The Void is undefinable. We don't really need to define it for you, even if we've tried. Every real lifter knows the moment between the chalk box and the bar when you transform into another person. Better or worse, it doesn't matter. You become someone else. And the person you become is able to do the things that you can't do as your normal self.

Everything in your life disappears. In these moments, nothing exists but you and the weight. These moments may be your only opportunity to escape your life.

We know what The Void is. Do you?

Video Transcript

What is the void? I've been asked that question so many times now, and every time I got to answer it I have to think a little bit more because it's undefinable. I can define what it is for me, but I can't define what it is for you. Many lifters can relate to digging your hands into the chalk, and there's a state of being when you're chalking your hands up and you're getting ready for the lift.

There's a point in time where you start to be who you want to become, and you transform during that time. The time between that chalk box and the lift that you're going to make, regardless of what the lift is, there begins this process of you becoming a different version of you. It may be a better version, a more aggressive version, or worse version. It's just a different version, and using that version, person, yourself to do things that you otherwise probably couldn't do so it's ... Now I can't do the same movements I did when I was competitively lifting, but when it was max effort work, and it was the squat bench and dead lift, and it was competitions, it was straining to make that weight. The weight that I never lifted before.

It's putting yourself in a physical state where you're not scared of shit. You can take the weight on, and it can feel like a fucking million pounds, but in your mind you know you can still do it. There's nothing in your mind. The only thing in your mind is a void. It's following through and attacking and doing what you're there to do. It can be any challenge that's put in front of you through training that's going to push you to the edge physically and mentally because there's a certain point where ... For me there's a certain point before I even begin the set that I mentally check out. I'm not longer there. I'm gone. Any problems I have at work is gone. Any problems I have in life is gone. Any adversity is gone. It's all fucking gone.

The only thing that's there is the fucking weight, and pushing as hard as I possibly can until I can't move that fucker anymore. Many times I don't know how many repetitions it's going to be for that set. I don't know what transpires between the time I hit the chalk and the time the set's over. It was that way when I was power-lifting. I don't know. Somebody has to tell me what happens because my mind is somewhere else, and that somewhere else is fucking awesome because it's nothing. It's a void. It's freedom. It's peace. It's my way to deal with all the bullshit.

The follow-up question is how do you put your mind in that state. Everybody's different with that as well. I'm different with that a lot of times, and it's never the same. Sometimes I'll just focus on certain events that have happened in my life. Trauma. Adversity. Things that piss me off. I put my mind in such a state of aggressiveness that I'll physically be shaking, and that's how I'll enter the set. A complete madness. Other times I'll just enter it as calm as I possibly can in a meditative state.

Other times I'll put on some of the dumbest music that anybody would ever think somebody would listen to trying to do a heavy weight, only because I know it's going to drive other people fucking crazy if they knew what I was listening to because what you listen to has nothing to do with the effort you put into the fucking weight. Nothing. I love being able to hit a set, kill myself, and end up laying on the floor. You can't breathe. People got to help you up. You piss yourself. You want to vomit. Your state is awful. People come over and pick up your headphones, and they listen and it's Christina Aguilera.

It cracks me up. It's like you need to listen to this hardcore stuff. You're a puss. You should be able to listen to anything to be able to push the limits and to get to that state. Some people need to think more positive thoughts. For me, that doesn't work. Other ways that I've gotten to that physical state is, if it's an injury or if I'm coming back from an injury, I will mentally picture in my mind and focus on the worst case scenario. The worst thing that could happen. This is advice that I give to some of our lifters even today.

When I was coming back from pec surgery. I'm not going to lie. I was scared to bench. It took me a couple meets to get my mojo back to be able to learn how to bench. You know how I learned how to bench? Is instead of trying to focus on all the mechanics of the bench and what I had to do right, because by the time I got to the meet that shit should be taken care of anyhow. I sat there on the deck and looked at the plates, and just stared at the plates for four or five lifters out. I closed my eyes and I visualized taking the bar out of the rack, holding it for a second, and having both of my pecs tear off, and the bar come down and smack me in the fucking face, and blood flying everywhere. EMT's coming in . Paramedics coming in. Having to go to the hospital. All this vividly, vividly pictured in my mind.

That way when I got under the bar, and I grabbed the bar, I was scared shitless. The fear was beyond fear. As soon as I took it out of the rack and I held it, and my elbows bent, the number one thing I wanted done is to get that fucking weight off my chest as fast as I could. Bam! PR and PR for the next year because I learned how to embrace the fear. I learned how to use the fear. From that, I learned that fear can put me in that void state to where I hit the chalk box and there's nothing. I don't think of nothing. Nothing happens. It's just empty.

Now with challenge sets and more rep-type training, it's the same thing. It's just pushing to the limit, and pushing as hard as you possibly can. There's a time in your mind ... Everybody's human. There's a time in your mind when you're going to want to quit, and you do another rep. Then you do another rep. Yes, it's going to burn. Yes, it's going to hurt. Yes, everything in your body is going to tell you to quit, but you keep going that shuts down. It stops. Your mind stops telling you anything. You just go. Within those seconds, that's what I'm talking about. That's the void. That's earned, not given.

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