The Ten Commandments of Weightlifting . . . and of Life

A guide for life, lifting, and the way of the bar.

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Photo credit: iStockphoto

By Shiney Sparks

The iron bar has spoken. Here are the Ten Commandments of Weightlifting. Conveniently, these also map to Ten Commandments for Life.

So let it be written. So let it be done!

1) Thou shalt know the differences between weightlifting and weight training.

Weightlifting — Know the difference between weightlifting and weight training. Weightlifting consists of three lifts — the “snatch”, “clean and jerk” and only with the barbell. The rest are all considered weight training.

Life — Seemingly small differences can sometimes be bigger than they seem. It is important to understand and appreciate the differences between such things — for example, the differences between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting, leader and boss, fashion and style.


2) Thou shalt be one with the bar.

Weightlifting — It is never the bar against you, it is you with the bar and the bar with you.

Life — Life and Universe are never against you; they are actually one with you, if you let them be.


3) Thou shalt master the Snatch, Clean and Jerk.

Weightlifting — It is all about “Snatch”, “Clean and Jerk”, so if you are not going to master these, what are you trying to master then?

Life — Always strive to be a master of a few things than to be mediocre at many things.


4) Thou shalt always do warm-ups before lifting and stretch after.

Weightlifting — Always warm up with some dynamic workouts, and stretch after training to minimize soreness.

Life — Plan first before executing and always end with reflection — that’s the way to achieve your dreams and goals in life.


5) Thou shalt always place techniques over weights.

Weightlifting — Technique is crucial. If you do not know the proper technique for a certain lift, get someone (knowledgeable) to teach you. Many injuries are caused by improper techniques.

Life — It’s not what you do that matters, it’s how you do it that makes a difference.


6) Thou shalt always remember feet first.

Weightlifting — Without a strong footing, it is difficult to be able to finish the lift smoothly.

Life — You need a strong foundation to withstand all the trials of life.


7) Thou shalt always remember to hook grip.

Weightlifting — Hook grip is important especially when you are pulling heavy loads at a fast speed and controlling the bar at the same time.

Life — Always work through the pain and the discomfort and make them second nature.


8)Thou shalt make Squats your best friend.

Weightlifting — Squat is the foundation of weightlifting, be it as a position or as a movement. And it helps to strengthen our entire body, bones, muscles, and also increase flexibility. When I say squat, it means “ass to the grass” full deep squat!

Life — When something brings you down, get back up!


9) Thou shalt honour rest and recovery day.

Weightlifting — We always overload or stress our muscles during our training, so it is essential for us to let our trained muscles to take one or two days rest.

Life — “Take rest, a field that has rested, gives a bountiful crop.” — Ovid


10) Thou shalt enjoy the sport.

Weightlifting — If you don’t enjoy the sport, then why do it?

Life — Wherever life takes you, enjoy the ride.

This story was previously published on The Good Men Project.

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