Stop Raising The Ego In The Gym For More Productive Workouts
You know you’re going for a long workout when the guy next to you grabs the biggest dumbbells off the rack and throws them without worrying about form, tempo, or even if he’ll still have functional joints ten years from now. .
He looks around for validation, but anyone around him with training experience shakes his head. He doesn’t train for any real purpose other than attention, in other words, he elevates his ego. We’ve all seen this guy at the gym. If not, it could be you.
This type of training is not only counterproductive for building muscle and strength. Training like this is more likely to land you in the hospital than put you on the path to your goals.
What is Ego Lifting?
Ego lifting occurs when someone (or even you!) attempts to lift more weight than they should, either in an effort to gain muscle and strength or to impress onlookers. who use a nearby squat rack. Although ego lifters may think they look impressive at the time, the most likely result is an increased risk of injury.
There are a few of the dead giveaways that someone prioritizes load and style over form, including:
go too heavy
One of the biggest indicators of a person’s ego elevation is using a load that is too heavy for their purpose or strength level. It’s not uncommon to see guys in the gym claiming to be training for muscle growth, but using a load that only allows them to perform a few strained reps. While popular consensus holds that heavy weight training improves strength, the sweet spot for muscle hypertrophy is generally believed to be at medium rep ranges (multiple sets of six to 12 reps). In other words, if someone can only do a few reps of a given exercise, they won’t build muscle.
Poor control and technique
Another telltale sign of elevated ego is lack of control and technique. Going too fast, bouncing off the top and bottom positions of a lift (like deadlifts or power cleans), swinging other body parts to generate momentum, and jerking off weight are all dead giveaways.
Of course, there’s always a time when a grip-it-and-rip-it mentality is needed, especially if your goal is to build power, but for most trainees looking for muscle growth and strength increased in the gym, these techniques are the best. avoid.
Partial range of motion
A common sign that someone is lifting with their ego is a reduced range of motion. We’ve all seen this guy load the leg press with stacks of plates only to move the sled two to three inches in either direction. The same goes for the barbell back squat, where people won’t hesitate to throw another plate or two at the bar, only to have them squat the weight.
Needless to say, if you can’t control the weight through a full range of motion, the load is probably too heavy for your current strength levels. You’re much better off taking a step back and moving steadily through the full range of motion your strength allows.
Excessive range of motion
Conversely, excessive range of motion is also a sign that you might be lifting with your ego. Consider the barbell squatter who squats so deeply that his lower back begins to round or the bench presser whose shoulders round as he attempts to bring the barbell up to his chest. This excessive range often attempts to reduce tension in the target muscle and use other joints and muscles to work during the repetition. Although this may allow you to use heavier loads, it may result in reduced stimulation of target muscles and increase the risk of injury.
It’s important to work on the correct range of motion for each exercise to avoid injury and achieve your goals.
Training through the pain
We’ve all heard the saying “no pain, no gain”. But is it something we should be actively looking for when training? The answer, of course, is that it depends on the type of pain.
If an exercise causes a typical burning sensation in the muscle, it’s probably not too detrimental to long-term progress. If, however, a particular load causes a different type of pain, such as a dull throbbing, sharp throbbing pain, or grinding sensation, that is more than likely a bad thing and should not be dismissed. Consider reducing the load, slowing down your movements, or opting for a more “joint-friendly” exercise to avoid making the problem worse.
Why do people get stuck
There are many reasons why people fall into the ego lifting trap.
Try to follow others
Whether it’s working out with a friend, competing against someone else at the gym, or copying the latest program from your favorite trainer’s social media page, trying to keep up with others is a fool’s race, which quickly leads to ego.
While friendly competition is never a bad thing, the gym floor is arguably the most dangerous place to compete with others, especially those who are bigger and stronger. In most cases, the risk of injury is too high for what is likely a low quality training effect.
Not evaluating your form
While we often lament the guy who films every set, there is a benefit to filming your workout. First, it provides honest and transparent control of technique and execution at any given load. Second, it allows comparisons on a single set from first rep to last or across multiple sets as load increases – consistency is key in both cases.
If your technique breaks down near the end of the set, adding load is unlikely to improve the quality of the work you do. Likewise, if the warm-up and power sets are performed in a specific range, it’s a good idea to make sure that your heavier sets are also performed in the same range.
In the pursuit of strength progressions and increased muscle, it is easy to fall into the trap of increasing load at the expense of correct form. Left unchecked, it could turn what was once a textbook technique into a sloppy, shoddy lift ruled solely by ego.
Not learning the correct form
It is extremely common for novice trainees to rush through the first stages of learning resistance training. While understandable, taking the time to master a wide variety of exercises and perfect techniques, focusing on control and ownership over the full range of motion will yield better long-term results. Not only are you more likely to build muscle and strength, but in doing so, you are less likely to hit training plateaus and sustain injury. While lifting a lighter load may not seem as macho, it’s important not to underestimate the need for patience and to take pride in the way you lift.
How to Avoid Raising the Ego
Use more specific tempos
Put special emphasis on the eccentric part of the exercises and pauses in the more difficult positions of the rep.
Use moderate to high rep ranges
A range of eight to 12 reps is considered the sweet spot for muscle growth, but don’t be afraid to go as low as eight or as high as 20-25 for certain exercises (usually those where you use heavier weights). light, where the goal is to improve your muscular endurance).
Train through a full range of motion
Establish the range of motion you have at each joint and through which you can control the load. Try to keep this range consistent for each repetition.
Mastering the Right Technique
Take pride in the way you lift and avoid chasing the load for fun.
Muscle growth is a marathon, not a sprint. This does not happen overnight. In fact, it will probably take you months or even years to build your dream physique. Be prepared for the long haul and make sure you lift in a way that promotes joint longevity. It’s hard to build muscle if you’re constantly injured and your joint health is compromised.
While almost everyone is likely to be guilty of raising their ego at one point or another, it’s important to remember that raising the ego isn’t beneficial for long-term progress in the gym. Poor form can cause short and long term injury and prevent you from gaining muscle and strength. You won’t look half as cool as you think with an injury, and more experienced trainees will see right through your facade. If you really want to fulfill your fitness potential and make gains, leave your ego at the door.
Aroosha Nekonam is a Certified Personal Trainer at Ultimate Performance Gym.
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