Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back off the weight, Hercules!


*This post is especially for you, Liz


You see some amazing things at the gym. Occasionally, it's somebody doing an impressive well-designed training session that makes me think "Wow. He/she's serious about their sport, and obviously has a good coach". More often though, it's somebody demonstrating the more-is-better mentality that seems to dominate amongst the bulk of gym-goers.

This past week has provided some head-shaking bemusement (or should that be amusement?), as I've witnessed the following outstandingly stupid feats:

1. Tricep push-downs with the pin near the bottom of the weight stack, requiring the recruitment of shoulders, chest, abdominals and hip flexors to move the weight. Here's a tip, dude: Use a lighter weight, stand tall, keep your elbows locked to your sides and try using your triceps.

2. Kneeling cable crunches, with all the movement initiated from the hips. I dunno, getting your forehead to touch the floor by flexing your hips might seem impressive to this guy, but I'm not sure what he thinks he's achieving.

3. Seated cable rows, pulling the weight by adding some momentum from hips and legs.

4. That old favourite, barbell biceps curls using hips, back and everything else to get that weight up. God forbid you should use your BICEPS....

The point is, if you have to use your entire body to move the weight, it's too heavy. You might be impressed with yourself, but you're not effectively working the muscles you think you're targeting.

I'm not about to tell them though; I don't want to bruise their egos. Or risk having a dumbbell hurled at me. I just quietly go about my business, lifting my piddly little weights, paying attention to posture, technique and tempo, and knowing that I'm hitting exactly the muscles I'm aiming for.

1 comment:

linda said...

hmph! men! they just like to be seem shifting those mega heavy weights. It's so good when you see a guy actually using balance and good technique- good but unusual!

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