Why Train With Good Form Anyway?

May 16, 2022

if you've been around fitness for any amount of time then I'm sure you've heard plenty about lifting with good form. Plenty of people rightfully preach about the importance of having good form, the most common reason you hear being about safety. And while I agree that safety is the biggest factor driving you to make sure your form is good, there's another thing I think perfecting your form can help you achieve as well.

This was something I didn't notice until I was many years into lifting, and it was something I realized through watching others when I was training clients or when people would ask me for a spot at the gym randomly. The first thing I would notice was that every rep looked different. If they were benching, the bar would touch their chest in a different spot nearly every rep, their elbows would flare and shake, and most times their legs wouldn't be planted on the ground. And my first thought seeing this was, "this is chaos".

After doing the same lifts most likely thousands of times, I realized that all that focus on form over the years gave me confidence. I know that when I grab a dumbbell or barbell to do a movement, I'm not worried about anything other than moving that weight. I no longer have any doubts about a weight causing me harm, because part of bettering my form required me to learn to not only lift correctly, but to fail correctly.

If there's any tips I could give for helping to push yourself along in getting your best form for any lift, I'd say for one, always be willing to lower the weight. I see people get trapped all the time in trying to do more weight every week, or the same weight they see someone else doing, but you want to make sure when you're doing a lift that it's not just a "move it at any cost" lift, but rather a lift you're feeling in the intended muscles (ie. in your chest rather than your shoulders on a bench press). And a second tip would be to not be afraid to ask for advice or for someone to check if you're doing something right. Even to this day I'll record some of my sets to see if there's anything I could be doing better. And when I was learning new things I'd watch videos of guys doing certain lifts I wanted to try so I'd at least have a template of what it should look like when I get to the gym to try it myself. 

All in all, just remember that working on form isn't only something that will keep you safe for years to come. Once you start to really master the lifts you do the most, you'll start to worry less and lift more.