One Saturday morning early in my experience at Fivex3, Diego was coaching my deadlift. After observing a warm-up set, he said, “You need to stop babying the bar when you put it down.” What?!! I was so focused on my set up and the actual pull that I had little room left to think about how I was putting the bar down. In fact, I wasn’t even quite clear on what he meant. Primarily I was aiming to keep the bar tight and not to allow the iron plates make too much noise when they hit the floor. Every once in awhile, you’ll see video of someone pulling a heavy deadlift who then basically drops the bar back to the floor from the standing position rather than returning it properly. I did not want to be that person. It seems I was taking that concern a little too far. Diego explained that in putting the bar down so carefully and quietly, I was wasting energy, energy that I should be saving for my next pull. Having only ever seen me at the gym, a place where I am relatively comfortable and outgoing, he sort of laughed off my concern about being loud and said, “I get the feeling you make a lot of noise a lot of the time, … but in any case, sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do, don’t we? You may need to make a little more noise with the bar than you want to in order to save energy.”
It seems that life frequently goes this way too. Like the mental checklist of set-up cues I ran through for my deadlift, we often we have lists of the important tasks we must accomplish, items that demand our attention. Just as I was oblivious to the effort I was wasting trying to keep the bar quiet, we may not give much attention to the time and energy we spend just spinning our wheels or by being a little too concerned about making some noise. Often, when life gets really busy, the things we need to do to restore our energy, the things that preserve our good health, don’t even make the list. In a world where we tend to focus on the equivalent of our next big pull, sometimes it takes a coach to remind us that conserving energy and using down-time to recover are important too. It’s at least worth a quick review. Where in your life are you wasting energy? Where are you shortchanging yourself on needed down-time?