They have bigger muscles than you...but they're doing it wrong

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 17, 2013 4:03 AM GMT
    This is something that I've always been bugged by when I'm at the gym.

    Often times I see guys who have really fit bodies, usually bodybuilders, who are doing an exercise with certain things that I have been told are wrong; things that are generally widely known to cause injury or to be counterproductive.

    A lot of what I see has to do with improper form. Here are a few examples off the top of my head:

    - Doing reps too quickly and depending a lot on momentum to get the weight up
    - Forgetting to straighten your back for certain exercises
    - Not breathing/holding breath between reps
    - Not using full range of motion (although I guess this could be on purpose sometimes)
    - Hyper-extending joints

    A lot of these things fall under type of advice you hear from "experts" and read in articles in regards to what you should not be doing. And there seems to be a reasonable explanation for each of them as far as how it impedes your success in gaining weight or getting stronger.

    Yet here are these guys, these really buff guys, who are doing all those things. So I'm wondering how is it exactly that these guys have gotten to the point that they are at doing all these things wrong? Are they just lucky? Are they just doing enough other exercising outside the gym for it to work? Are they on the road to an injury despite the progress they are showing?
  • popobtc

    Posts: 74

    May 19, 2013 3:57 AM GMT
    I've seen this as well bro...They are still moving weight ie they will build muscle, however the consequences of such heavy weights with improper form might lead to problems later in life which IMO defeats the purpose of lifting
  • He_Man

    Posts: 906

    May 19, 2013 4:13 AM GMT
    Don't be too quick to judge seasoned bodybuilders. Rules and working out guidelines are helpful to people starting out in bodybuilding, but once the basics have been mastered, you'll notice a lot of pros will "cheat," so to speak. They didn't build their bodies by not knowing what they were doing.

    To the untrained eye, it looks like they are using poor form, not utilizing full ROM, or, even, cheating, but I guarantee you that these guys know what they are doing, even if they are cheating. You must first master the basics as a novice, and then after you have mastered the rules, you are free to break those rules to push your body past a certain threshold.

    Many bodybuilders will use proper form up until they reach their last set and then break form just to work the muscles, fatiguing them even further. Again, cheating is something that requires years of knowledge and years of understanding your own body, not something for the beginner. Cheating is not always bad, especially if you know how and when to "cheat."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 19, 2013 5:04 AM GMT
    My best friend is a former personal trainer and he frequently talks about this very topic when we discuss going to the gym. He says that being in the weight area is cringe-worthy for him, because a lot of the guys there are using improper and in some cases dangerous form. His exact words - "they may look great now, but they will be in a lot pain down the road."

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 19, 2013 5:13 AM GMT
    go_dreaming saidThis is something that I've always been bugged by when I'm at the gym.

    Often times I see guys who have really fit bodies, usually bodybuilders, who are doing an exercise with certain things that I have been told are wrong; things that are generally widely known to cause injury or to be counterproductive.

    A lot of what I see has to do with improper form. Here are a few examples off the top of my head:

    - Doing reps too quickly and depending a lot on momentum to get the weight up
    - Forgetting to straighten your back for certain exercises
    - Not breathing/holding breath between reps
    - Not using full range of motion (although I guess this could be on purpose sometimes)
    - Hyper-extending joints
    ...
    Sounds like crossfitters, not bodybuilders.

    Just kidding. icon_lol.gif

    Cheat reps, pump sets, and partial reps are techniques in bodybuilding. When used properly, it helps to achieve the hypertrophy that helps muscle to grow.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 21, 2013 3:14 AM GMT
    I encourage trainers I work with to walk away (without warning) and keep someone from hurting themselves. Someday, that person could be...me.

    Some machines are popular at gyms because market forces demand them. Not because they are safe.

  • musicdude

    Posts: 734

    May 21, 2013 3:28 AM GMT
    ok, this isn't completely on topic, but, going with the whole fast motion vs slow motion, isn't the best technique to a explosive yet controlled contraction followed by a slower release?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 21, 2013 3:39 AM GMT
    Don't ever go by what 'body builders' or better built guys are doing. Trust me they didn't get to where they are by doing whatever they may be doing at that moment, 90% of the time they're trying new exercises and targeting muscles they rarely trained before.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2013 3:41 AM GMT
    musicdude saidok, this isn't completely on topic, but, going with the whole fast motion vs slow motion, isn't the best technique to a explosive yet controlled contraction followed by a slower release?


    Kind of. In order to stimulate hypertrophic changes in the muscle, a fast concentric phase (lifting against resistance) and a slower eccentric phase (the "lowering" phase of a lift) is ideal. So, if you were doing a bicep curl, you'd lift the bar in the span of 1 second, then lower the bar 3-4+ seconds. This has to do with the different actin and myosin filament cross-bridging mechanics during the eccentric phase. This leads to more micro-tears in the myofibrils, and consequently, DOMS is experienced to a greater degree. When your body rebuilds that muscle over time, you get a bigger muscle. Yay!
  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    May 22, 2013 4:07 AM GMT
    Yah I see guys doing weird stuff and they are big so who knows maybe luck? drugs? IDK

    Quick Question:

    The one arms overhead tri extension, can you do it with your elbow pointing straight out from you or pointing to the side?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2013 8:57 PM GMT
    The real problem with the big guys "cheating" is that the newbies mimic them without really understanding the consequences. It's not the big guys fault nor responsibility, just a possibly dangerous situation in which they are setting a bad example.