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What if you didn’t know the weight?

What if you didn’t know the weight?
August 8, 2019 Dan Raimondi

“How much does that weigh?”

“I dunno, D, just lift it.”


That was the conversation I heard once in a college weight room. It was great. There was no mental hang up on the weight, no fear or anxiety. The focus was on execution.

I found myself in a similar spot today. I was squatting with a safety squat bar. The bar I normally use weighs 45lbs. The bar I used today weighs about 70. I forgot about this until after I had finished my heavy set for the day when I realized I had been using about 25 more pounds than anticipated. “No wonder if felt heavier than usual.”

What’s funny is that my mindset was entirely different thinking it was 25lbs lighter. I wasn’t worried. I wasn’t scared. I knew it’d be tough but I pushed myself and came out with a personal best. How often have I, (or all of us) done this? How much more might I lift if I miscalculate the weight and approach the bar not knowing better?

There are some track coaches who will deliberately yell out splits or paces that are incorrect. They might tell the runner that they’re going slower than they actually are. Perception changes things. Your mind is very powerful, and if you believe it should feel heavier, it probably will. If you believe it should feel lighter – it probably will. That’s how my squats went today. I went 25lbs heavier than normal but in my mind, it felt like nothing.

Every now and then it’s fun to surprise yourself.