Think about that question for a moment. How you perceive the meaning of form can make the difference between mediocre gains over the years—and packing-on the most thick, rock-hard muscle possible in the shortest period of time.
Form means using technique during an exercise to effectively stimulate the muscle for growth. It does not mean rigid, deliberate exercise execution. Overloading the targeted muscle group stimulates maximum growth—not strict form.
Yes, I realize that the textbooks, personal trainers, and the “know-it-alls” in your gym always cram the importance of strict form down your throat.
But, what is your real goal? To train in a manner that everyone in your gym will accept? Or, train in a way that packs on muscle faster? Focus on what produces results
—not just the methods that are supposed to get you those results.
Think about it. The safest, most conservative advice when it comes to training that anyone could give you would be to “always use strict form.”
But I’m telling you that advice will not
maximize your potential to build the most muscle in the shortest period of time.
Let’s say that you were a runner striving to be your very best and I was your doctor. You came to me complaining that your knees hurt when you ran. The safest, most-widely accepted recommendation I could give you would be to stop running for awhile, wouldn’t it?
How could I go wrong with that advice? I couldn’t. But would you be able to maximize your running potential in the shortest period of time? Who knows for sure? You aren’t even trying to get the most out of what ability you do have. Have you ever noticed that some of the most successful, dedicated, and hardest working bodybuilders in the world use what some would call “less-than-perfect” form?
The best bodybuilders in the world have gone beyond conventional thinking
and have discovered that overloading the targeted muscle group stimulates maximum growth—not strict form.
You have to find the right balance between heavy, challenging, muscle-taxing weight and using exercise execution and technique that’s good enough to hit the targeted muscle group. This may take some time and practice—but you won’t find that right balance until you make it your goal to do so.
I’m always striving for that perfect balance
—and so should you. I’m never satisfied. I’m not satisfied if I’m lifting incredible weight, but am overly sloppy while doing so.
And, I’m certainly not satisfied if I’m handling lighter weight just because I used perfect, textbook form that everyone would approve of.
Again, form does not mean rigid, deliberate exercise execution. In fact, being too rigid while striving to lift heavier weight can overly restrict the body’s natural movement—and is more likely to cause injury than somewhat loose or more forgiving form.
Of course, you don’t want to hurt yourself using form that’s too sloppy or careless. But where’s that “happy medium”? You’ll have to experiment to find it.
Constantly challenging yourself to lift heavier weight takes courage. But stepping up to the challenge of aggressively tackling heavier weight will help you pack-on the highest quality muscle in the shortest period of time.
Check yourself. Make sure that you aren’t rationalizing the fact that you’re not striving to train heavier because of fear.
It’s much easier to play it safe and overemphasize the importance of strict form so that you don’t have to face the fear that every one of us face every time we step in the gym.
Is strict form ReSTRICTing your muscle gains? Focus on what produces results and find the right balance between heavy, challenging, muscle-taxing weight and using exercise execution and technique that’s good enough to hit the targeted muscle group