3 Mistakes that are killing your Progress – Part 3
For the past two weeks, we have been discussing our three biggest tips for improving results in the gym.
- Slow Down
- Lower the Weight
- Work on your Range of Motion
We focused on slowing down and improving your range of motion. This week we we think you need to lighten up!
Going too fast and not using a full ROM almost always leads to people increasing weight more than is necessary. While we should all strive to get stronger, this has to start with control and full ROM as the foundation. When you can actually lift 30 lbs for 8-10 reps with perfect ROM and control, then you may be ready to increase weight.
Why not drop the weight and get it right?
Use pauses, big ROM, and control to make that lighter load work for you!
A better approach to strength training is to start with a weight that allows you to perform exercises with perfect form and a full range of motion. As you gradually build strength and control, you can incrementally increase the weight. This patient approach not only reduces the risk of injury but also ensures that you’re building a solid foundation for long-term progress and overall fitness. Remember, quality always trumps quantity in strength training.
Focus on Technique while using a lighter weight allows you to concentrate on perfecting your exercise technique.
This is especially important for compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and olympic lifts, where small form adjustments can make a significant difference in muscle engagement and safety. If you’ve developed bad habits in your lifting technique, dropping down to a lighter weight can allow you to work on those issues and retrain your muscle memory. PLUS>>>Lighter weights are less likely to strain your muscles and joints, reducing the risk of acute injuries. This is crucial for beginners or individuals recovering from injuries. Poor form not only increases the risk of injury but also reduces the effectiveness of the exercise and limits muscle engagement.
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Remember that everyone progresses at their own pace, and there’s no rush to lift heavy weights right away. Building a strong foundation and mastering proper form are key steps on the path to long-term strength and fitness success. Your coaches and classmates are much more impressed by someone who moves really well and has impeccable technique than how many plates are on the bar.
- Choose a weight lower than you normally would.
- Focus on form and Range of Motion – get a little deeper – keep a little tighter.
- Slow down – If you are dropping the dumbells because you are too fatigued to set them down properly, it is likely your form is compromised during the lifts and you are not maximizing your progress.
- Set goals for yourself that prioritize ROM and technique. Focus on achieving proper form and technique before trying to lift heavy weights.
Continually lifting heavier weights without addressing form and ROM issues can lead to frustration when you hit a plateau or experience setbacks due to injury. Your goal should be to develop a strong foundation and gradually progress from there.
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