Its very important to get out and have some fun with your bells.
I always laugh when I run across my old videos. It's pretty bad.
There seems to be polar opposites in the belief that exercise technique has to be perfect in order to reap the benefits of improved health and performance. The truth is, no matter what you do as a beginner, nothing is going to be perfect and everything is going to benefit you in some way. The problem occurs when you either refuse to work on fixing technique or have no idea how to fix it in the first place and continue down an ugly road of dismal performance gains and potential injury. The "beginner" benefits will soon fade away, and you will have to improve your technique if you expect not only better numbers, but improved health and real performance gains, not just the illusion of improvement. There are a few ways to enhance your skills and achieve better results from your efforts. Make sure you have at least one good training partner, get a qualified coach to guide your journey, or get a camera to record certain aspects of your training so you can review it and see what needs the most attention.
A good training partner is not a cheerleader. In fact, I don't care for too much cheering when I train. I know what I need to do and I find cheering, yelling and screaming more distracting than motivating. This is true especially during skill work, but during intense conditioning we all need some encouraging motivation. But, if that is what you like, it might be exactly what you need to push your training further, to each their own. A good training partner is someone who helps and motivates you to get better, period. This is by telling you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Everybody likes to be told, "good job," but if what you did is actually crap, you need to be told so, and further more, you need to know what to do to fix it.
That leads to my next point, get a qualified coach to guide your journey. This is so important if you are serious about getting better. There are so many reasons for getting a coach that I can't even begin to list them all in this article, but feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section and we can discuss it. Just a few reasons are that you will be held accountable for your actions and progress. You will not have to think about where to start or what to do next, your coach will guide your journey, so to speak, you just have to put in the effort. You will get instant feedback on your successes and your failures. If you did something great, you should be acknowledged or rewarded, but don't expect a balloon party every time you get a PR. With hard work you should expect PR's, but don't expect the whole room to stop what they're doing and cheer because you did something good, you're supposed to do something great daily. Sometimes a quick smile and nod to acknowledge the achievement is all you need. On the other hand, if something is wrong, a qualified coach will see it, acknowledge it, and address it accordingly. If the coach just makes you do more of what you are doing wrong, then you will get really good at doing shit the wrong way. That is not a qualified coach, that is a crook who is stealing your money. This is a huge problem in the fitness industry today, too many people talk the talk, but can't walk the walk. Its cliche, but true, you simply can't become an expert by spending money on a quick certification via the internet or weekend course. It takes years of studying, training, and time in the trenches, there is no substitute.
Lastly, using a camera is a good way to review your training technique and see what needs to be addressed. You can check your posture, your foot positions in olympic lifting, your lockout in kettlebell training, your back position while deadlifting, etc. The list is endless. The problem is that there is no instant feedback. You do the exercise and either check the camera while training, which detracts from training intensity, or you check after training and the stimulus is removed from the moment that the issue occurred. It's like yelling at a dog 2 hours after he chewed up your shoes, but the dog has no idea why you're yelling. While the feedback from a camera is still good, it is not the same as the instant feedback you get from a coach who fixes you on the spot, instead of the issue getting addressed later on or the next training session.
To get back to the original point of this article, does technique need to be perfect to get the benefits of your training? Yes and no. Beginners will never be perfect, so does that mean they shouldn't train because they might injure themselves? Of course not. No matter what your skill level, everyone should always be striving to get better at all times, maintenance is a fucking joke. If you really want to improve, all aspects will need to improve, including skill, intensity, technique, volume, etc.
Below is a video of Giavanni Ruffin, former running back for East Carolina University, during his first training session at TSS. Giavanni is a stellar athlete and is looking to go pro at his chosen sport. That means he is not afraid to do what is necessary to improve his abilities. The following video is his finisher after a hard training session. You will notice that some things are not perfect in his training. But, I knew from his ability what he was capable of doing. Being a Division I running back has extreme demands, so I knew he was up the challenge. After doing some basic mobility drills and making an assessment, we did some power work, then strength work and added in a few supplemental exercises. Then all I did was present Giavanni with a finisher that I knew would be demanding, fun, effective, valid and challenging. He was more than willing to accept the challenge. This is usually how I present it to the athlete, "Here is your job," or "Here is your challenge for the day..." I know what their needs are and I know their capabilities. Now I want to see them work hard. Recording the training allows me to review it with the athlete and show them what they need to work on. Now they can see it with their own eyes what is good, what is bad, and what needs to be done to get better.
In conclusion, being perfect is not important, but always trying to get better is imperative. Never think you are the best, right now someone out there is doing the work that you aren't doing, and they will beat you when you meet. Always train like you're in second place. Push hard for that extra edge. Never dwell on your mistakes, just acknowledge them and take action to get better. Being naturally talented is a great gift, but there is no substitute for hard work and dedication with a strong desire to be successful while taking the necessary action to get what you want.
If you are the kind of athlete or coach who takes action when an opportunity presents itself, then you know what I am talking about. Take a free week trial at our private membership website and see what we have to offer at The Consummate Athlete today. We are constantly updating it with new and useful training information to enhance your skills and help you achieve your training goals. We currently have 3 separate training programs going right now to suit any particular individual needs you might have. You are guaranteed to benefit or just cancel your trial membership, super easy, no hassle, no qualms.
Nobody likes a messy snatch. I am well aware that my technique is not perfect, largely due to my overhead mobility. That is what happens from years of banging around on the gridiron. But, I think that this quick and random tip can help your transition and save your hands when training your snatch. Please express your opinions, especially if you have been training with kettlebells and have experience with different styles.
Many people try to cover up their problems by spending money on things they really do not need. Most of these purchases are derived from the best marketing. Yes, marketing, it works. Advertisers and marketers know your problems, your hot spots, the things that get you emotional, the things that get the money out of your pocket and into theirs. We buy things emotionally, not rationally, for the most part. Things like Lamborghini's, when a Dodge gets the job done.
Things like exotic foreign pets when a puppy from the local SPCA needs you more and will probably be more loyal. Things like pills, liquids, and lotions to make your arms, chest and dick bigger and harder, when hard work is free, but not as easy. These are all things that every guy wants in order to feel better about himself, because he will be looked at differently from the people whom he wants to impress.
Let's look at the supplement industry, for example, since I get asked about this frequently. Advertisements make you feel like an explosion will occur the instant you pop open your new bucket of SLACKED HD!! Trust me, no explosion. There is not enough caffeine or steroids in the world to replace the feeling I get in the instant when I mentally prepare myself for a big lift. At that moment I feel like I have 1.21 giga watts running through my body! I am well aware of the benefits you might get while on certain supplements, some are good, some aren't, but I am more concerned with what you, alone, are capable of doing, not what you are capable of doing while you are "on". There is a reason why certain performances have an asterisk next to them in the record books.
A lot of people think that if they miss a meal or lost some sleep they can help invigorate their spirits and energy by taking some shit in a can. Well, you might get jacked up and focused temporarily, hit the gym, and count your praises for that "pick me up" you had, like a crack fix from your local corner dealer. Here's the real deal, I am calling you a punk ass bitch. Offended? Fuck you. I don't give a fuck what you do. Do what makes you happy. But I will get my shit done whether I feel good, bad, tired, lonely, depressed, sick, fired up, or whatever, because I know this shit needs to get done. I do not have to be excited about everything I am doing or need to do. I just have to have the discipline to do it. If you can only accomplish great things while you are feeling great, then don't fucking bother. Millions of people around the world are working hard in a miserable environment, right this second they are fighting for their lives while you are sitting in a comfortable chair reading this rant on your laptop. What are you capable of when you're feeling a little shitty? What's the difference between your best and your worst efforts? Can I rely on you when you're tired, sick, depleted, scared, scarred, bruised, bloody, battled and weathered? Or do you only have what it takes when you are fresh, slept well, had breakfast in bed and all your powdered boosters served up to you in a delicious morning cocktail?