I think it's important for a lifter who wants to get stronger to see, in person, some monstrous weights being lifted.
I'll never forget a few years ago when a PLifter in my gym spotted me deadlifting, started chatting, and invited me to the club to train the next night. I had just hit a PB of 150KG. As soon as I walked in, one of the lifters was just starting a triple with 250kg. It was real iron plates, not rubber coated, and the noise they made when they crashed into the floor was amazing.
Then I pulled 160KG from a 1 inch deficit, despite getting my earlier PB the night before and still hurting from that. I had never seen one other person deadlift in my gym before this. It just instantly broke down mental limitations I didn't even know I had.
Some of the best progress I made after this was when a strongman/highland games/powerlifter started working in my gym as general manager. I trained with him. I would be struggling away with 180-190KG and he would be struggling away with 280-290kg.
Actually witnessing those weights being lifted gives you serious motivation. I also remember going to see a competition. I was all ready to compete but just wanted to see a comp before applying. Had no injuries or anything to use as an excuse, and among seeing a few of the strongest PL's in britain lift, I also seen a woman squat and deadlift 190KG, and bench 110KG. It was geared but, still, since I was nipping at her heels, I (and my then training partner) decided to hold off competing until we were stronger, which I realise now was a very bad move and a poor attitude.
You're always going to come across guys (or girls) like this, at 62-63, practically never been on the internet and almost unheard of, hitting a double with 227.5 kg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqVK0qfBjZc
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My ultimate training goal is to still be lifting that big at that age (of course, I need to be lifting "that big" first, but i'll get there).
Is your next competition in November, then?
I've done an awesome job of the peaking thing, almost burning out in week 3 when i'm supposed to in week 6! A few days going a little easier combined with some serious food intake has got us back on track though. It's all a learning experience after all!