EGOS and the High School Mentality of Lifting: Where Do They Belong?
by Michael Klamut
How many of us have ever stepped foot in the gym and have been witnesses to horrible form and weight poundage’s being lifted that are too heavy for people? This is where a mental trigger should be going off in our heads right about now. I would believe close to everyone has seen this a time or two. It always makes me laugh when someone asks “How much do you bench?” and then follow it up with “Let me see you make a muscle” (Referring to the biceps muscle). Most people know and understand that the biceps muscle is not the primary muscle worked for bench press. Another beauty is how people bench press with incorrect form. This ranges from raising one’s buttocks off of the bench when raising the weight, to bouncing the weight off of their chest. The truth of the matter is, many people do not care about proper form and are only concerned with how much weight they can heave up. Sounds a lot like the old high school days doesn’t it? The sad thing is that many people carry that mentality over into the local gyms and workout facilities because they have never been informed or taught the “proper” way to perform a lift. As experienced lifters, we can always “offer” lifting advice, but always remember that giving advice in the gym is a double edged sword. Some people will accept it and be thankful that you showed them the correct way, and some will think that you are arrogant or cocky. Take it with a grain of salt if this is how you are perceived, but at least you made the honest effort to help someone out. Please make sure that you know the correct way to perform the lift before offering help, because it would be very embarrassing to offer the wrong advice.
We are all in the gym for the long haul. Excellent health and fitness is a marathon, not an all out sprint. ALWAYS use what weights you can handle and ALWAYS use correct form. Poor form wastes energy, puts undue stress on different muscle groups and joints, increases the risk of injury, and is mainly just an accident waiting to happen. You may not be the strongest person in the gym, but who cares? It’s all about the mind-muscle connection and the “PUMP”. No one is saying that you can’t have “Strength” goals, just make sure you achieve and set out for them in the correct way. You may appear to be 185 lbs, but really weigh in at around 167. Your lean muscle mass makes you appear that much larger than what you are. If you look like you can bench press 315 lbs, but can only max out at 250, so what? When is the last time somebody called you out in public, and just happened to have a weight set lying around and asks you to perform that exercise? Stay the course and lift smart! Egos should be left at the front door of the gym. We are all there for the same reason…to better ourselves! So next time someone asks you “Why do you lift so light? You should be lifting heavier weights!” Just remember “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and you are putting in the proper time and effort to etch out your best build possible. Remember, if you are pushing yourself to extremes, your muscles will adapt and grow. Your muscles can’t tell the difference between a 25 lb. weight and a 50 lb. weight when they are fatigued and being worked to the max. Just push yourself and stay consistent and I promise great things will come to you! Until next time…
..Stay Strong and Stay True,
2011 Lean Body Challenge Grand Champion
About the Author
Michael Klamut was the 2011 Lean Body Challenge Grand Champion. Mike is a United States Air Force veteran 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.
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