This week’s ‘’Chronicles Of Average Joe’’ addresses a common problem we see in the gym, ego over form! There is nothing wrong with loosening things up from time to time and throwing some iron about but some people take it to another level, to the point where they are using maybe 20% range of motion! This just means they are stimulating next to no muscle fibres (especially the target ones) and what’s worse they will probably end up with an injury.
Client: Coach, I understand that good form is necessary but in the gym everyone else seems to be out lifting me and I feel like a bit of a weakling. Any advice?
AG: Give it 6 months. . . . . .
Client: What does that mean?
AG: The guys who are out lifting you. Tell me more about them are they muscular or are they average at BEST?
Client: That is the thing, they don’t look strong and they are not in great shape.
AG: What does their form look like?
AG: They are not in fact out lifting you then, not that it matters. If you got them to use textbook form like yourself you would notice that the weight they were able to use would drop significantly!
AG: Of course! If you were allowed to swing weight and use half the range of motion you could use more weight to!
Client: Right, so I shouldn’t do this ever?
AG: You don’t need to! Moving a weight from A to B is what a weightlifter needs to do, in the words of the awesome Kai Greene (one of the world’s best bodybuilder) he said ‘’I will never be a weight lifter.’’ What Kai is saying here is that the focus should be on stimulating the muscle groups you are training at that given moment throughout the entire range of motion. From the first inch to the last and everywhere in between! Moving a weight from A to B with body contortions and the rest to go with it doesn’t focus on this, making it a slightly redundant practise if you want to build muscle and strength.
Client: OK, makes sense. And what were you saying about 6 months’ time?
AG: You will have progressed, got stronger, bigger and these guys will be still using the same old BS form day in day out and getting nowhere fast. Progression is the name of the game, there is nothing progressive about that type of ‘’training’’ (the only thing it actually trains is the ego!).
Client: Will check in with you 6 months’ time then!