Seriously it really is true. Your ego is the worst enemy you'll ever face. It will make you want to try to lift more weight and do more reps than you can properly and safely do. It will make you unusually hard on yourself. It will also lead you to anger and hostility when your precious pride is hurt. I can't emphasize enough the importance of the expression "Check your ego at the door". This is not being said to brag about myself, but the fact is that I have never gone through any stupid period of time when I tried to lift more than I could properly handle or do moves I wasn't prepared for. I understood right from the beginning that this is a long journey and you must have patience. I really never cared about what other people were lifting or doing. I only knew that if I was improving and I was doing everything properly, then that's really all that matters.
I have unfortunately over the years seen some incredibly idiotic things that I never could have imagined on my own. If I hadn't seen these things with my own two eyes, I might have a hard time believing it. Here are some of the things I've seen.
1) Bench pressing with a thick piece of foam on the chest. They would then accelerate the bar and ram it off the chest.
2) Leg Presses. They would allow the sled to crash down at full speed right against their butt and then "bounce" it back up.
3) Divebomb Squats. Similar to the leg press, they would drop down at full speed with no control of the weight at all. They would then "bounce" back up.
4) Partial reps in a power rack. The weight is loaded up so high and the safety bars are set so high, that by the time you get past the bend you're hardly even moving it. The bend refers to the bend in the barbell when it's loaded with a heavy weight. When you first start lifting in a rack, you're just "working the bend". After that clears, then the real work starts.
5) Cheat Barbell Curls. I used to see a guy who would do single reps on the curl and he would just throw the weight and lean back so much that his upper body was practically parallel to the ground. There's a time and place for cheating, but not like that!
6) Cheating Chinups. I don't know what possesses people to do this, but I've seen Chinups done in a horrendous jerky motion doing anything but training your back muscles. I really don't care if someone says that so and so does it or whatever. I know biomechanics and that method is pure BS.
So there are just a few examples of things that are done as a result of ego. It may make you feel good to lift a heavy weight or do moves that you really can't do properly by cheating. But ask yourself this. Is that more important to you than quality muscle gain, fat loss, and safety? I think we all know the correct answer here!
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