This weekend(both Saturday and Sunday) I spent some time at one of my old gyms catching up with old friends and using some of their more unique, old school equipment. While I was there, one of the school team trainers asked me to spend some time working with some of the college kids on their form and technique. It was nice to have some clean slates to work with because they weren't your typical "I know what I am doing" attitude types.
While showing them a few variations of certain exercises I couldn't help but notice a few flaws in both their forms and techniques. I wanted to help them undo bad habits and decided to ask them where/how they learned how to workout......be it coaches, friends, books or videos...etc. It seems a number of the younger folk learn their techniques from watching other members. They were too intimidated to actually talk to them but would watch and try to imitate what they saw. I was legitimately surprised to hear that. Especially since Football, Baseball, Soccer...etc should train differently for their specific sport. A Soccer player does not need to be reping out heavy weight for 8 reps on concentration curls. LOL.
So I asked....."Can you point out who in this gym you would watch to learn how you should workout?" To no one's surprise....it was all the big muscle bound folk. So we sat and watched these people they pointed out. All were definitely well built and had what these kids wanted. Big muscles............
But my mind went in a different direction....after a few minutes. Watching these weekend warrior BBs I noticed all the bad form and technique................from bad back arch on Military presses(could have been incline bench) to extreme bar swinging on BB arm curls(looked like hip thrusts) to partial squat reps with loaded bars(why load the thing if you can do one full rep). I understand cheat principles and their values to the BB. But this went beyond the occasional cheat rep.......reps 1 through whatever were horrific and painful to watch. I could not single out just one of these people........we were surrounded. These kids didn't stand a chance to get it right.
They did bring up an interesting point after we resumed correcting their issues. "How can they get that way if they aren't doing it right?"........."If I want to get that big do I have to do it that way?" I understand the impatience of youth...or anyone for that matter. The "follow the big guys workout it works...just look at them" concept. But to me their first and most important question rings true..............how did they get that big using such sloppy and incorrect form? It is my eternal question. Did I miss my calling to become a Mr. O contestant by using disciplined and strict form all these years?
My first thought when I see these people banging out reps, not maliciously mind you, has always been and will always be ...."Where did you buy that form?.....You need to return it."