Everyone Does It Wrong

Mike Lipowski

Now that you know everyone is doing it wrong, want to know why?

It’s the most common thing we here from new members who either still belong to a big box gym or had belonged to one. After just one or two sessions it becomes glaringly obvious that the way 99% of gym-goers perform their exercises is completely and utterly crappy. (That’s technical description.)

Seriously. You see the shit people do and you so badly want to tell them that they’re way off the reservation. But you can’t tell them because, “what do you know?” Plus, everyone else is doing it just like them.

But there’s a very real reason why everyone. But there’s a very real reason why everyone looks like they’re doing the Looney Toons version of weight training.

It’s part of our DNA!

For real.

We are designed to avoid anything that truly challenges our body. And if we can’t avoid the challenge we find the easiest way to contend with it.

That’s why all of us (myself included) need to constantly be reminded to drop our shoulders, relax our neck, breath, keep our head and chest up, move slower, stop squirming, avoid jerking, yanking, or bouncing the weight, stop before lockout, pause before changing direction, and maintain proper position.

All of these and any other “violations” I left out are things we do to reduce the challenge of completing the rep(s)—especially as we reach fatigue. It’s instinctual.

What’s not instinctual is intentionally making an exercise harder by keeping all the tension on the target muscle(s).

However the purpose of resistance exercise is just that—fatigue muscles by keeping continuous tension on them.

Watching the way most people lift, you can rest assured they are keeping continuous tension on their muscles...just not the right ones. Take a look at this picture of everyone’s favorite bodybuilder Arnold, doing bicep curls back in the day.

You can walk into any gym today and see any number of ego driven dudes doing curls just like this. The only problem is, it’s not really a bicep curl. It’s more like a bicep-back-arch-pelvic-thrust-sissy squat-barbell launch.

The range-of-motion through which the biceps were doing actual work in this example is less than a bicep curl done in a strict mechanical fashion.

So why not perform the exercise with strict mechanical form?

Because it doesn’t look as cool or impressive when you have half the amount of weight on the bar. This is why nearly every monkey in the weight training area of every big box gym across the globe uses monkey worthy form.

Despite the heavier loads they are lifting the exercise is actually EASIER on the intended target muscle. Which is also why they require more hours working out in order to feel as though they’ve sufficiently worked a muscle.

To truly be effective you have to be intentional about your training.

If the way we train here feels harder than any other type of weight-training or exercise you’ve done before it’s because we designed it that way. If you’re waiting for it to ever feel easier, it won’t. It’s not supposed to.

Don’t get me wrong. There are times when we will scale back the intensity or stop short of absolute muscle fatigue to avoid overtraining and allow the body more recovery time. But we will never compromise on form.

It’s not just a safety issue. It’s an efficiency issue.

The reason why people can come here and achieve greater strength gains and muscle development training only 1-2 hours a week versus 1-2 hours a day is because every exercise is performed precisely how it is supposed to for its intended purpose. the monkey lifters have muscle? Yes. Are some of them strong? Yes. Are they getting something from their training even though they look like a jackass doing it?


But they also have a much higher risk of acute and chronic injuries. They have more muscle imbalances. Aesthetically they lack symmetry. And they require more time training to make up for all the deficiencies in their execution. Over the long-run they lose out on everything that proper resistance training could provide them.