Knowledge is power. How many of us have heard that phrase before? All of us right? These little words will forever have the biggest impact on your life. What I mean by that is this. Without knowledge we cannot expand or make improvements on anything we come into contact with. There would never be any advancements, and we would all be stuck in a rut. However, we all need to have a basic knowledge and understanding of certain topics or fields to fully understand them. Remember when you first stepped into a gym? I think about the clanging of the weights and grunting of the lifters giving it their all to squeeze out that last rep. I remember being the little kid without any idea of how to build muscle. All you do is go into the gym, lift some weights, and PRESTO! Instant muscle attaches itself to you. Not true at all. Of course, I learned this the hard way, like many of us do through many years of trial and error in the gym.
What I would really like to focus on is what typically happens to all of us at a young age, or even still today. We head into the gym, and usually scope out the biggest and strongest guy in the weight area. We of course all think that he must be an expert since he is lifting the most weight, and has the biggest arms and chest we have ever seen. There could be some truth to this assumption, but you could also be completely off. Just because someone may “look” the part, doesn’t mean that they know everything or are doing everything completely right. Always look at form! I know that it’s an ego deflator, but perfect form is where you will build most of your muscle and learn what it means when someone talks about having the mind-muscle connection when doing your exercises. You have to feel the muscles work at all times and be in tune with your body. This will maintain great form, and will help keep you injury free. Heaving up weights with momentum is not going to cut it. Strict form will cut down on the amount of weight you will be able to lift, but will be the most beneficial in the long run. Poor form will more than likely keep you out of the gym due to injury and could cause major setbacks with improving your physique. Slow and steady is how the race is won right? The name of the game is longevity! Stay in the game as long as you can for the years to come and reap the benefits it can give you.
I have always taken great pride in my approach to lifting. Strict form and proper nutrition is a must in what I have experienced. Heavy lifting is also beneficial to break out of plateaus and just to switch things up, but always remember to be careful when handling weight loads that are heavy to you. Once again be aware of injuries. As I have become more involves with training others, I have tried to help bridge the gap between having others cut down on making the same mistakes I have made earlier in my career. I preach what has worked for me and what I haven’t liked. This of course doesn’t mean you can’t try others ways of lifting. You have to find out what works for you.
I have been in the process of handing down my knowledge to my nephews and one day to my children. My nephews are both in high school, and of course are just beginning their own journey in to the world of lifting weights. They ask for my opinion on certain lifts and exercises, and I am brutally honest to them of what I like and dislike. I do not agree with all of the types of lifts that the sports coaches have the teens perform, so I offer my advice on how to make the lifts safer, and at the same time still train that particular muscle while still building quality muscle. I understand certain sports require certain exercises to be monitored and recorded, so when I teach these lifts, I put a ton of emphasis on correct form and technique. Just one example is the requirement to perform standing military presses with a straight bar. Inexperienced teens and their “Macho” attitude will just try and heave up the most amount of weight that they can, disregarding proper form. Standing military presses have no support for the upper or lower back, and could lead to injury very quickly. Always be aware of the dangers of certain lifts. There are other ways to build your core and shoulder strength. You may have to modify an exercise or two, but remember safety is first in all lifts!
I will continue to promote a healthy and safe lifestyle in and out of the gym, and I encourage you to do the same. Let’s help all of the novice lifters out there accomplish their goals with the correct knowledge and feedback. Know that at the end of the day, you have made a difference in helping someone out in a positive manner. Watching someone grow and succeed because of your guidance and help is a wonderful reward. We can teach, and we can learn as well. Together we can become better than what we were before. Stay strong, stay healthy, and continue to better all of those around you! Knowledge is power, and continue to help be influential to everyone around you!
…Stay Strong, Stay True.
About the Author
Michael Klamut was the 2011 Lean Body Challenge Grand Champion. Mike is a United States Air Force veteran (1997-2001) who works as a Radiologic Technologist (X-Ray Tech) during the day, and is a busy husband and father of two during the night. Mike entered his first bodybuilding competition and took 1st place in his Novice weight class (Middleweight) and Novice Overall. He takes great pride in helping others with their fitness goals and hopes to inspire and motivate everyone he comes into contact with. Mike is looking forward to helping all Labrada Nutrition fans reach their personal goal(s) and hopes to help them conquer any obstacle(s) that stands in their way. You can visit Mike Klamut’s website at: http://michaelklamut.wix.com/klamutfitness