After working out tonight with my son, I found myself discussing with him one of the principles that I feel will be a great principal to discuss in this platform, and that is the mind-muscle connection versus heavy weight.
You see way too often, especially in the younger demographic, the emphasis is to see how much weight you can lift, and sacrifice form. However like I tried to explain to my son, it’s not how much you lift. Let me rephrase that, heavy weight is a very important variable in increasing muscle mass and strength, however heavy weight isn’t just the answer.
Like I explained, anybody can go in and throw weight around, that does not mean that your muscles are being targeted efficiently and that you are breaking down the muscles that you were looking to break down. I explained that you are much better off and will experience much more progress if you slow the movement down and feel the muscle contract throughout the range of motion. The weight should be second in nature to the mind muscle connection and the feel, and I’d rather see a client start with a lower weight and establish that connection and then slowly increase the weight.
Remember the goal is to break down the muscle and allow it to recover and gain strength. If you are throwing around heavy weight using incorrect form you are utilizing momentum and not your muscles to carry the weight through the range of motion. Therefore it is much more beneficial to slow the movement down, increase the time under tension, and feel the muscle contract and stretch then begin to increase the weight.
Just a little tip that I think will help many of you out there if you or someone you know is training way too heavy and sacrificing correct form. Remember always be safe.