#131 – To Hype or Not To Hype?


Whether ’tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of gym onlookers at your ignominious deadlift routine… that is the question of today’s podcast. Matt and Scott weigh the pros and cons of “hyping up” during training, whether it’s to hit a PR or just to get through some heavy worksets.


It’s common practice for many to blast the heavy music — the Rage Against the Machine, the Metallica — when it’s PR time, or even for a heavy set of fives. And it definitely seems to work at increasing mental arousal, which can translate to more pounds on the bar. But is that always the case?


Raw effort, which is tied to arousal levels, matters in a PR attempt, sure, but for more advanced lifters it is Matt’s experience that techniquematters even more. After all, they are used to delivering high levels of effort during their training. Technique becomes more  and more critical as the loads approach PR territory, as the lifter can tolerate little to no deviation from midfoot in the bar path. Consequently, Matt prefers to approach the bar in a way that emphasizes focuson the one or two things he needs to remember to execute the lift properly. He listens to heavy music — Metallica’s “Bleeding Me” — because it’s familiar, an auditory cue that reminds him of what he needs to do for the lift.


On the other hand some lifters, particularly novices, don’t bring enough aggression to the bar, and can use some strategic hype in their training sessions. The same goes for lifters who naturally run at a slower pace. At the end of the day, there is no right answer for whether you should get hyped up for a lift. What’s important is that you consider your habits around the bar, and whether they are helping or harming your long-term progress.


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