Achieving the big lift

Date: Jun 20, 2016

If you haven’t done any or much weight training you could perhaps, and understandably, think there is only one way to approach it. If that’s the case, the theory would be, you can just pick up a weight and push it up over your head. Not so. There is a lot more to it than that and the thing is, with weight training you need to get it right as soon as possible before bad technique results in failure, disappointment, and the likelihood of injuries.

There are four basic components to any weight training lift with either free weights, machines, or just body weight. They are Posture, Focus, Core activation and Breathing. Although the four are all equally important the first in the sequence of preparing for the exercise or lift is posture. But remember each part of the sequence is just as important as the next.


The easiest way to describe good basic posture is to stand with your feet shoulder width apart, your back is straight, shoulders back and your head is in line with your back. There can be some minor variations with different exercises to create platforms within your body to lift from. Posture is a constant, so remember, your back is kept straight, shoulders back and your head is in line with your back, whether standing or lying.


It’s about thinking the lift through from posture to the lift, without being distracted by anything, and being able to focus on each part of the lift as the lift happens. And grimacing because you are not getting the full range of the lift is not helping. You’re grimacing because the weight is too heavy. Use less weight to regain focus and technique.

 Core activation.

It’s what drives the lift. You lift with the core. Your core centre is situated about 75mm below your belly button and it’s where several muscle groups come together. Hence core. Core muscles include the Rectus Abdominus, External Obliques, Internal Obliques, Transverse Abdominus, Quadratus Lumborum, Multifidus, and Erector Spinae. Core training is specific and requires its own set of exercises but there is some overlap with surrounding muscles. However when you are activating the core during weight training this will in effect, help to keep the core muscles exercised.


The correct breathing technique during the lift is as equally important as the other three components. The  sucking in of as much air as possible, and blowing it out, at the right time is crucial to getting oxygen to the muscles, plus being focused on full range of movement, plus using only the target muscles and of course, along with correct posture. The lift requires a lot of energy and getting plenty of oxygen to your muscles is very necessary. Remember, for the big lift, it’s a lot about sucking it in hard. And blowing it out hard.


Putting it into practice with a Barbell Bicep Curl and a Cable Tricep Pushdown.