I remember the first day I interned at Virginia Tech Athletics because it was the first internship where I was truly excited to learn more about the field. I came in 15 mins early so I get a feel for the gym before the athletes came in. I walked around and did my inspection of the equipment then knocked on my boss’s door. He came outside and asked me if I had any questions before we get started. I asked “What team is coming in to lift this morning?” He stared at me and said “We train here, we don’t just lift.” in a very southern Virginia accent. Then he handed me a bunch of rags because he only called me in that day to clean the gym.
After, getting familiar with the smells of Virginia Tech Athletics. I asked him what was the difference between lifting and training. He told me that we are not too concerned about lifting weights, we are more concerned about improving the athlete’s performance, not just their ability to squat or deadlift.
I still couldn’t see the difference. Athletes lift weights to improve performance, so why wasn’t lifting the same as training. I turned to youtube to find the answer. Then I found this video:
As, you see in the video. The athlete is lifting weight but he is also running hills, working on agility and running route drills. So my new definition for training became putting in the time to improve one’s performance in a certain skill set. For athletes, the skill set is listed in my last blog post “Tools of an Athlete”
That moment is when I started to think of my time in the gym as time to improve my performance as an ultimate player and not time that was solely focused on putting more plates on the barbell. I analyzed my form in all the major lifts so my movements were textbook, incorporated more plyometrics, mobility exercises, stretching and foam rolling.
It is true that you see superstar athlete move some massive weight. But they are moving it with perfect form because they could care less about having a 400 lbs squat if they still end up losing games. We train to win games, not to look impressive in the weight room.