One thing I’ve noticed occasionally in the gym is fear. Specifically, fear of the barbell. Fear of the barbell can lead to bad things, whether it’s missing a PR or getting injured. To quote the great Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “The only thing we have to is fear itself. Now let’s go kick some werewolf ass!”
You should always respect the bar, but never fear it. When you fear it, the barbell wins. Granted, over a long enough timeline (FIGHT CLUB!), the barbell always wins. The trick lies in fighting it for as long as possible.
Every time you approach the bar, you must approach it with confidence. Sure, you might be trying to lift a weight that you’ve never lifted before or working on some new movement, but barbells are like bears: they can smell the fear on you.
Just like a bear, you need to be confident and respectful, knowing that in the blink of an eye, it could bite you. But also know that if you approach it expecting to get bitten, there’s really no other option. The more you know that bar is going overhead, the more likely it will. So stare it down, grab it and lift. You’re going to win this battle.