Third Excerpt: Why you might need to slow down, and do it right.

I assume that most people reading this know how to type properly. But ignore that for a moment, and imagine that you are just now being presented with a QWERTY keyboard for the first time in your life and I asked you to type a simple sentence. How would you do it? I bet you would use the hunt and peck method.

And if someone, some great teacher of typing, had 60 minutes to teach you to put your fingers on the middle line, index fingers on the letters F and J, and type properly? Well, my bet is that you would still be able to type a given sentence faster and more error free just hunting and pecking.

But if there was a world championship of typing (is there such a thing?) I am sure no one would be hunting and pecking. The upper limit of human genetic potential to type fast is simply higher when using all your fingers properly than when using only 2 of them. So if you want to be the best typist in the world, or even just the bet typist you can be, put your fingers on the keys properly, look away from the keyboard, and start to practice. Sure you will be slower than normal at first, and make more mistakes, but at some point you will be typing faster than any hunter and pecker ever could.

In the same way you must use your body properly while cleaning or snatching a bar or your ultimate potential will be lower than it could have been, and there will be a period while learning to move properly that you will actually be able to lift less using “good” technique than if you used “bad” technique. Most people can move an empty bar slowly through the correct positions from the shins to the hips within a very short time of being taught what the positions are, and properly extend and catch the bar soon after. But, as you speed the movement up and add weight, all beginners will reach a point where they miss the proper positions and their form deteriorates away from the form that will yield the highest ultimate potential for the weight they can lift.

But just where this deterioration happens can’t be accurately predicted for a beginning lifter. Person to person, and day to day for the same person, it varies. Given a particular day and a particular lifter, this deterioration might happen at 30kg or 100kg, at 50% of maximum, or 80%. Yet, at some point, sooner for some and later for others, your best lifts will be achieved with a movement pattern basically the same as the movement pattern that will ultimately let you lift the highest potential weights. When you deviate from this movement pattern, you will miss, when you maintain it, you will make lifts.

But if you’re not there yet, stop adding weight and moving faster when you miss your positions, don’t wait till you are missing lifts. Slow down, and practice doing it correctly even if you could do more by moving incorrectly. Yeah, it can be frustrating to do that, but millions of people have done it when they learned to type. Frustration or not, you can certainly do it when learning to lift.

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10 responses to “Third Excerpt: Why you might need to slow down, and do it right.

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