I often have conversations with lifters who are consistently missing a weight over and over again. Their form is getting worse and worse with each lift and yet they keep trying. As I have stated over and over again there is a time to be persistent and a time to be smart. However, it is important to remember what misses do to your technique and consistency from a macro-level. Missing over and over again creates bad movement patterns which in turn creates more misses. It’s a vicious cycle. That’s why it’s important understand WHY you missed.
If you missed because it was so heavy such that your technique suffered then you need to drop the weight. Fighting with a weight like that over and over again (even if you eventually make it) does more harm than good. Made lifts are what creates champions. However, if you missed the weight because of a small technical error and its something you know you did wrong and can immediately fix then it’s worth another attempt or two. I have missed snatches and jerks because of a minor mistake. I felt the mistake and knew the weight was light but I was just a bit off technically. Those lifts I repeat and 90% of the time I make them on my next attempt. Those second (and sometimes third) attempts are worth keeping the weight on the bar.
However, more often than not I watch lifters try over and over again to make a weight that they have no business loading on the bar much less attempting 5, 6, 10 times. These attempts only hurt them and what’s even worse is that eventually that lifter may make the lift and feel like they succeeded. When in reality even the make, due to the bad technique, hurts their movement patterns over the breadth of their career.
Here’s a great example of a made 3 position clean after more misses than I cared to count. Yes he made the weight. No it did not help him.