T Nation

"Big Guys Use Bad Form"?

Big Guys Use Bad Form
by Lee Boyce | 04/24/14

I think that article needs a new title. To me using bad form means breaking weight lifting guidelines that are there to prevent injury. Good form for many exercises is there to protect our lower backs.

But when I read his article, he’s written about changing the focus of exercises, the mind’s direction of muscles so an exercise meant to build the back builds the biceps instead.

This is basically getting at the difference between form and technique.

Beginners fixate on form; how a movement LOOKS when executed. More advanced folks understand technique; how the movement was achieved. In the case of the latter, form follows technique, whereas for the former, trainees use whatever technique they can to create the “proper form”.

Once I stopped worrying about form, I got much bigger and stronger. But I suppose part of that too is that I quit worrying about getting injured.


Thing is that as a beginner, you have so many things your trying to do to get the movement down.

But the more you practice, the less you have to think about those things until it’s second nature which allows you to focus more on the technique.

There’s also the increases awareness of one’s body in space which allows a more advanced lifter to use some more body english to more effectively achieve the desired results. Which again, just takes lots of practice.

Let’s take db rows vs Kroc rows. The db row is the one done with textbook form. Bringing the dumbbell in with a neutral grip in an arc to the hip with a squeeze at the top and a stretch at the bottom.

But with the Kroc row, you just try to move the weight to your lower ribs with your lats and back. If you’re lats and upper back get torched, you know you did it right even if form wasn’t textbook.

I wouldn’t recommend beginners use Kroc rows because they’re not going to have the mind-muscle connection or awareness of their body in space to get the results.

1 Like

Spot on, although my experience with Kroc rows is that fucking EVERYTHING is torched.


Quick question: Is a kroc row the same thing as a cheating one arm dumbbell row?

Yes normally for high reps with or without straps. I have got a lot out of them. You will have to weld your dumbbells in time though. I was using 90-100kg for reps.


No; specific technique, function and goal.

This is a great article on the topic