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Tag Archives: weights

  • Ego's in the Weights Room

    It should come as no surprise to anyone that has ever weight trained regularly in a commercial gym - there are plenty of ego's about. It's as if some people go into the gym just to brag to the rest of the world how great they are. Seriously! I am so over the egocentric, obnoxious and frankly "pain in the ass" people that have such little self esteem that they need so much validation from others by being the school equivalent of the "class clown"!

    I have trained at a gym where this one guy would walk in and just had to be the centre of attention. Apart from critiquing everyone else's workout within the gym, he was the first to announce his latest personal best lift to the rest of the weights room. This particular person would also grunt obnoxiously and throw the weights around (literally throw them!). I remember once he was performing standing barbell shoulder presses and dropped the barbell from head height! C'mon now...seriously!

    The thing is, nobody liked this guy (can you believe it?) and I believe that the gym received so many complaints that he finally got booted out, much to everyone's delight.

    That's my little rant done!

    There is one particular issue that I do want to touch on from both my own personal experiences, and that which I have observed in my years of training. It is probably most prevalent in young males. Whilst I have no data to back this up, this is based on my experience alone. It's the "lift as much weight as possible" mentality, often either as a an ignorant approach to training, or a social response to impress others and boost the ego. Whilst it's often a combination of the two, I'm going to focus on the latter.

    Many of us are guilty of this approach training and I know I sure was when I first started training. Rather than focussing on technique, control and safety, it was far more impressive to sacrifice a little form just to lift an additional 10kg of weight.

    One thing that I really try to emphasise with my personal training clients is that execution is the most important thing to your training. Just because you "can" lift more weight doesn't mean that you should. Personally speaking, sure, I could double the amount of weight that I am curling on bicep curls - but I would have to swing my back, move my upper arm excessively and utilise my legs to assist in the lifts. But what's the point when by doing this you:

    • Significantly increase the risk of injury
    • Take the load off the bicep and utilise other muscles
    • Reduce the overall effectiveness of the exercise

    Upon considering these disadvantages, here are the only advantages that I can conceive:

    • Boost your ego by lifting double the weight you could otherwise lift
    • Not being aware of the heightened risk of injury and decreased effectiveness

    Think about that for a minute. I'm assuming that you probably train for a reason - to get results. Then why would you bother taking unnecessary risk and decreasing the effectiveness of your workout just to impress others?

    Here's something that should be written on gym walls:

    The amount of weight you lift is not a function of your masculinity.

    Nowadays, I lift similar weights to that of a few years ago. But (and this is a big but), my technique has improved phenomenally. It comes as no surprise that my results are better and injury incidence is lowered.

    I do see plenty of people who seem to have very little training experience lifting ridiculous amounts of weight; far more that what I am lifting at present. I think it's silly, but at the same time I can empathise with their mindet because I was once doing exactly the same thing. You live and learn.

  • When I lift weights I begin with the heaviest weight and work my way down with 90 second rests. For example, 70kg for 10 reps, 65kg for 7 reps, 60kg for 6 reps etc. Is this form of resistance training correct?

    Unfortunately there is no "correct" form of resistance training.  No matter what anyone says, there is no one way that is proven to be the most effective form of training for building muscle mass.  A while ago I wrote an article entitled "The ONLY Way To Train" which deals with the common misconception that there is one (and only one) way to train.

    The number one factor to ask yourself is - have you received the desired results (at the desired rate) by training this way?  Have you compared this method of training to others and is this more effective in order to achieve your goals?  If not, some changes are in order.

    You will notice that there is a very common theme throughout this website...intensity.  Intensity is what I believe to be the number one factor to stimulate consistent hypertrophy and strength gains.  Looking at your training approach, it seems that set 1 is intense as you are working to your maximum.  But the following sets seem to be more of a cool-down.  How are you stimulating your body to change in the following sets as you decrease the working load?  I also recommend you read my article "The Art Of Adaptation" which discusses why intensity is a key factor in your training regime.

    Perform a website search for "intensity" and you will find a number of articles discussing this topic.  I (and the other professionals on this site) strongly believe that training maximally is a crucial element for healthy people wanting to instil big changes in their physique.

  • The Art Of Adaptation

    Go into your typical gym and look around. What do you see? No doubt you'll see 95% of the people exercising very leisurely. Go into the same gym a year later. Take a look at that same group of people - how different do they look?
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