Each and every rep presents an opportunity to grow and if you aren’t making the most of them, you are losing out on what could have been. Placing an importance on each repetition and striving to make each rep effective will help to promote the change you desire.
Don’t just go through the motions, I sometimes see lifters, almost mindlessly, pick up and set weight down. Sure, when put in those terms, lifting seems so pointless, but why are you in the gym in the first place, just to lift weights and set them back down, or are you in the gym for hours a week to improve your health and or self-image?
Simply going through the motions may provide self-satisfaction and it may help to maintain your current body composition, but if you really want to change, if you really want to improve, make the most out of every repetition. Going to the gym and just lifting the weights will not automatically promote change. Having a good lift that will promote that desired change really depends on the quality of each individual repetition.
Are you using the proper form, are you using enough weight, should you be pushing yourself harder, is your rest time between sets appropriate? These are all questions to ask yourself during your lifts. If I’m performing a lift, five quality reps will always trump six, or even ten for that matter, half-hearted reps.
It doesn’t happen often, but I’ve had days where I catch myself “zoned out” for a lift, especially for low-weight high rep lifts, it happens, and it’s not the end of the world. But it tells me two things. 1) I maybe should bump up the weight a little bit, and 2) I didn’t make the most out of the lift as I could have. This just means I should adjust and perform the set again if needed.
Regardless of your reason for going to the gym, the desired change will not just happen after moving around some weights. Each repetition is equally important, do not forget that. Have fun, push your self, and stay focused on why you’re actually there.
Jack Burdick is majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and along with his weightlifting workouts, he competes in marathons and ultra-marathons (50 mile races) and is looking to earn a Cross-Fit title or to be recognized with The World’s Fittest Man title which is reserved for an ultra endurance power athlete.