T Nation

Is it wise to concentrate on poundages rather than technique?

I was at the gym today when i heard two guys talking about technique and how important it really is. One of them actually said " its all about technique and not about heavy weights". BULLSHIT!!! I always go to the gym thinking if i m going to beat my previous lift, or perform better than the last time. I couldn’t think of anything more boring than going to the gym and lifting 50 pounds bench press. I have always wondered why guys with really good looking bodies lift pathetic weights, its obvious they can lift much much heavier.
Dont get me wrong i try to have my technique as correct as possible WHILE trying to lift heavy weight.
Technique is important but heavy weights is equally as important.

So you cheat a little in order to feed your ego? Or are you saying you go heavy and only get lower reps? Most people grow best in the 10 to 12 hypertrophy zone, so the old “go heavy or go home” T-shirt slogan isn’t really correct. I side with technique. Those who are sloppy (not necessarily talking about you Slaine) are either ignorant or stroking their egos.

No reason why you cannot lift heavy with good technique. Actually, I have found that the majority of guys that “look great” are not the strong. I think Poliquin said that there are many Pro BB that are extremely weak for their size. Not that I am constantly staring at guys in the gym, but the guys who “look” the best in my gym have aroung 5-6% BF. My 10 year old daughter could bench and squat more than them. It’s all what you are after.

Agreed. Too many people compete with absolutely everyone. The only valid person to compete with is yourself. I cringe to avoid laughter seeing people doing lateral raise/cleans(looking like a seagull trying to get a peice of seagull ass by flaunting their windspan), incline dumbell parallel grip elbow raise cleans. upright row cleans, supine(means lying on your back, prone is on the belly, as in prone is on the bone, supine is on the spine) sternum bounces, inertia pulls, etc.
I see more validity is maximum quality, progressive effort.

Funny thing is, there seems to be a ceiling to the poundages that can be cheated on the major lifts, meaning that if you really want to be strong, you’d better learn to use good form. If you think about it, strength is largely a form of coordination, no different that throwing a ball or something - the more efficient your muscles can work in unison the stronger they can collectively contract. Besides, what’s so macho about cheating an additional 20 pounds on some esoteric exercise like a cable row or calf raise. I’d rather push big pounds on a DL or squat. My two cents…

One of the great thrills of going to the gym for me is lifting a weight that i dont know whether my body will cope with.

As stated earlier, it is all about what you are after. It appears that you are more of a powerlifter type, more impressed with moving large amounts of iron in a sigle effort. The asthetics of building muscle along the way are merely an added bonus. Well, many of us concetrate more on the creation of lean mass and fitting into our own image of that ideal physic that we carry around in our heads and superimpose over that guy that stares back at us when we look into a mirror (which occurs quite often). It has been said that powerlifters are frustrated bodybuilders and visa-versa. The best thing to do is to evaluate your personal goals (which may change from time to time) and design/implement a program that will take you there. Aloha!

I side with technique 100% of the time. Need me to preach, and brag? Here’ya go - I’m 43, been training religiously since 1975. I began competing in BB in 1980 and still compete today, but in the mid 80’s I did a three year stint of competitive lifting. I mean lifting for that all important one-rep max. Well, I’ve paid for it ever since - knee surgery, both elbows wrecked, shoulder problems, even had a hairline fracture of the spine due to heavy deadlifting. I did lift heavy - best sanctioned power lifting meet - squat-- 590 - bench–440 and dead–700. What a joke!! I did everything known to man at that time to be as strong as I could. Word of advice train smart. Leave your ego in your gym bag and don’t risk years of quality lifting. I love the gym and plan on competing into my 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond. I’ve competed in over 25 BB shows and placed 1-3 in all but 2 - I truly love this hobby. So my reps very seldom go below 6 and progress can still be made. ENUF

I agree technique is important, but just moving heavy ass weight anyway you can does have value. You can really push your strenth toa new level. I practice gross movements sometimes, cheating like hell,just getting the weight up. I also supplement that with higher reps lighter wieght and good technique. I take a more of a quantum view of wieght lifting.I just incorperate some basic physics in to the movements. Putting numbers on the movements you can the value of good technique and going heavy, but cheating. Both have value andputting the two theories together work the best for me.

I think you answered your own question: “guys with really good looking bodies lift pathetic weights, its obvious they can lift much much heavier”, its because they know throwing weight around is BULLSHIT, they know that lifting slowly and with strict form makes it harder thus the use lighter weights. their body’s are proof that it is working. Are you at the gym to get bigger or show off?