Back in my early 20’s, I had a “eureka!” moment. I had been doing weight lifting routines to get bigger, but I was not really getting the results that I wanted. I knew that I had to eat a lot of protein and lift as heavy as I could… hmmm.
One day, I was training my back (lats) on the lat pull down machine with more weight than I could lift correctly. I knew that this was supposed to target my lats but it was really hitting my shoulders. I had also been listening to many different people’s opinions on how to build muscle and was basically confused.
I also knew from my very early days lifting, when I had to use the wooden bar in the gym, that technique is also very important.
I decided that I would drop ¾ off the weight I was lifting and try to target my lats properly. This had a great effect on the session, and, the next day, I knew it had worked as the muscle soreness (D.O.M.S.) was exactly where I wanted it: in my lats! I have not looked back since then. I will never again sacrifice technique for weight on the bar.
For me, this was a great lesson that I learned and possibly one of the most valuable. I have learned to train the muscle I am actually aiming to train and avoid injury whilst getting some good results.
Today, I see many lifters sacrificing form for weight, and I am often accused of lifting too light. My answer is always the same:
It’s not the size of the weight; it’s what you do with it that counts.
Don’t get me wrong though; the heavier you can lift, the more muscle you will get (I will teach you how to figure out how much you should be lifting in another post), but the weight does need to be lifted properly. We will discuss form in later posts as well.
The lesson I learned here will apply to all training methods. In my opinion, correct form is one of the most important things to focus on when undertaking any type of training.
I hope this information has been useful to you. As always, I will be very happy to help address any queries or questions that you may have relating to any of the topics that I teach.
Good luck with your training!