• Top 10 Habits of the Most Accomplished Strength Athletes

      Written By: Brady Stewart

      1. Technical Mastery
      No matter what strength sport, there are proper ways of technically executing your events or disciplines. The best strength athletes are extremely efficient at demonstrating their strength in the events they have mastered. They have learned how to lift with proper form, technique, and have mastered their craft so well that their technical efficiencies make them more energy efficient. They know that sloppy reps will create sloppy results. When they lift, they make their reps count and do so flawlessly. The best strength athletes never put their lifts in the hands of the judges, they make their lifts perfect every time.

      2. Consistency
      Lets discuss two forms of consistency. First, the most successful strength athletes NEVER miss a training day. If they have to miss due to time constraints or family related events, they always make it up and are skilled enough with their programming to tweak their current training plan to make it as optimal as possible. Second, they are consistent with their lifts. They NEVER miss a rep. If they never miss a rep in training, statistically they won’t miss attempts in a competition. Basically, this combines mental conditioning with their physical preparation making the athlete unstoppable. They won’t ever think about missing an attempt because they don’t know what it’s like to ever fail an attempt in training.

      3. Coaching and Mentorship
      Many of today’s elite strength athletes access coaching and mentorship from their sport's best sources. Several top athletes have built a network of colleagues, coaches, friends, and mentors that are world class coaches and athletes themselves. This network can be utilized in helping athletes program training, make important training/competition decisions, and is a good starting point in exchanging ideas and theories about strength science. Athletes that do not have the luxury of having a direct (face to face) coach likely use the services of a mentor or coach remotely (i.e., internet, phone, email). The most accomplished strength athletes rarely attain competition goals on their own, so several have coaches and mentors that they trust and keep on speed dial.

      4. Positive Mental Attitude
      This is usually a given with most elite strength athletes. Most of the time they are extremely positive and don’t let negative thoughts infect their mentality. They know that positivity and negativity can manifest in physical form. So, they don’t let negative thoughts ever get in the way of their success. Attaining and keeping a positive mental attitude shows and proves that they aren’t only in control of their training/competing, but also their inner being!

      5. Understands that training is not religion / Always seeking knowledge
      This may actually come as a surprise to some of you. World Class athletes always keep their ears open. They are always studying and educating themselves on how to become a better and more effective athlete. What they know isn’t so set in stone that they can’t listen to new ideas. They do not put themselves in the metaphorical box of limitations. They have no limitations. Nothing about strength training is written in stone. Find out how you need to train and if it means going against the norm, go against it! If you want to be average, do what everyone else is doing. If you want to be extraordinary...pave your own way. If you have big goals, do not put limits on yourself. Do what you need to do to improve. The problem with many younger athletes is that they think that what they know is the only way to train. Elite athletes know that there are many different ways to accomplish elite levels of strength. And the elite athlete understands most of them.

      6. Helpful
      The quickest way to the top, is by lifting each other up. The best strength athletes realize this. In many instances, it takes a team to build the athlete via coaching, spotting, critique, loading, training partners, etc. In very rare circumstances can the athlete do it all on their own. In order to receive help, you must first give help. They are usually the first ones to help spot, load, and coach other lifters.

      7. Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation
      Elite athletes have a remarkable ability to prevent injury. They are so in tune with their bodies that in many circumstances, they can forecast when or if an injury will happen. They can stave off injury for weeks by proper injury prevention technique and pre-habilitation. Notice the PRE before habilitation! They work on their body’s injury prone soft spots through prevention exercises regularly. This keeps them in the gym. Don’t let an injury keep you away from training. That’s lost time that can’t be made up. Proper form and technical mastery of strength events and disciplines will keep injuries from creeping up as well.

      8. Confidence
      The body will do what the mind tells it to. If you always feel sorry for yourself, how can you expect to lift giant weights…EVER? Never feel sorry for how things are going in your life or in training. You can only control YOU…nothing else. So start thinking positively about who you are, what you do, and how you do it! If you feel like crap, you’ll likely lift like crap. If you train with confidence, you’ll believe in yourself and what you are doing. Don’t confuse confidence with arrogance. Confidence is something that shouldn’t be ‘shown off’. No one likes an arrogant fool. Let your confidence show through how you train, compete, and through your results. If you set your mind to something, be confident in it.

      9. Focus
      This may be one of the most important habits listed in this article. World champions NEVER lose focus on their goal. They have an uncanny ability to make their goals materialize. If they ever have a lapse in this focus, they are amazing at getting right back on track. They focus on all factors listed in this article and execute them with surgical precision.

      10. Not a hobby, passion, or obsession…IT’S LIFE
      Most world class strength athletes don’t consider their sport a hobby. They truly feel that it is a part of who they are. It isn’t in their blood…it is their blood! They aren’t obsessed or passionate about it. Those two words can’t begin to describe what their sport means to them. It is a way of life and is one of their highest priorities. It is their inner being. It is in their soul. It enhances who they are as a person. They treat their sport with the utmost respect and understand that it isn’t about them anymore. It’s about the advancement of the sport and the relationships they’ve created through the years. This thought process doesn’t happen overnight and can take several years to reach this sort of IRON-ZEN.

      Master the elements of this article and you’ll be well on your way to achieving this form of enlightenment.

      Brady Stewart has been a competitive powerlifter and bench press specialist since 2001. While he has had much success in full raw powerlifting as a former OPEN American USA Powerlifting Squat, Bench, and Total Record Holder (242lbs), surprisingly, Brady’s forte is single-ply IPF bench pressing. Brady has been a member of 3 USA World Bench Press Teams (IPF), a USA World Bench Press Team Gold Medalist (IPF 2009), and the 2013 USA Bench Press National Champion (264lbs). Brady’s best press to date is 322.5kgs (710.9lbs) making him the strongest and highest rated bench presser in the history of USA Powerlifting in Illinois and the second lightest man to bench press over 700lbs in USA Powerlifting. Brady is an editor for Reactive Training Systems and is the owner of IronAuthority.com, dedicated to promoting drug free strength athletics.
      Comments 4 Comments
      1. Ricky's Avatar
        Ricky -
        Thank you admin for sharing this link. This article contains important information about strength and all these habits are really useful to accomplish strength.
      1. dlocas's Avatar
        dlocas -
        "If you want to be average, do what everyone else is doing. If you want to be extraordinary...pave your own way." I love this sentence. Reminds me of the time I was training in a commercial gym doing "kinda bodybuilding training", like everyone else, hitting a body-part once a week, like everybody else; and of course, never ever doing a "heavy" Dead (back then, I thought 275 or 315 was heavy) more than once a week, less my back would "vaporize" or something. So my strength levels were "typical gym rat". Then I stopped "pumping iron" to "live and die by the iron". Big difference!
      1. AbsoluteZen's Avatar
        AbsoluteZen -
        I just love this list! I had to re-read several times! I will be applying this discipline not just to powerlifting but many aspects of my life!!
      1. GymRat's Avatar
        GymRat -
        Quote Originally Posted by dlocas View Post
        [B] So my strength levels were "typical gym rat".
        I take offence to this