By Riley Bestwick

As I was walking through the gym yesterday, I saw a group of guys doing squats. (Since I work at a major gym chain, this was a very rare sight. Most people are on the Smith machines, you know?)

I watched them do a few sets and, while I was stoked they were doing squats, I was a bit pissed off that they were just going through the motions. One guy was even having a conversation with his friend while he was squatting.

I didn’t want to make these guys feel uncomfortable, so I walked away and didn't say anything. But now I kinda wish I would've. Maybe something like:

"Listen, weightlifting is supposed to be hard. You can't talk about what chick you're hoping to nail tonight while you're under a bar. If you can talk when lifting, the weight isn't nearly heavy enough.

Do you even know how to build muscle? You must cause micro-trauma to your muscles in the gym, go home, eat, sleep, and let them recover. But your muscles aren't going to grow by doing what you're doing. You're not even challenging yourself. Aside from burning a few measly calories, you're wasting your time.

The next time you come in here, I want you to be serious. I want you to bring an iPod with the kind of songs your mother would faint if she heard you playing. But most importantly, I want you to lift like you mean it. Pick the hardest exercises that give you the most bang for your buck—deadlifts, squats, bench presses, chin-ups, rows—load them up with heavy weight, and work your ass off.

You should be breathing heavy. You should be using perfect form. You should be gaining some freakin' muscle.

You already have a few training partners. That's good. Now hold each other accountable. Does your friend want to gain ten pounds of muscle? Keep him honest. Make sure he's lifting hard and eating big. And make sure he's doing the same for you. You can't build a great body by half-assing your workouts.

Now get out of my squat rack."

Now, maybe I didn't say it to the guys at my gym, but I bet we could all use a little reminder of what we're trying to accomplish when we get under the bar. To build a badass, muscular, lean body, we need to focus and lift like we mean it.

Anything else is a waste of time.

Lift Like You Mean It


This exclusive article (and others) can be found in the latest Wannabebig Serious About Muscle Newsletter - July 15th, 2010

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