Technique vs Vanity

A conversation I had earlier today had me thinking about vanity today, which carried over into my weights workout just now. Halfway through my deadlifts I glanced to the right and saw my reflection in the cupboard doors. Shockingly I discovered my technique had gone to pot in between sets.

The reason? Vanity, pure and simple. I workout at home, so there was no-one to impress, but I had moved up in weight recently and I clearly wasn’t ready. At 70kg, I was just maintaining a straight back and driving from the hips, At 90kg, my shoulders were being pulled round, and my upper back was arching.

Seeing this I immediately stopped and dropped the weight back down to 70kg. (I suspect last weeks 80kg reps were bad too). It is all to easy to rely on gym mirrors or your trainer to worry about your technique. I tend to focus heavily on technique, and yet a moments lapse of concentration can lead to a lifetime of injury.

So to all those people training on their own, ask yourself this – when you lift, regardless of the lift, are you focussing on your technique, or the weight? Unfortunately, it is inherent in us all, the desire for bigger numbers, but at what cost? Strength, size and endurance gains will come best when you are implementing correct technique.

But more than just that, what can you learn from your current technique? Where are you struggling, how can you change that. In my example, I was unable to keep the chest pushed out at the heavier weight. It’s not the lower leg, or lower back strength, its the upper back.

So in order to progress in the deadlift, it is clear I need to strengthen the upper back, in order to keep the shoulders retracted, and the chest out.

Pull ups, rows and reverse flyes here we come.

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