Archive for heavy weights

Respect the Process

Posted in Performance with tags , , , , , on March 13, 2013 by razorsedgeperformance

There’s something exhilarating about setting a PR (personal record) in the gym. The feeling of conquering a lift, showing progress and putting it all together is rewarding. Those are special days. I think young new lifters don’t realize how special those days are and how much they need to be respected.


When I talk about setting PRs I’m referring to some of the more intense and technical lifts, like: Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Clean and Jerk and Snatch. I’m not referring to your bicep curl PR. When I say that they don’t respect the process, I mean that they haven’t yet followed the process of getting ready for it. Too often I’m teaching a lift or at least correcting form and young athletes will push so heavy that they end up breaking form anyway. You’re ambitious, I get it, I was there once. Since I’m here now, I’m telling you to pick your moments. If your technique is spotty, those flaws will be exaggerated at 1RM. Don’t do it. If you haven’t been doing one of these lifts for very long, respect the process! Spend time at a lighter weight and get all the cues down. This means correct posture, full range of motion, ideal activation sequence and great stability. If you can’t master all the little details, you’re not ready for work close to 1RM.


If you step in to a gym with great coaching and experienced lifters, you see more consistency; whether it’s a max day or a light day the technique throughout the lifts should remain flawless (or very near).

Besides the technique aspect, programming for max effort days needs to be followed. You can’t just step into the gym every few days and try to do a max lift, your body will not respond. You need to properly program intensities and weights so that when you have scheduled max days, there’s a good chance you’ll hit a PR, otherwise plateaus are way too easy to hit.

Unless your form is flawless, I suggest taking a few weeks to drop the intensity and make sure your loading sequences and range of motion are perfect. That way, when you go back up, you won’t face the same injury risks at higher loads.


It’s About Getting Better!



Beware the Bulk??

Posted in Health with tags , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2011 by razorsedgeperformance

If you work as a trainer, you’ve probably heard it. If you know a lot of women who workout, you’ve problem heard it. If you’re a woman yourself, you may have even asked it. “If I lift weights (especially HEAVY) will I become bulky?… I don’t want to be bulky, I just want to be toned”.  Hearing this makes me cringe, mad even!

You Serious??

As much as it bothers me, I understand where it comes from. The media is dominated by magazines, pictures, and stories of men who start lifting heavy, living off protein and getting JACKED. What women fail to realize is that they aren’t built to get bulky. Average adult men have 10x the testosterone as average female women, that is significant. The fact that women have much lower T levels makes it extremely difficult for them to get big and “Bulky”. In fact, when a new client tells me she doesn’t want to get bulky I usually challenge her and say, “I bet you couldn’t if you tried”. The truth is, it would take a very high level of commitment to training and nutrition to really get big, or just take steroids.

20 min on the stairmaster?

So now that we’ve gotten the Bulky thing out of the way, let’s get to some of the reasons why you SHOULD lift heavy! If lean and mean is what you’re going for, then you have no excuse. The more lean body mass you carry, the higher your metabolism will be; The higher your metabolism, the more fat you burn. Since muscle mass is more dense than body fat, it’s safe to say that building muscle, and subsequently burning more fat, will actually make you SMALLER. Yes, lifting heavy weights will make you smaller. Maybe not weigh less, but your physical measurements and proportions will definitely improve!

There are a number of great articles written online about women lifting heavy weights. Instead of listening to me, I figured some women out there might want to hear it from other women themselves. Check these out.

Why Weight Training is the Beauty Prescription Women Need the Most by Clare Rooney.

Lift Heavy. Get Strong(er) and Look Better by Nia Shanks.

Beautiful Badasses by Nia Shanks. (Also Part 2 and Part 3)

Renegade Fitness by Jen Grasso.

These are just a couple or articles and sites that you may want to take a peek at. These will help you on your way to developing a strong and sexy body!

It’s About Getting Better!

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