Be the Inspiration: Richie Patterson

Q&A
How does Endurance play into Weightlifting?
There are multiple ways that endurance plays into lifting. For me, I’ve done weightlifting since I was 15, so that’s 18 years of continuous lifting. That’s a long time to endure competing in a high level sport.
How do you become a successful weightlifter?
Success in lifting often comes down to patience – you have to have a long-term plan. This plan is broken down into smaller manageable goals. Each training session fits into a larger plan for that week, which fits into the plan for that month, which fits into a plan for the next competition, which fits into the next Olympic cycle. You have to have a lot of mental endurance – there is a huge amount of repetition. You’re lifting the same weights – day after day. To cope with this you need lots of plans and lots of little goals. This is important because each time you achieve a goal it gives you a sense of achievement. This keeps you motivated.
Tell us about the mental strength needed?
Staying in a negative feeling can be very destructive, so it’s important to remain flexible, and change something as soon as it’s not working. Becoming a good weightlifter is like building a house - You have to build good foundations and go from there. It took me a long time to master competitions - experience was a huge part in this. It’s important to stay very calm and almost contain your power.
How did you get into lifting?
I grew up on a dairy farm - I got into lifting because I was told it would help my Rugby, then I saw Nigel Avery at the Olympics and it “flicked the switch.” I wanted to be an Olympian. I enjoy lifting because it’s a very measurable sport – you get out what you put in. There’s not a lot that’s left to chance. You predetermine your outcome by how much work you’ve done. It’s a lot more predictable than other sports.
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