December 27, 2023 2 min read
THE #1 GYM SIN
By Shane Robert
The New Year is nearly upon us. This means new faces and familiar faces turning up, or returning, to the gym to finally commit to fitness. Along with this influx, there will be a whole slew of articles for beginners, ranging from basic exercise form to gym etiquette. These articles are usually slapped together lists with little in the way of substance for the reader.
I’ve seen a lot of these lists describing the so-called “sins” that one may be guilty of perpetrating in the gym. Generally I hate them. Usually they are a waste of time and include stupid things about what you wear to the gym and curling in the squat rack. I couldn’t care less about any of that. I’m only concerned about getting better. The only sins that should matter are the sins that prevent progress, and there is on sin above all the rest that is the worst.
That “sin” is EGO.
Ego will prevent you from making any real progress, make you look like a jerk and, very probably, result in injuries. I don’t want this to be mistaken for confidence. Confidence is stepping up to push yourself within your means in an intelligent way. Ego is loading the bench up with hundreds of pounds over what you are capable of and doing 1 inch arm bends; it’s progressing far to quickly for what your body can actually handle; it’s contorting your body in spastic convulsions to move a weight. Most of the stupid things you see in the gym, from terrible push ups to quarter squats, is because of ego.
Ego leads to the eventual loss of motivation to continue going to the gym. When you’re doing things that don’t actually build muscle, and might even cause injury, you aren’t going to see the progress that you could or should. When that happens you stop trying. If, on the other hand, ego is left aside and exercises are done with proper range of motion, form and weight, the progress can be consistent. Small increases (overload), applied often, over a long period of time, is where real progress happens. Unless, of course, ego gets in the way. Don’t let yours hold you back from making real progress.
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