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Lifting heavy weights is one of the most important things you can do as you build the foundation of your strength and start out as a beginner lifter. That said, if you don’t do this right you are setting yourself up for a harder road ahead in getting your body to respond to your training. In this video, I’m going to show you when lifting heavy is bad and more importantly, why this is.
Most beginners become obsessed with the numbers they are lifting rather than focusing on the way they are lifting the heavier and heavier weights. If you are lifting heavier but loosening up on your form in order to do so, you are only ingraining stronger dysfunctional patterns in your lifts. The longer this goes on, the harder it is for you to undo the habits you’ve learned and correct the imbalances you have established by doing so.
If you take the example of the squat for instance, you have a big compound exercise that lends itself to easy strength gains. It doesn’t take long for you to start adding more and more weights to the bar and lifting heavy on this staple lower body exercise. The problem comes when you get these heavier weights by slowly shortening the depth of your squats or by allowing the muscles to take a break during the exercise and instead rely on the support of the tendons.
Over time, your false sense of security and strength is going to ultimately undermine you in either the form of less development than you should have given your lifts or in the form of an injury. When you lift heavy weights you should be in complete control of the lift. Obviously, you have heard how important form is, but that isn’t all there is to it. When you do this for a longer period of time your body will find it very difficult to undo the motor patterns it has learned along the way.
In order to ensure that you are lifting weights that your muscles can command, I like to incorporate a pause technique into my squats. Instead of just bouncing out of the bottom of the squat, lower the weight and perform a pause squat. I want you to be sure that you are in command of the weight and not just going along for the ride. By incorporating a slight pause at the bottom, you will have to be able to control the weight and reinitiate the lift with the strength of the quads and glutes and not momentum.
You may even have to back up quite a bit in order to realize the true strength that you have in your legs. That is ok. Instead of lying to yourself it will be much more rewarding and helpful to determine your true strength and then work back up from there. In the meantime if you feel like you are going to be lacking because you aren’t doing any more “heavy lifting”, feel free to take an exercise that doesn’t demand as much in terms of your form or reveal your true form flaws and use your heavier weights on those.
If you are looking for a complete program that always puts the truth in training and refuses to bs you along the way, head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. Start paying attention to all of the things that really matter in your workouts and you’ll be amazed at how much better results you’ll see by doing so.
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