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Optimal Arousal and Performance

Many people are under the impression that the more psyched up on is during a lift, that the better the lift will be. So this will often mean yelling, shaking the bar, and pretty much going crazy.

However, this isn’t always the best when it comes to being able to achieve personal bests in the gym. For one this can kill the central nervous system with extra and unnecessary stress and second, there is energy being expended that could instead be aiding with the lift.

On the other hand, going in absolutely calm will not be able to reach optimal arousal and provide for the best performance either.

From this you would assume that a happy in the middle would thus be the best case scenario for performance and while this may be a good starting point, it also depends. Some people may find that they can get real amped up on lifts like the Deadlift and do well while others need to be calm and collected going in.

In general, each person is different and they will all have different levels of optimal arousal that will help them perform the best. It’s just about figuring out what works best for you but this chart helps finding that point to work around of.

Personally I work best out of a calm calculated rage although getting extra psyched up and yelling at myself can sometimes help me as well.

Citation: http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/optimal-arousal-in-powerlifting/comment-page-1/#comment-1393945