We don't plan to fail, we program for success

Everyone Lifts Ugly At The Start

As strength and conditioning coaches, we have seen a lot of training methods, workouts, and coaching techniques. We’ve also heard many misconceptions that are spoken with such confidence, that many people believe it to be true. One such misconception is that “everyone lifts ugly at the start”.

Lifting is by no means a beautiful sport. And while aesthetics is certainly part of the reason why many people join the gym, the main focus is on building strength, mobility, flexibility, and fitness.

This notion of everyone “lifting ugly at the start” is not quite right. Yes, it is a great feeling to move up in weights quickly, but to do so at the absence of poor form can lead to serious injury.

Prior to even picking up a bar (even if that bar is only 8kg) everyone needs to be tested to check their range of motion and any underlying asymmetry that could compromise form, and therefore injuries later on.

Here at AI we, encourage starting off with nothing more than your own bodyweight until you have perfected your stance and grip (depending on the exercise of course). This should be done for every lift, be it the deadlift, bench press, squat, snatch, clean and jerk, etc. and it can take weeks to perfect.

Yes, it can be disheartening, but glossing over it and progressing to weights before this technique is on point will only create bad habits and an increased likelihood of injury. Add to that the speed element that CrossFit and copycat gyms favour, then the correct technique becomes even more vital.

Piling on weights each time and “lifting ugly” until you eventually get it right is not a method we subscribe to.

It is risky to “make do” today and hope to improve over time, especially if you are not being monitored by experienced strength and conditioning coaches at all angles.

We 100% believe that strength training should form part of your life-long journey to optimal health and fitness. This means you should spend as long as it takes to get your technique right first, before adding on the weights to get stronger…thus minimising the risk of injury.

As a premium strength and conditioning facility, our success with elite athletes and general population members is based on our qualifications, knowledge, and experience. We continually espouse the importance of individualised programming based on the results of functional movement testing.

We equally lament the “one size fits all” franchised boxes that certainly offer a popular training option, but do so at the risk of personal safety.

Our advice? Think twice before hopping onto the latest fitness bandwagon. Your health is the most valuable gift you possess and if you’re not being tested and offered a program tailored to your own capability, then maybe you should switch to a gym that does.

Take it from me when I say it’s more fun to train consistently, then to be in and out of physio trying to get the body right and, think about how many more session per year you get done by being consistent.

If you miss 2-3 weeks every few months because you go too hard and heavy without much rest, versus someone who has a structured program that trains year-round, that’s 35-45 sessions less over a calendar year (assuming you train 3-4 times per week).

Remember….. consistency is key

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