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If you can't get it right, why bother?

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Old 01-05-2014, 11:10 PM   #1
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Default If you can't get it right, why bother?

Occasionally, I go to the gym with the bf. He's a former power builder, and he has great muscles, though he's also got a decent-sized belly on him. We went today, and he told me that I wasn't going low enough on my squats. I asked him to demonstrate. He did. I tried again. I thought I was doing it correctly. I wasn't. I did three sets of my subpar squats, and we moved on. Got to the lunge, and I wasn't doing that right. But, by this time, he refused to talk to me. I asked him why he was mad. He said, "If you're not going to do it right, why bother?"

First, WTH? How can he be mad because my squat technique is less than adequate? But whatever. I just sent him an email, and I decided to copy and paste it here 1 - because I will get support from this group, and I would really like that; and 2 - because I really find these words inspirational (not my words, BTW), and I hope that others will as well.


Here's the email:

The bottom line is that I go to the gym for three reasons: 1 - I feel good about it when I do; 2 - My functional fitness increases dramatically over when I don't go; and 3 - My kids benefit in myriad ways by my commitment to go. All of these remain true even though I am not sound on fundamentals all the time and even though my "running" is pathetically slow and even though I have "bad days" at the gym, sometimes much worse than today.

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...r-details.html


Lyle:
Just Do Something

One of the primary end results of the unnecessary focus on details is that people often spend weeks (or months) looking for the perfect program, the perfect diet. And invariably they are focusing on the minor, minor, minor details that separate different successful programs. So one program has such and such a set and rep scheme, another slightly different. One training program might be more frequency based, another more intensity based (as discussed in A Quick Look at Some Popular Hypertrophy Programs).
I see people do it all the time: asking for a compare and contrast of one training program vs. another. Is one ‘better’ than the other? What about this third one? What about this one? What about that one?
The same holds for diet. One uses carb-cycling of some form or fashion on a daily basis, another uses big-carb refeeds less frequently (most of my plans), a third does something else entirely. And every approach seems to work stunningly (at least for some people) or not at all (in others). But that gets into the issue of context more than anything else; what is right (or potentially ideal) for one person or one situation is not right for another. Context matters.

Of more relevance, what often happens is that people get so overwhelmed at focusing on the details that they never act. They spend weeks looking for the perfect diet or training program (which doesn’t really exist in the first place, at best all programs have pros and cons and are, at most, best under a given set of circumstances) and lose time when they should simply be doing something.

Because, at the end of the day, assuming the training or diet isn’t completely and utterly moronic (and make no mistake, there are plenty of those out there) actually doing something is always better than talking about it for weeks on end.

Yet it’s that latter pattern I see altogether too many falling into: people spend days and weeks and longer asking about this plan versus the other plan, this program versus the other. Time that would be more productively spent actually starting any one of the myriad programs that they’ve asked about.

And this is especially true at the beginner stage (less so at the intermediate stage although the same principles still hold). When you’re starting out in training or diet, the ‘nice’ thing is that everything works. One set, three sets, it all works; for the most part any non-idiotic diet will be effective to some degree for generating weight or fat loss.

****, some of the idiotic stuff usually works at this level simply because it’s better than what the person was doing beforehand. It’s not that the new approach is better so much as what was left behind was awful. But at this point, the details just don’t matter. What matters is actually doing something. You usually won’t find out if something is right for you ahead of time unless you just hunker down and try it. So stop worrying and start hunkering.

Once again, as folks get more advanced, the details can start to matter. Basically, you often have to worry more and more about less and less as you try to get to higher levels of performance or leanness or muscularity. But by the time someone truly reaches that stage, they usually know enough about how their body responds, on top of having years of fundamentals under their belt, that they either know what to do next or how to proceed. As mentioned above, while everyone wants to think that they are advanced, the reality is that they are not.

Me again:
After I lift weights, I feel good. It triggers endorphins, which make me feel good. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, which makes me feel good. It helps keep me mindful of eating well, which makes me feel good. And on those (admittedly rare) occasions when I get compliments (The superbuff guy at the gym who saw me doing 1-point dumbbell rows with 25-pound weights and said, "Wow, That's amazing. You get it, girl" or the time when I asked the gym owner in what the conversion was on the lat pull-down so I knew how much I was pulling in pounds, and he asked me if I really could do that much, and then I demonstrated, and he said, "I've never seen a woman pull that much") - that makes me feel good.

When I run at my 4.8 mph pace for a mile, sometimes next to the guy who runs five miles at 8.0 mph, I feel good. I feel accomplished.

And you know what? I can keep up with my son when we play basketball, so I was a useful partner for him to practice with so he could try out for the team. I go hiking and biking with my kids. I play basketball with my family over Christmas break. When I chaperoned a school trip, my group went fast -- intentionally so. They had a great time, and I had no problem keeping up with them.

So, yeah. I could do better. But it's a good use of time even if I don't ever do better than I am right now.

And, really. You should read this: http://flintland.blogspot.com/2012/05/hey-fat-girl.html Because it's freaking amazing.
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:20 PM   #2
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Hi LaurieDawn,

First of all, good for you for sticking up for yourself. It's got to be intimidating going to the gym with someone who did it as a power builder. I think your sentiment is spot-on. You can't be as good as the next person all the time and you've got to start somewhere.

I would love to understand your partner's motivation in being so negative. If he was trying to help you out and improve your form (which I think is great to get the most out of an exercise and to avoid injury), he sure wasn't showing it. It feels to me (in this limited scope) that he feels bad about himself and therefore needs to degrade you in order to feel better. Not okay. I happen to have a nasty habit of doing this -- I'm not proud of it but I recognize it in myself so I can try to stop myself when I do it. Maybe his big gut was making him feel self-conscious and so belittling you made him feel superior? It's so unhealthy.

Myself, I do half push-ups. I am terrible at push-ups but I want to get better. So I go halfway down instead of all the way down. Right now, that's all I can do! But I know once I get stronger, I can improve my form. You have to start somewhere, right?
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:30 PM   #3
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every step you take in the right direction is still a step in the right direction. I started by walking to the end of my street, with the logic your bf has I may as well have just stayed in bed if I couldn't walk a mile. Seems like he gets his self worth by being "better" than ______ and you are seriously a contender for not being the name that fills in the blank.


and the blog? Made me cry! Thank you!
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:34 PM   #4
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Sulking and being impatient are the signs of an immature mind. I don't say that as an insult and I know a ton of people like that. They're great fun, but not to be taken seriously when they get upset. I don't think a person like that has what it takes to guide and teach others.

That said, as someone who's injured herself at the gym couple of times squatting and deadlifting: it is very important to do it right. I would be upset if someone I love would put themselves in danger. However, I'm not sure if squatting deep would be the first thing I'd correct in someone's form. So, yes. Do what you can, but try to do it right to prevent injury when moving onto bigger weights.

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Old 01-06-2014, 12:40 PM   #5
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Something is better than nothing!
And good for you for standing up for yourself!
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:51 PM   #6
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Hey Laurie, I'm sure your boyfriend only wants what's best for you. That being said, I'm really glad you're taking a firm stand on this and I totally think that you're doing fine. It's been said over and over again that the best kind of exercise is one that you will do, so if what you're doing makes you feel better and you like doing, go right ahead and do that. If he gets annoyed that you're not doing the exercises the way he thinks you should, it may just be easier not to work out together.

Either way, whether he comes around or not, good on you for sticking with it.

Also, love the blog. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:15 PM   #7
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I definitely think its better to work out than to not work out at all. I don't think I'd want to work out with your boyfriend after that. To get mad about something like that seems ridiculous to me. I could understand being quiet if he felt you didn't want his advice though.

It's good you able to express how you feel. And you'll figure out if your 'style' is something that really bothers him maybe working out together isn't an activity that you can do together.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:19 PM   #8
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LaurieDawn, Good for you for being there and committing to it! (I am currently struggling with just getting there.) I think that you are doing amazingly well!

As for the BF. Well, sometimes they see things differently than we do. I don't think he meant to be a jerk about it, but maybe he did. But you telling him your side is great. He needed to hear that! I don't begin to know how you can work out together, but glad you can. I'd probably cause my husband endless frustration if we worked out together!
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparklyBunny View Post
That said, as someone who's injured herself at the gym couple of times squatting and deadlifting: it is very important to do it right. I would be upset if someone I love would put themselves in danger. However, I'm not sure if squatting deep would be the first thing I'd correct in someone's form. So, yes. Do what you can, but try to do it right to prevent injury when moving onto bigger weights.
Right, this. Proper form is important so we don't get hurt, but I was under the impression, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, that going really deep into a squat, while great, is something that just comes with time and practice. For me, trying to go really deep in a squat would completely wreck my form. Now I can squat pretty deep, but I'm still not at a** to the grass yet. While yes, you may not have been maximizing your squats, you were doing what your body could do at the time. Proper squats and lunges took my body so long to learn. Just make sure you're being safe. Looks like you've ready got that boyfriend stuff under control.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:30 PM   #10
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To me it sounds like he is lashing out at you because he is upset about the condition his own body is in. Dropping to deep in a squat without enough strength is only going to make you drop. In time once you've built up more strength you'll be going *** to grass with out hurting yourself.

I don't know how your bf works but if he has a tendency to lash out about random things that really rant that big of a deal it's usually related to something else entirely. And sometimes they don't even really know what it is.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:27 AM   #11
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I don't know how your bf works but if he has a tendency to lash out about random things that really rant that big of a deal it's usually related to something else entirely. And sometimes they don't even really know what it is.
Well said!!
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:42 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the wonderful responses! Yes, he was an ***. And yes, it was about something else entirely. And yes, he admitted he was being an ***. I told him that he had to know that he wasn't a great coach, at least for my learning style. I tried again and again to absorb what he wanted me to do and execute, and just couldn't.

But I am newly inspired! I really want to go *** to grass on my squats now! Just the expression gets me excited about it. Maybe I will spend some time watching videos of squats and just practice the move. Probably won't be *** to grass any time soon, but I bet I can get better. And I'm all about better. And push-ups too. Really want to be able to do hard-core, full range-of-motion push-ups.

I do love going to the gym! It really does make me feel better in countless ways. Hooray for exercise.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurieDawn View Post
Thanks for all the wonderful responses! Yes, he was an ***. And yes, it was about something else entirely. And yes, he admitted he was being an ***. I told him that he had to know that he wasn't a great coach, at least for my learning style. I tried again and again to absorb what he wanted me to do and execute, and just couldn't.

But I am newly inspired! I really want to go *** to grass on my squats now! Just the expression gets me excited about it. Maybe I will spend some time watching videos of squats and just practice the move. Probably won't be *** to grass any time soon, but I bet I can get better. And I'm all about better. And push-ups too. Really want to be able to do hard-core, full range-of-motion push-ups.

I do love going to the gym! It really does make me feel better in countless ways. Hooray for exercise.
If you want to learn how to squat deep, you could use one of those broomsticks that gyms tend to have. That way you learn the proper form safely. It's still really effective even without the extra weight.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:06 PM   #14
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What is perfect form for one person is not perfect form for another...we all have different flexibility and range of motion mechanics. The fact you do it is better than those that do not. Plain and simple, you rock. He can get over it. Hugs to you for being strong and awesome!
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:00 PM   #15
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Yeah, your BF is being a jerk. People that have knee problems can't go fully into a squat or a lunge- I'm one of them. That does NOT mean, however, that I get no benefit when I do a modified squat or lunge that is not as deep. The idea is that I will strengthen my legs and eventually be able to do a full squat or lunge. I'm 60 lbs overweight. I imagine if I were of normal weight, I could do a squat or a lunge the right way, but right now I can't. Your BF is wrong that it's all or nothing, and frankly for some people that would be a dangerous attitude that would cause some people serious injury.
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