Finding the balance…
Stepping into the gym for the first time or embarking on a new fitness journey can be overwhelming. From new exercises to new equipment, like maces, sleds, kettlebells? It may seem difficult to know where to focus your efforts.
Two crucial aspects of gym training are mastering proper technique and gradually increasing the weight you lift. But which one should take priority? Let’s have a look at the importance of both technique and adding weight, and shed some light on where to begin in order to optimize your progress in the gym and keep you thirsty for more!
The Significance of Technique
- Foundation for Safe Training: Technique forms the foundation for safe and effective training. It ensures that you perform exercises with the correct form, minimizing the risk of injuries. Proper technique helps maintain alignment, distributes the load evenly, and reduces stress on joints and connective tissues.
- Targeted Muscle Activation: Emphasizing technique allows you to better target specific muscle groups. By executing exercises with proper form, you engage the intended muscles more effectively, leading to greater muscle activation and growth. Precise movements help eliminate compensatory actions and ensure that the desired muscles are being appropriately stimulated.
- Long-Term Progression: Mastering technique sets you up for long-term progression. Building a solid foundation of proper movement patterns and motor control enhances your ability to handle increased weights safely and efficiently. By focusing on technique first, you establish a strong mind-muscle connection and optimize your potential for future gains.
The Role of Adding More Weight
- Progressive Overload: Adding more weight to your exercises is a key component of progressive overload. Progressive overload refers to gradually increasing the demands placed on your muscles, forcing them to adapt and grow stronger. By progressively increasing the weight lifted over time, you create a stimulus for continuous improvement.
- Strength and Muscle Development: Lifting heavier weights promotes strength and muscle development. The additional resistance challenges your muscles to work harder, leading to greater adaptations. As you increase the weight, you stimulate muscle fibers to grow and become stronger, resulting in improved muscle size and strength gains.
- Mental Confidence and Motivation: The act of adding more weight can boost your mental confidence and motivation. Achieving milestones and surpassing previous limits instills a sense of accomplishment and inspires you to push further. The psychological aspect of training is key, and the belief in your ability to handle heavier loads can fuel your drive to excel. This is what drives us to stay motivated and interested!
While both technique and adding more weight are essential, we have to strike a balance to optimize our performance and stay motivated.
Let’s make a plan:
- Begin with Technique: Prioritize learning and refining proper technique before focusing on adding substantial weight. Master the fundamental movement patterns and ensure you have a solid understanding of the exercises you plan to incorporate into your routine. Seek guidance from a qualified coach to ensure you’re performing exercises correctly.
- Gradually Increase Weight: Once you have established a foundation of sound technique, begin incorporating gradual increases in weight. Start with manageable increments and progress at a pace that allows your body to adapt. This approach minimizes the risk of injury and ensures that your muscles are adequately prepared to handle the additional load.
- Continual Technique Refinement: I can not emphasize this enough! Even as you increase the weight, continue to refine your technique. Regularly evaluate your form and make necessary adjustments to optimize muscle activation and prevent any deviations that may compromise your safety or hinder progress. We all need to continuously refine our movements. You know who else does this? Professional and Olympic athletes!
- Periodic Technique Check-Ins: Periodically revisit your technique to address any imbalances or flaws that may have developed over time. Seek out and ask for feedback from your DSC coaches. There are always things we can do to improve and fine tune.
Focusing on technique should be your initial priority, when getting started with fitness or even when coming back to it. By establishing proper form and movement patterns, you set a strong foundation for safe and effective training. Once you have mastered technique, gradually increasing the weight becomes the next logical step. We want to stay in the game long term and in this way, we set ourselves up for success and being around to fight another day!
Remember, patience and consistency are key. Give yourself time to develop a strong foundation, listen to your body, and progress at a pace that suits your individual abilities.