Here’s a simple question for anyone out there who considers themselves a gym rat: How honest is your workout? This has been a three year long ordeal for me and it wasn’t based on a theory, it was based on a necessity. You see I was just like most people that go to the gym, my ego would take over and I would load up the bars, and just throw the weight around with bad form and no focus. It was when I had no feeling whatsoever in my right arm that I finally had to get with reality. The changing of the seasons really made the pain in my arm come out, as my sensitivity to cold was off the charts. If I had been honest about it all years previous I would have realized that I had a serious issue, but I figured I would just live with it and hopefully work it all out.
The real problem came in the fact that my left side was getting so much stronger than my right side (my dominant side, although I have always been reasonably ambidextrous) that I couldn’t just ignore it anymore. While my right arm was struggling now with weights as low as ten pounds in not just curls and press downs but now such things as presses and flyes, I finally sought help, and found out that I had a simple (and you wouldn’t believe how simple) neck injury, and it didn’t take me very long to rectify this with stretching and neck specific exercises. The damage had been done though, as I was over ten years into bodybuilding and now had to start over. By start over I mean 20 lb dumbbell presses, 10 lb cable flyes and 5 lb reverse curls. My ego was crushed but you can work with that.
My last chest arm day I was doing 70 lb (each arm) dumbbell presses, 45 lb (each arm) cable flyes and I can pretty easily do a 25 lb reverse curl. It only took me three years to get there BUT (and this is a very important but) my form on all of these things is absolutely beautiful. As a matter of fact my form on most exercises is pretty close to spot on. It’s one of the reasons I started doing videos to demonstrate that there is a right way to do these things. Pushing the ego aside is the best way to really gain strength and mass, and I still have to do these things today, especially when dealing with the lower back and legs which have been neglected for far too long.
Just today I had to have a good talk with myself about bad form and accept that I would be better off just starting over on a few things I do. I started my squats today at a whopping 90 lbs (145 lbs if you include the bar) but for a very good reason. I did perfect enviable sets, where as my butt was about an inch off the floor at the down cycle of every rep. By the time I was finished with my five full sets I was only doing 270 lbs (315 lbs if you include the bar) but I was still getting my ass about an inch off the floor, and you know what? I blew my legs out so good that I feel like I am floating when I walk. I wasn’t getting that off of those 540 lb cheating squats I was doing on Monday. Live and learn folks, but I say it all the time, “Perfect Form and Lower Weights is a LOT Better Than Showing Off!”