T Nation

Technique v. Weight


Will good technique eventually catch up to higher weight + shitty technique?

My training partner uses heavier weights than I do and he is smaller in weight and height. The thing is he has terrible form, he just slings the weights around. But, he's the kind of person you can't tell anything to so I've just given up trying to correct him. I guess my question is if I keep good technique will I benefit more than if I just try to do everything like he does? It kind of pisses me off, you guys know how a gym atmosphere can be competitive.

Obviously we're both pretty new to lifting.


Well, when he's laying at home for months because he injured himself, then you can brag to him about the weights you're lifting.

Any weight will sound heavy when you're laying in bed crippled.


The best way to advance is to stick with training for the long term. To stay with it long-term, I wouldn't recommend shitty technique.


If your both new to lifting how can you tell whats good technique and whats bad? Maybe hes just trying harder? I can bench more with an arch than without but 99% of people at my gym think thats bad technique.


I guess I'm not "new to lifting". I just don't know good technique on more complicated things like Olympic lifts. I can spot when a curl or bench is wrong or when someone is swinging a row up or a lat pull down. I figure he might get hurt, but he really won't listen to any advice and just wants to do heavy weights.


Umm I think technique VS weight is the wrong idea. Good technique optimizes the weight you can lift (and if you still can't lift it, then you shouldn't be using that weight.) If you watch videos of even the most intense powerlifters/bodybuilders, they don't make a habit of benching with their ass in the air and bouncing the bar off their chest. ( well.. maybe Branch Warren bounces the bar off his chest LOL. ) Likewise you won't see a world record olympic lift done with crappy form, because they couldn't have lifted it with crappy form.

But there's a difference between lifting fast or with some body english (depending on the exercise) and bad technique that can injure you. If you are sure that your friend is actually using bad technique, then an injury seems inevitable.

Bottom line you need to use the form you need to use in order to avoid getting injured and to use the correct muscles


That makes a lot of sense, thanks.


This is good

But one other thing. No matter how good your form is your body just isnt going to magically going to get stronger. Every so often you have to slap on some weight that feels uncomfortable and grind through some sloppy reps. Dont put yourslf in a position to get hurt but dont expect strength gains to be a feel good activity, until you finish the rep of course; that feels great.


To me, using bad technique is like trying to build a house with only a bulldozer. At some point, you either aren't going to be able to build anymore because your foundation/equipment are too limited, or the whole thing is going to come crashing down. A foundation needs to be laid properly or you won't be able to get anywhere.

And in response to a poster above me, SOMETIMES "good technique" is the form that allows you to lift the most weight - in the case of something like a deadlift. But in bodybuilding, this is not true for everything or even most things for that matter. The form that allows you to squat or bench press the most weight is unlikely to be ideal for building your quads or pecs, in my opinion.

Exercises should always be forceful, but performed deliberately and smoothly, with as much focus and concentration on the stretch and contraction of the target muscle group as possible.


just going to echo what bonez said. there are a lot of people at my gym that are form police and guess what? they use the same weights for everything as the first day i stepped in to that particular gym. lift safely but a little body english now and again isnt going to hurt, might even help you progress.

p.s. youtube Kroc row and you'll see the benefit of some body english.


Proper technique will keep you healthier longer. Also, some "body english" isnt a bad thing on assistance lifts and isolation movements, however you dont want it on the core compound lifts.

Also, in a competition setting, if you and I are pretty evenly matched, then I will beat you with technique, because I will be able to push through sticking points. My 3rd attempt on squat and bench the last few meets have all taken arund 4-5 seconds to complete, but because I can keep my form, I was able to push through the sticking points, where my competition folded. The strength will be there, taking some time to learn proper technique will not lower your numbers.