Forced to Train Correctly: Building Muscle Rather than Moving Weight

Some of you know that I’ve been a hit and miss in the gym over the past couple of weeks. I’ve had a nagging lower back pain 150 lb Dumbbells and Strapsfor the past 12 years or so, which I seemed to have hurt at least once a year. I finally went to see a chiropractor and also had some x-rays done, and found that I have a bulging L5/S1 disc in my lower back. So I’ve been getting treated for this and have missed a couple of workouts lately.

What I now notice is the days I’m able to train (and of course going forward), I’m forced to be extremely cautious with every exercise. With that being said, I’m training with a little lighter weights and using controlled movements. I know if I jerk my body or move the wrong way, I could cause some serious problems with my existing injury. It’s not worth it. However, this type of training has proven to be beneficial as I’m finding myself 100% focused on the muscle I’m working rather than merely moving weight around. Where as I’ve never been super strong, I’ve often been guilty of eg0-lifting, especially in my younger years of lifting weights.

Due to my lower back I’m doing a lot of Hammer Strength exercises but I really hope to get back into free weights soon. I’ve skipped my last two leg workouts. I probably could have train legs last week but felt it was wise to take another week off as my lower back pain has shot down my right leg. I should be able to hit legs next week though (the day after Christmas). Unfortunately squats are out and deadlifts may be out as well, which I enjoy both of those exercises. And I’m not going to be one of those people that say those are bad exercises just because I have lower back problems. On the contrary, squats and deadlifts are supreme mass building exercises and effective if they’re done right. But I will say that I see a lot of people doing them wrong, especially squats. And I think my early years of not knowing how to squat properly and trying to go too heavy could have very well been one of the contributing factors to my lower back problems.

The main point of this post was to emphasize the importance of training correctly, using proper form, and working the muscle rather than just moving a bunch of weight around aimlessly. I’m not knocking powerlifting and I’m certainly not saying you shouldn’t train heavy. But if you can’t lift the weight with good form then you’re not working the muscle; you’re only setting yourself up for injury.

Train with Passion,

Jason Stallworth

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