Go to any gym in the world, and you will find a lifter, regardless of gender, weight training with an unrealistic weight; throwing the weights around instead of focusing on form and maximum muscle contraction. Unfortunately for many lifters, who are trying to achieve an aesthetic physique, are so consumed with hoisting the weight that they have lost perspective of the original purpose of lifting the weight, to stimulate the muscle into growth.
Most beginners are so consumed with lifting heavy weights, thinking that their physique will improve along with the execution of heavy weights, with poor form. Unfortunately, hoisting heavy weights does not automatically improve your physique In fact, it can be very detrimental, not only to your muscular gains, but also to the body.
Not to say, lifting heavy weights doesnt have its place – if you are a powerlifter or training for olympic stlye lifting then there will be bigger weights invloved but still, correct technique is essential if you want to prevent injuries.
Here are a few tips you may find very useful if trying to get a good physique but stay injury free
1. Leave Your Ego At Door!
Whenever you step into the gym, forget about competing with the other lifters. The purpose of going to the gym may vary, either to improve your physique or release stress,regardless, you are there to take care of the most important person: YOU. So forget about the ego and just concentrate on yourself arid your needs.
This may seem easy, but it is probably one of the most difficult things to do, especially when you are used to being the gym’s “strong guy”. That’s why it is difficult for some lifters to leave their ego at the door. Not to worry, your strength gains will catch up with you eventually.
One of the biggest pitfalls that contribute to bad form is executing the exercises too fast. For example, on the bench press, very often I see many lifters drop the weight to their sternum and pop the weight back up to the start position. In many respects, not only is this very dangerous for your sternum, but also for the ligaments and tendons
First of all, the weight is being absorbed by the sternum, ligaments and tendons, and the associated muscle tissue, yet very little work is actually being performed by the pectorals. This is when bad form combined with excessive momentum can have an adverse effect upon the body.
3. Use Lighter Weight!
Another factor that contributes to excessive momentum and bad form is using excessive weight. Exercises executed with heavy weight with good form will definitely improve your musculature, but excessive weight done incorrectly can have adverse consequences. Not only could the lifter experience some joint pain, but eventually suffer a muscle/ligament/tendon tear.
When given the option of using lighter weight with strict form or using heavier weight with a loose form, by all means, use the lighter weight with strict form. Although at first you may think that you are losing strength because of the difficulty of using the lighter weight with the strict form, arid not your usual heavier weight, but the truth of the matter is, the lifter is performing the exercise correctly for the first time, therefore the weight, even though lighter, feels far more taxing then performing the repetitions with the heavier weight.
The muscle should be “squeezing” the weight up and a controlling the descent, not just moving the weigh from start to finish of the movement. “Swinging” the weight has no benefit other than feeding the ego.
4. Squeeze The Weight!
One example of “squeezing” the weight is performing a leg curl. Again, a common exercise that is very often performed badly. In my experience, I have seen many lifters use their lower backs to gain momentum to lift the weight to their buttocks. Not only is this harmful for the lower back, but the hamstring gets little or no benefit from executing the exercise in this manner.
The purpose of performing a lying leg curl is to stimulate the hamstring into growth, therefore, push your hips into the bench and forget you have any weight on the leg curl machine; simply focus solely on contracting the muscle until the pad, is touching your buttocks, or as high as you can lift the arm of the leg curl, then in a controlled fashion descend the weight to the start position. This is the essence of weight training in relation to muscle development.
5.Train According To Your Capacity, Not Your Goals!
one of the biggest problems with bodybuilding, especially with novice lifters is using workouts that are too advanced.The internet and youtube has a lot to answer for in this department.This information in the wrong hands, can be detrimental to the novice lifter/bodybuilder. For example, the young, aspiring bodybuilder reads an article, written by their favorite professional bodybuilder on how he/she trains to achieve their success, the novice lifter then assumes that if they also follow the same regimen, they too will achieve the same results. If that were true, then this entire world would be filled with bodybuilders with 20 inch arms. The truth of the matter is, professional bodybuilders are genetically gifted .
You have to learn to walk before you can run.Start with a basic program and modify it as you make progress.
6. Get A Trainer!
The great benefit of having a Personal Trainer is to ensure your form and technique is up to par. Over time, without the correct guidance it is easy to develop small and negligible bad habits, which are easy to overlook, but over time, those small bad habits can develop to a very big, and potentially harmful bad habit, therefore the independent observer/spotter.
For example, leaning too far forward when executing a squat. Although this may seem like a minor detail with the light weight, however, if the lifter is performing heavy squats, leaning too far forward can cause a severe back injury. Again, leave the ego at the entrance of the gym and let the muscles do the lifting, not your ego.
7. Keep Track Of Your Diet!
First up, diet does not mean to starve yourself, it means the quantity and quality of the food you put in your stomach Unfortunately for many novices, they seem to focus solely on working out, yet neglect their nutritional needs, thinking that as long as the calories are consumed, their poundages and musculature will improve. Big Error
The fact is, nutrition is key to success. A person wanting to make progress will need to eat 4 – 5 small meals per day, of quality calories.
Some of the many benefits of having a healthy diet include:
- The body receives the nutrients it requires for muscle growth, therefore, the lifter’s muscular gains will be faster and their lean body mass will increase.
- Second, the body recovers after from taxing workouts.
- Third, with faster recovery, the lifter can work with more intensity and more esoteric workouts.
- Fourth, it moves the lifter closer toward their desired goal, whatever the goal may be.
- Lastly, all the hard effort will not have been in vain.
Just remember, with everything in place building an enviable physique takes several years of training and even more patience.
They key is do not give up, be patient and compassionate with yourself
“A thousand mile journey begins with one step.”
original source – manny faucett bodybuilding.com