Stop ego-lifting: You are hurting yourself and annoying everyone else
I see it a lot in the gym and these are normally the same people that are shouting or grunting every time they do any weight-oriented exercise.
First we need to start with what I mean by ego-lifting...
Ego-lifting is where someone puts a ton of weights on a machine or even worse, on a bar and then grunt and kicks their way through a couple of reps. What inspires people to do this is a really bizarre phenomenon and these are almost always the people that walk around the gym like Terminator as if they were expecting a fight at any given moment.
If you are lifting something and you can only bang out 4-5 reps on your first set, there is a really good chance you are ego-lifting. The really pathetic thing about this is that at least from the guys that I see (it's always the guys and I have never seen a woman doing this) is that they must think that other people admire them for being able to lift that much but actually, there is a better-than-average chance that nobody actually cares. Plus, if you are grunting and screaming through your sets, there is a good chance that everyone in the gym actually loathes you.
awesome idea dude, lift with your lower back on deadlifts!
I'm not saying that everyone should stick to the 3 sets of 12 mantra because that is also a mistake but whenever I see someone ego lifting, they are almost always using improper and uncontrolled form. I am not a huge guy, but I always believe that form is far more important than weight when it comes to weight training. If you are unable to follow correct form in your lifts, you are lifting too much and you need to swallow your pride and step it back a notch or two.
There's a funny scene in a decent TV show called "Eastbound and Down" where Danny McBride's character becomes a P.E. coach at a local high school and he tries to show off and gets trapped under his own bench press. I have seen this happen numerous times in my own gym and if it weren't for the other patrons, those people would be trapped.
One of the worst aspects of ego-lifting that a lot of the people that do it don't realize is that when you use improper form and insist on getting the rep done anyway, your body naturally transfers the lifting of the weight to other parts of your body and for standing exercises this is most often the shoulders and lower back - which are two parts of your body that you really need to look after carefully if you don't want to have chronic pain later in life.
So if you are one of the people out there that throws on a couple extra plates because there are some hot girls in the fitness center - I actually feel bad for you because the only person you are kidding is yourself. There aren't many women that are impressed by this. I actually don't know any. Plus you are a nuisance for everyone else in the gym when you do this. If a person can't be convinced to stop ego-lifting for any other reason than think about it in a self-preservation kind of way. You are not benefitting yourself by doing this. In fact, you are doing quite the opposite and if you do it enough, you are all but guaranteeing that you will have problems later in life.
I got lazy in my 30's and suddenly found myself at nearly 250 lbs. I am now around 190 and maintain my weight and am stronger than I have ever been at any other point in my life. I did this by making gradual and accomplishable goals and then sticking with them. Oh, and I never ego-lift