I like the point about customizing your training regimen to your particular physiology. After a few years of trying different lifts, I learned that certain lifts are a higher risk of injury for me, and that I can achieve the same or better results by using alternate lifts. [/quote] my guess is that this is an aspect that can divide the ones who progress substantially from the ones who don’t.
[quote]For example, I don’t do overhead shoulder presses any more. Even with good form, they lead to neck problems for me, and I find that I can still make progress without needing to do that particular lift.[/quote] what is your substitute for that exercise?
[quote]I agree it’s important to listen to your body and know your limitations.[/quote] I have always sucked on squats; I have put up to 4 plates on them, that’s nothing for about 25% of the people here I guess. The thing is that I don’t feel the pump in my legs, my brother tried to help on my form for many months (powerlifter, but he would build his legs out of spinning classes), but always sucked. He has always tried to convince me to do the squat, you know “leg press is for pussies, freeweights or die, etc…”. But my legs responded the best once I got to do deep leg presses, and bumped up the reps on my legs. Now I can see the distinction between the vastus lateralis, the teardrop, the rectus femoris, and even my hamstring/quad separation is coming up!!!
[quote] In some cases, I can see choosing a lower weight for safety reasons, but still building muscle through greater ROM, slower timing, or higher reps. [/quote] For lagging bodyparts this is the base for me. Once I focus on the contraction, increase the reps and lower the weight, I’ve had good results.
[quote]Still, the temptation is always there to add another plate. [/quote] yes, but you have to distinguish when your ego is sacrificing good form and increasing risk of injury, instead of going for ‘constant’ progressive overload.
[quote]At some point, you may reach an unnacceptable risk of injury due to the sheer amount of weight you are throwing around. I don’t think most of us are anywhere near that point yet, but it happens.[/quote] I’ve known of many memebers around here who have traded off loads for greater ROM because the weight they were putting had their joints and bones under tremendous stress, they know who they are, and they’re muscular, gut wrenching, big intense mofo’s.
[quote]The only lift I’m remotely concerned about right now is the leg press. My legs are strong enough to push the weight, but I worry about potential knee injuries. I can feel the cartilage crackling in my knees, but so far they have held up ok. It’s a judgment call, I guess.[/quote] Decrease movement speed at the beginning of your warmup, and extend your warmup time. This happens too because my knees suck.