Not many strength trainees have personal trainers or strength coaches to check up on them when they are lifting. I actually think that most people who do strength training have never had any formal help of any kind. Probably, if you did a survey or something, you'd find the number of trainees with this kind of luxury so small it is insignificant. This means that most trainees are on their own and get no advice whatsoever, or they get their advice from the internet. Most training advice on the internet seems to come back to exercise form. Everybody seems to be an expert on “form.” Also, there are a lot of technique experts. I doubt that most of these internet-experts even know what the word form means. And since the word form and technique are used interchangeably, they must not know what technique means either. It's not easy to explain, so I asked Eric how he would go about explaining it, and here is what he had to say:
Continue Reading » The Reality of Using Lifting Videos for Exercise Form Checks
A while back I made a post called Asinine Expectations. In one I said that it is a false assumption to expect your "form" to perfectly match someone else's form on a given complex movement. This is something I've come across with trainees again and again. They look at other people lifting, or worse, look at STILL IMAGES and think they are doing it wrong if they don't "match" when they do the exercise pictured.
Learning a lift is not the same thing as receiving instruction on a lift and demonstrating a basic grasp of the technique. Learning is a more complex and ongoing process.
Let's examine two different hypothetical training situations, both novice lifters beginning their first real strength training program, to see how they learn the lifts.
Continue Reading » The Honeymoon Period
You know I love how the words 'teach' and 'learn' get mixed up. Provided you are concentrating on just a particular exercise rather than a general technique overview, you can teach a person a basic slow lift in 10 to 20 minutes.
Meaning, you can INSTRUCT them on it it that time frame and have them go through the motions, correct the mistakes, etc. That doesn't mean they have LEARNED the lift. That means they have received instruction on the lift and gone through an initial training session with it.
Continue Reading » Teaching Versus Learning The Lifts