Posts Tagged ‘Weight lifting’

Competition season is winding down for most organizations (who the heck wants to diet through the holidays anyway?!) so I thought I would write my next post about “bulking” and heavy weight training during the fall and winter months.  This time of year, a lot of people go into a bulking (aka – screw the diet 😉 – just kidding!) phase to try to gain some lean mass, set some new PRs, and get even stronger in the gym.  Yes, this includes me!

After each competition season comes to an end, I like to re-evaluate my physique and see what needs improving.  I also like to try to get better at some of the bigger lifts; improving my squat, deadlift, military press, bench, and so on.  But before I dive in and start piling on the weight plates, I’m taking a step back to remember my form.  FORM is KING.  Just like you won’t get the physique you want without quality nutrition, you will not get the results you want without quality training.  Poor technique also puts you at a greater risk for injury.

There are a few key points to remember when performing your lifts;  you need to select the correct weight to enable you to:

  • Perform the lift through a full range of motion (no quarter squats here!)
  • Be able to adequately control the weight through that range of motion
  • Perform the target number of reps without losing your form (it’s ok to struggle a bit on the last rep or two!)
  • Use the mind-muscle connection – if the weight is so heavy that you cannot even focus on the muscle group you’re trying to target, you won’t get the full benefit
  • Avoid having other muscle groups take over the movement (like those barbell curls that are working the lower back)
  • Avoid using momentum to assist the lift

I know that none of this is really new information, but sometimes we get so caught up in progressing in the gym that we forget some of the basics.  So, I am going to work on re-evaluating my own technique for the next couple of weeks.  This includes lightening the load and making sure that my form is perfect before I start aiming for those PRs.