Thank you everybody for your replies and encouraging words. I hope I can be as much of an inspiration to you as you all are to me. I really felt this was important to share not just for those begining their BFL journy but, like taylor t said, it is also important for those who have completed multiple challenges. It is far too easy to slide into complacency. Those who have successfully completed a challenge need be on extra guard. It is easy to coast and ride the coat tails of past successes but it is a downhill ride. It is important to set new and higher goals and continually strive toward them. I have a note at my desk that says "A step above the crowd isn't far enough removed."
Juni: You definately do not want to sacrifice form for more weight. When you dropped weight did you hit all 12 reps? Sometimes I have had to adjust my weights leading up to the high point. There are times I lift too much too soon. Does that make sense? It is a fine line I agree. Shoulder exercises, like dumbbell presses and raises, can, in my experience, be prone to cause injury. I often mix up dumbell presses with military presses in a smith machine. The smith machine keeps everything in line where the dumbells can move too far forward or back and hurt your shoulder. Also adding wrist weights is a great way to bridge the weight increments in the gym. Mix it up and get yourself stronger and soon you will be grabbing a bigger set of dumbells and lifting confident and strong.
I hope this helps
Hi Orrin-Thanks for getting back to me. Yes, when I dropped the weight I was able to hit all 12. It was tough and I'm always making that scrunch face as I exhale so I know I am exerting effort, just not sure it is a High Point effort. I try to mix up free weights with the machines and frankly, use the machines a lot more because my gym gets so crowded. I'm sure I'll get it but your info has been really helpful. Thank you!
Orrin, I love the thread. I love it for 2 reasons.
1. Talking about lifting with the mind. Mind/muscle connection is how you lift, extreme focus and going beyond your limits.
2. I especially love how you identify the fact that the intensity has nothing to do with the rep pattern.
I have had workouts where I do the BFL rep/half pyramid pattern and I can honestly say I didnt give it my all. Other days I have done just 3 sets of 8 reps and I gave it 110%. And I could tell it big time the next day. It was that very moment when I realized about the mind/muscle connection, intensity and how it all plays a huge role.
Oh wrist weights, perfect!
I have same problem with that fear of injury with shoulder raises AND chest flyes.
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