Everybody heard about Olympic weight lifters, these people lift big weights by lifting the barbell over the head, same as we lift in gym for shoulder barbell press. But carefully compare the muscle development for shoulders of Olympic weight lifters and Bodybuilding champions. Bodybuilding champions shoulder development is far beyond the development of Olympic weight lifters, reason is the motto and way of lifting weights, a bodybuilder lift weights to build muscle in very controlled way in which maximum muscles get involved. On other hand, the weight lifters lift weight to win competition in any way without worrying about muscle involvement, their basic motto is to lift maximum weights ONLY.
With above point, my aim is not to prove weight lifters wrong, That’s their sport, they are right at their place. The problem arises when a gym going person who wants to build muscle follow weight lifters logic in lifting weight in gym. His years of training in gym results in poor muscle development. At the end, they quit gym because of dissatisfaction from their physique.
Today we will discuss about mistakes which might allow you to lift heavier weights, do more repetitions, but sadly build no such muscles as you will expect.
To explain these mistakes, we will use example of standing barbell curl as its one of the most abused (Wrongly performed) exercise.
Jerk is a sudden force applied to perform any task almost effortlessly.
When curling the barbell in biceps barbell curl, the bottom most movement while lifting the weights is the place where jerk gets involved. But question arises why people use jerk? They use jerk to lift heavier weights and to do X-repetition without thinking about what actually it does.
The problem occurs by using jerk is you complete lower lift of a curl without any valuable effort made by the targeted muscle (biceps) and we lift weight to build muscle which can’t be fulfilled by this technique.
Is jerk all bad? The answer is No! jerk can be used in a useful way but this is the place where you need experienced trainer to guide you how to perform any such movement. But I will try to explain you people a simple and effective way of using jerk. Use them at end of any set when you can’t perform any more repetition with proper form, at this stage, jerk will allow you to do few more repetitions when you were planning to keep the bar down, be careful and don’t overdo it for safety reasons.
Gravity is force acting towards earth, it pulls everything towards it and people love to use this force to down the weight while exercising. Keeping weights down very fast can lead to muscle pull or minor tears in muscle and you should be careful about this.
Actually gravity is the same force which don’t allow you to lift weight easily or simply the force which makes weight feel heavier.
In example of standing barbell curl, people use this force in moving the weights down, but this never lead to muscle development. Try to go against gravity while moving the weights down, this is also called as negative repetitions. They really help in adding more intensity to your workout.
Most people loves to swing their barbell during barbell curls, sadly it doesn’t build muscle, it just allow you to do few more cheated repetitions. Actually swinging the barbell generates force which is a combination of (Momentum and oscillatory motion) that helps you lift the weight easily. These forces acts as enemy when it comes to muscle building.
But again we can use Swing in an useful way. Use them at end of your strict repetitions in barbell curl. The basic idea is to put all your cheating techniques after the the non-cheated repetitions to produce maximum muscle stimulation.
4) Bodies auto adjustment
When people perform barbell curl for very first time in gym and when they are unable to do any more repetitions, Nobody taught this to them but still their body finds the way of leaning forward and backward, changing angles etc to lift weights easily, actually human body auto adjust himself to perform any task, in our case – biceps barbell curl. Now again its the wrong way of doing things and you have go against this natural behavior of human body to produce better muscular development. Let the biceps work, not your back.
Leaning forward and backward is also dangerous for lower back and might lead to injuries, be careful of it.
Just imagine combining all above ways of cheating to lift weights, you can complete almost 80% of lift without any meaningful efforts, resulting in No muscle development, this is the reason why I have written this article.
Don’t just lift weights, build muscles.