Powerlifting is simple, right? Step one: Pick up weight. Step two: Put down weight. Grunting: optional.
But when you're approaching big-number powerlifts—particularly in the deadlift—the lift can be as much a mental challenge as a physical one. Putting all those plates on the bar sure looks cool, but hauling all that iron off the ground is a different story. And when you're going for maximum performance, any big-rock lifter will tell you that mind does matter.
That's why a smart powerlifter will combine his physical training with mental training. Deadlifts require a rigorous—or even fanatical—dedication to form, and maintaining that form is far easier when you train with mental cues. After some practice, these phrases will naturally pop into your head as you lift—and when that happens, it'll mean your brain will take some of the load off your muscles.