I noticed in some old video’s you placed blindfolds over your athlete’s eyes performing power lifts.???_???? I am very interested in the technique and can not find any information on it.???_???? If you have some extra time, could you explain the practice?

Answer

One of the reason we don't have mirrors in the gym is to make sure people don't learn a movement in a self-referential way, i.e. by seeing themselves do it (in reverse) in a mirror. If they do so it's easy to become dependent on the visual cues and learning is "shallow." I compare it to the difference between driving somewhere new and being driven there; if you are driven you rarely remember the route taken to arrive. So the first step is to take away the mirror and the next is to take away sight altogether. If someone can do the movement well when deprived of the main source of sensory input that person truly understands all of the mechanics, balance, muscle firing sequence and intensity, etc.

The blindfold makes single-leg movements (e.g. Single-leg Deadlift) really hard due to the balance problems so it is very effective, meaning the above point is illustrated best with those movements but we don't often use it because it is so difficult. The Turkish Get-up is a great movement to use for this because of the complexity and long range of motion. Use a light KB or DB in the beginning, especially if the individual is accustomed to concentrating on it visually when doing the exercise. We use a blindfold for the standard Deadlift to teach people where their weight is. It is very helpful for the athlete who is pulled onto his/her toes by the barbell and can't correct it. The blindfold also works well if someone has a mental sticking point at a particular weight and other trickery hasn't worked: if they don't know what's on the bar the number can't limit them.

The blindfold is a very effective trick/tool so not to be over-used, and safety is an important consideration so you really have to be on top of the athlete when using it.

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