me.  Once you get a little taste you just want more.  In our programs we have max effort weeks followed by weeks of light rep work around 70%.  I started there, but got in the habit of pushing that rep work a bit.

I wanted to see how hard I could train with a 3 day schedule.  I was thinking that the lower frequency might allow me to get away with more.  It definitely does, but everyone has a breaking point.

This last time that I hurt my back, I hit a nice squat and deadlift PR in week 1 and then in week 2 I worked up to a heavy double on pulls, and then heavy 5s in full gear on squats.  My plan was to max again the week after with different variations.  My body had other ideas.

I wrote about how stable our progress is as a group.  This is not as true for me because I do not do the lighter volume which helps to stabilize my progress.  I am aware of that and I am also ok with it.  I am ok with it because I lift for me.  I don’t lift for you, or the internet, or for followers.  I lift for me.

There is nothing more freeing than lifting heavy.  I love the adrenaline that comes along with it.  The feeling in my chest and stomach before I get under the weight.  Knowing that I need to focus and let everything go if I want to hit it.

Once I am under the weight, all of life’s problems just melt away for the 3 to 5 seconds as I challenge myself in a battle against gravity.  I do not regret any of the decisions that I made in this training block.  I am more than likely going to total well below my best ever total too.  

Of course, I want PRs, but those will come if I stick with training and make a few adjustments.  The real reason that I lift is for those 3 to 5 seconds of complete freedom.  People will say that this is stupid, and I just don’t know what I am doing.  That is fine, because I don’t give a fuck about what those people think or have to say.

Others will say that I will get hurt and not be able to lift at all.  Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.  It isn’t for anyone else to decide.  No one else understands my reasons for lifting.  This is also why it is important for everyone to understand their reasons as well.

When you understand your personal why, the complex decisions that need to be made become much easier to make.

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