Aug 062014

If you are just starting out then this is some great advice from Bret Contreras.

Every experienced lifter out there can remember the first time they moseyed into the weightroom, full of fear, confusion, and insecurity. Thought most of us make it past these initial stages, some lifters never do. Some lifters quit training, mostly because they don’t understand it. If only there was a seasoned lifter at every gym who could talk to beginners and educate them on what things are important and what things aren’t very important. Below are the more common sources of confusion and misunderstanding that newcomers to resistance training share.

1. The Exercises Become Easier Over Time

Starting out, nothing seems to feel natural. Asymmetries are abound, rhythm is lacking, and coordination is terrible. This is especially true for compound, multi-joint lifts. Maintaining good mechanical form is incredibly difficult, especially as load and effort increase. The ability to contract certain muscles or feel certain muscles working during movements can be challenging at first, and cues like, “stay tight” don’t seem to make much sense early on. Going to failure leads to terrible break-down in form, as does performing anything heavier than a 5RM. Don’t worry, this all changes over time.

The good news is that every single training session, you’ll be rapidly increasing your stability and coordination. Every week, the lifts feel more and more natural. In 2-3 months, most of the lifts will feel right, and in a year, you’ll feel quite confident in your form and exercise competency. You’ll be able to get much more out of heavy lifting, and you’ll be able to hold much better form when taking a set close to failure. Make sure you consistently use strict form – your nervous system will be grooving motor programs so they become roughly automatic, and you want these memorized motor patterns to be solid.

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