Barbell Voodoo

Lisbeth Barbell, CrossFit, Essays

I’ll admit it: I have barbell voodoo.

Yup. Small rituals that, if performed correctly, I believe will lead me to new personal records in barbell lifts.

No, I don’t use chicken blood or goat milk or donkey hair.

That stuff makes the platforms slippery anyhow.

Instead, most of the rituals are simple — visualization, unweighted practice, always approaching the bar in the same manner, equidistant spacing on the grip, proper footwork, etc. In fact, so many of them are borrowed from Coach Burgener that we might just have to call him Big Voodoo Daddy.

But I also have a few things that Coach B. doesn’t teach — like don’t step over my loaded bar. Walk around either end, but don’t shortcut over my bar, please.

Don’t leave anything on my platform. No weights, no shoes, no collars. This is my workspace. I keep it clean, please respect that.

Don’t distract me with small talk during my session, please. I may love you but I really don’t want to hear about your weekend, your husband, your shopping trip, or that great gal you spotted in the bar last night. Not right now. Here and now is for lifting heavy weight. Please help me to bring all my power and focus toward that task. Afterward, tell me everything. And tell me the juicy stuff twice.

Don’t sit on my barbell. Don’t balance on it. Don’t lean on it with your foot. I don’t. If I want to lift that weight, I must respect it.

Like I said, barbell voodoo. But it works for me. And it saves the chickens.

Lisbeth Barbell, CrossFit, Essays

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