There is a common mistake made when it comes to weightlifting. Men in particular assume that the heavier the weight the better their physique will be – however this isn’t a guarantee. Of course, for muscles to grow in size and strength they need to continually develop and work progressively harder – but if they aren’t being trained properly, the weight is the least of your concerns.
This is why form is so important – everyone knows it’s important but they often forget about it when they crank up the weight. The muscles are only being worked when they are under tension, so chucking 100kg on a bench press and throwing it up and down at 100mph is far less effective than bench pressing 80kg at a slow and controlled weight, which puts your pectoral muscles under tension for a prolonged period of time. It can also be very damaging to your body to lift weights not only too heavy for you, but inaccurately as well.
There are so many positives to focusing on your form while training; injury prevention, ensuring targeted muscles are worked, maintaining controlled breathing, and reducing unnecessary stabilizing actions from other muscles, to name a few.
So when it comes to working out, if you want to achieve these things you will need to do 3 things which people psychologically struggle with.
- Slow down and focus on squeezing the weight while under tension
- Use lighter weights to ensure the correct muscles are worked and no stabilisers are used
- Leave your ego outside! Lifting a lighter weight slowly doesn’t make you weak it makes you smart.
Having a training partner will help you with this, constantly reminding each other and the ‘in it together’ mentality will mean you stick to your form goals and can even aim to lift slightly heavier weights if you spot each other.
Achieving your fitness goals really is a marathon, not a sprint. Remember that, and train accordingly.
Guest post by Will Wood – Leeds Becket Student
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