If you are stepping into a workout facility, I hope you have the mind set to go hard. That your goal in the next hour is to get some serious work done and not to just socialize with you fellow friends and gym buddies.
The mind set to go hard and get everything out of that 1 or 2 hours of gym time is a great one to have, and few people have a mindset like this. For the people that are constantly pushing the weights, you have to know yourself. You have to know when to push your body and when to hold back. The idea of holding back can seem foreign and almost offensive to you as a determined individual.
Learning when to hold back in the long run will save your body a lot of pain down the road. It will also help optimize your gains and prevent burn out.
There are different thoughts on whether or not missing lifts is O.K. or not. I would never say it’s good to miss a lift. Some will say it is good because it shows that you are trying and always pushing yourself.
I fall on the other side. I do not think it is ever O.K. to miss a lift.
My reasoning is this. When you miss a lift it hurts your confidence, so that next time you go to lift heavy there will be a thought in the back of your head thinking, “I might not get this”. This will hinder your progression. The other reason is that if you are missing lifts you are lifting more then you can handle. Even if you get the reps in, you most likely compensated somewhere else to get those reps in.
When you notice that you start to miss more lifts, then maybe you should take notice and back off. This is not the time to think that you need to push even harder. Take a step back and reassess why you are missing.
I will always say form is king. When you lift with bad form, eventually something bad will happen.
Let’s take a simple bicep curl. What do you do when you are trying to get those last few reps. One, you will start increasing the momentum and incorporating the shoulder. Or the other common method is to just arch your back way back and lift with all you’ve got.
You will get your reps in this way, but it’s the wrong way and we all know it. By doing this you are bringing in other muscle groups, such as the back muscles. The bending of your back just gets you through the hardest part of the lift, the middle portion, by making the pull more horizontal and less vertical thereby decreasing the effects of gravity. This is not O.K. because now you are putting a lot of unnecessary stress on the lower back.
This is just one simple exercise where you can see bad form. Just imagine all the ways you can get more reps out of a deadlift if you let your form go. If you are lifting with bad form you are compensating somewhere else. This will put stress somewhere that it does not belong, eventually this will lead to an injury of some sort.
If your form starts to go, take a step back. You will be much stronger and healthier in the long run if you lift with good form.
You would think people would listen to pain, but most people will just push it aside as their body being a puss. If you feel pain, stop. I should not even have to write this. Just stop. This is not the time to push on.
Stop what you are doing and look at what is causing you pain. It could be that you are weak in a particular area or have instability or that you are over working a particular area. There could be many reasons. Listen to your body and take a step back and get healthy.
If you learn when to hold back it will save you a lot of pain in the long run. The goal of weight lifting is to feel better, not worse. Listen to these three simple rules: Don’t Miss Lifts, Form is King, and Listen to Your Pain.
Have a great week.
A few months back I published my critically acclaimed, beloved by all post, Things That Are Acceptable In The Weight Room but Not In Real Life, or TTAAITWRBNIRL for short.
So since it’s [MY BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!!] and I can do what I want to. I am going to give you the flip side of this post.
In TTAAITWRBNIRL I discussed things you do in the weight room that just don’t translate over to the outside world all that well. In this post I am going to tell you 51/2 things that don’t translate over from the real world to the weight room, or as I like to call it, The Palisade of Weights.
Without further adieu here are my 51/2 things.
Where would we be without cell phones, no snapchat, no instagram, no angry birds, and no possible way for somebody to get a hold of you every second of your life.
Got to love technology. It gives us the ability to stay connected without actually having to spend time with people, awesome.
Cell phones are all well and good and very useful in fact, but when it comes to the weight room there is just no need for them. This has to be my biggest pet peeve. Is it really not possible for someone to go one hour without being in constant contact with the rest of the outside world? Let’s be honest, can you honestly think of anyone out there that needs people to be able to get in contact with them 24/7.
If you think that’s you, well, you’re wrong – you self-thinker.
Cell phones outside, “Wow wee, cool new phone”. Cell phones in the gym, “Awwww, what is that”, and better question, “What is it doing here?”
See, phone in gym is just not as cool.
I get it that hats are nice to keep the sun out of your eyes and keep you warm during the winter. They can even change the way others see you, depending on which style you go for. The three most common are:
- Hats makes you seem like you are an every day Joe, just loving life and maybe hiding a bald spot.
- Hats make you look sexy. In most cases you have to be a cowboy, or in all cases, one or the other.
- Hats make you look like a total jabroni.
I understand hockey players like to keep their long flows out of their face, but a hat makes you look stupid. You don’t wear sunglasses inside do you? No, hats are the same thing, except they go on your head to protect you from the sun.
The one exception is beanies; they keep your head warm in the winter and they feel good to wear while lifting. They are designed for keeping you warm, not protecting you from the sun, so they are serving their true purpose both inside and out unlike ball caps. This is why they are OK to wear and hats aren’t. It just makes sense.
Got to love me some gloves, especially those fleece ones; O so soft and so nice. Gloves are functional. They protect your hands from the elements. They can also make your hands go from plain and boring to badass, with a sweet pair of leather biker gloves.
I got me a pair of leather goatskin gloves for a dollar one time. Let me just say, once I slipped my hands into those gloves I became a whole new man, but that life is all behind me now.
Lifting with gloves does the same thing except for one big difference. They don’t make you look badass. On the contrary they do just the opposite. If your hands can’t handle the knurling on the bar, then you can’t handle the gym. If you are wearing gloves because your grip sucks, then work on strengthening your grip and grab some chalk.
Music is pretty great to say the least. Good tunes will put you in a great mood and get you ready to crush weights.
Pro Tip: Super set all your exercises with dancing, it keeps the fun level high and shows all the ladies in the vicinity what they’re missing out on.
When I see someone walking down the street in a Beats Headphone or Bose or whatever brand, I think they must really like music. When I see someone in the gym with the same aforementioned headphones I instantly think, “Wow what a D-Bag”.
This opinion is based on years of pre judging and I am sticking to it. So if you wear big ass headphones, I’m just letting you know its cool outside but in the gym you look like a giant bag of D.
Half Shirts and Skinny Jeans
I don’t know if either of these is actually acceptable in the real world but I know for sure they are not acceptable in The Palisade of Weights.
Well, except for half shirts, I can see them being useful in some really specific situations. I just have not figured out what that situation would be or what it would entail yet.
Maybe if you were working out and someone broke their arm, and the only thing you had available was the bottom portion of your shirt to fashion a sling out of. Then, after helping the person, you went back to finish your lift. I could see that being all right. So until this happens half shirts not cool.
As for skinny jeans, there is no scenario where they should be worn in a gym or anywhere else for that matter.
There you have it. My 5½ things that are acceptable in real life but not in the weight room.