I was with an athlete today and we were doing singles on the back squat for the very first time. She hit 68 kilos which is epic since when she walked in the door she couldn’t do a bodyweight squat without pain. Now she is hitting amazing numbers well below parallel. She asked me between sets what the point of lifting so much weight. It is a question that comes almost as often as any other. It is reasonable since it is unlikely that you will every have to pick up something as heavy as the heaviest you will be asked to pick up in the gym. There are quite a few reasons why lifting spine bending loads is good for building muscle and character but right now I just want to talk about one. There is a significant mental aspect to lifting heavier and heavier weights. Any of you who have stepped up to a bar that seems like there is no way you are going to be able to lift it know exactly what I am talking about. There is a internal conversation that takes place before these lifts. “I can, I can’t, I can, I can’t, I want to, I don’t want to, I can but maybe I can’t, maybe I shouldn’t, I won’t, I will, I can, I am, I did, I don’t want to do it again.” This mental battle is one of the awesome things about lifting heavy stuff. I doubt any of us can say we are too mentally tough. There is a great opportunity for neurological adaptation that isn’t actually about how much weight we are lifting. It is about how far we are willing to make ourselves go. There are countless situations in life that we just have to endure. Much of life is a mental game. In the gym we are toughening up for everything else. Right now you have more in you than you think. If you believed about yourself what I believe about you, then you would be breaking records on a minute by minute basis.