Tuesday, April 14, 2020

My Undeniable Truths of Weight Training for Beginners - Part 5 - Strive for poundage progression using good form - By RJ Hicks, BS, CSCS

As a beginner, one of the biggest tips I can offer you is to strive for poundage progression in all of your exercises, utilizing good form. I say strive, because you cannot always add weight each workout and that is okay. Just because you’re not adding weight each workout doesn’t mean the program is not working. It takes time to lift poundage’s you’ve never lifted before.

There is no need to over-complicate your training program and base your poundage progression on time. Drug -free trainees cannot predict their bodies ability to handle heavier weights by looking at a calendar. You cannot just add 5 pounds a week to your lifts, because the workout told you too. Many programs get away with adding weight this way because they train with far too light of a weight. It is a total waste of time and energy to back off the weights the heavy weights just to several weeks later return to the same weight. It’s just false progression. True poundage progression means you are lifting a weight you have never done before. Time does not dictate your strength levels, how you decide to train and recover does.

Think the phrase, “lift heavy weight, then try to lift heavier weight” until it is ingrained in your mind. Training progressively means just that. You are trying to lift heavier weights to keep your current weights from getting easy. Lifting heavy means, you are lifting the greatest amount of weight you can properly handle in good form for the correct number of repetitions. It is not based on anyone else’s performance just your current ability and goal. Once the repetition goal is reached in good form you add some weight. This keeps the weight from getting too easy so that your muscles are continually challenged. If you are lifting as heavy as possible for the proper number of repetitions and don’t add weight each week, who cares! It is the constant attempt to improve your poundage that builds great size and strength

Do not overlook importance of using proper form in your weight training if you’re looking to maximize your strength. No momentum should be used to help raise the weight. Never try to quickly reverse or bounce the weight to gain momentum to start the next repetition. Pause momentarily in the muscle contracted position. Squeeze the barbell to your abdominals momentarily during barbell rows before lowering the weight. Do not drop the weight at the top of the contracted position. Slowly reverse the direction of the weight and use the same muscles that got the weight up to lower the weight back down. You never want the weight to fall down into the start position. Lifting the weight up is only one half of the lift, make sure you lower the weight as well. Lastly, be sure to raise and lower the weight through the muscles full range of motion (fullest range of motion that is safe for you). If you only train part of the movement you only train part of the targeted muscles.

The amount of repetitions and sets prescribed doesn’t matter if you lift the weights haphazardly. It is more important to perform the repetitions correctly with heavy weight you can handle then to bombard the muscles with a ton of volume or weight that is past your current lifting ability. You must make your training count!

Consistently battling with heavy weight without cheating may seem to be a slow method of building strength, but it will reward you will great strength if you can keep with it. Ignore the short-cuts and miracle methods that will try to distract you from this truth. There are no quick fixes for strength for natural trainees. Stick to the advice of the old-time strongmen from long ago and strive for poundage progression using good form.

Does modern bodybuilding make you sick? You should write for Natural Strength! I always need good articles about drug-free weight training. It only has to be at least a page and nothing fancy. Just write it strong and truthful with passion! Send your articles directly to me: bobwhelan@naturalstrength.com

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