It’s Not Creeper To Watch You Lift


Something that has really helped my own training is watching videos of other folks lift. Perhaps I am just visual learner, but I recommend anyone at least try it to see if it works for themselves.

There is a particular way that you should watch them though. You need to do your best to try and understand what the person is doing and to put yourself in their shoes.

Humans have (or researchers are least 99% sure that we do) a mirror neuron system, which is basically a bunch of neurons that fire in response to watching others perform actions (and surprise, they are the same neurons that fire when YOU are performing the action).

Basically, you are rehearsing and sympathizing with their actions in your head. BUT, mirror neurons will not fire for actions for which the watcher has no concept of how to do.

You know how if you’re watching Cirque du Soleil, and you can’t even fathom how someone could do what they’re doing? You’re just sort of enjoying the show, and you see the people moving, but there’s no understanding. No mirror neurons activating there. (Forgive me if my neuroscience is off a bit, it’s been a while).

If you have done some weightlifting before, you at least have a concept of how a snatch, clean, and jerk feel, and can begin to watch videos with the goal of understanding WHAT the person is doing, how it would feel, and how you would move if you were in their shoes.

It’s all well and good to sit back in awe of a massive lift and say to yourself, “Wow, that was easy” – but if you want to learn, you have to engage with the lifter*. SO much of weightlifting is trying to get your muscles to fire in the right order, with the right amount of force, at the right time, that your nervous system can use all the practice it can get – even if you’re not actually moving.

If you’d like somewhere to start, I might know a good video or two.

*There is some debate as to whether mirror neurons contribute to learning. Again, “try it yourself” and report back findings.

My Clean & Jerk course starts right after Thanksgiving week. For more info and to sign up, click here.