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The Basics of Weight Lifting

I have mentioned the importance of hard work tons of times in my book (click here for a free copy) and on this site.  And for me, I know much of my success was due to hard work in the weight room.  It’s something that I recommended in my previous post and weight training can make the difference between a good player and an OUTSTANDING player.  So I want to provide you with some basic tips for your success and safety.

1. Its Not About How Much Weight You Lift

One major misconception for most young athletes in the weight room is they have to lift alot of weight to gain strength. That type of thinking is completely FALSE in today’s game. 

The key principle here is that you need to push yourself as hard as your potential allows you. Be as strong physically as you can. Don’t worry about the other guy, or how much they are lifting. Your body is different than anybody else on this planet. Workout so you are maximizing your abilities. If you try to lift too much during a set or workout, you will do more to make yourself less strong than you would thinking it will make you stronger. Always remember this tip: Only workout with an amount of weight that makes it difficult but not impossible to do every rep of a set!

2. Focus On the Quality Of Your Movements

Another common mistake young athletes make when they lift weights, is they forget to focus on the quality of their movements.  It’s not about speed, it’s about moving in a controlled and powerful motion.

The first thing you should do is feel that the bar and weight, is make sure you are lifting the right amount of weight. Sometimes, you may need to put more weight on the bar. However, be careful you don’t put so much weight on the bar you cannot do all the repetitions the set is requiring you to do.

Next, count the downward movement of every repetition for three seconds, for example, “ONE one thousand, TWO one thousand, THREE one thousand”. Between the 2nd and 3rd second you can begin to move the bar upwards. This counting method will give your muscles the necessary amount of time to get its maximum output in order to increase strength. Be careful, if you can do every repetition of each set while using this counting method, and not even break a sweat, you need to increase the weight amount. However, if you can only do a portion of the repetitions, obviously you will need to take off some weight.

If you are confused as to the method of a particular weight lift, ask your coach or weight training expert exactly how to perform that exercise.

3. Don’t Sit Between Sets

Many strength and conditioning coaches call this the “Active Rest”. Really it is a simple principle, it is a way to train your body to rest and catch your breathe without sitting down. For example, think about during the course of long offensive drive, or a defensive stand during a game, the trainers or coaching staff does not bring out benches and chairs to rest on in between plays. You do that in the huddle while the play is being called in.

In essence, this technique is a way to prepare your body during the course of a game. It is simple but you will notice greater endurance and faster recovery while walking around and standing in between sets.

4. Be Patient. Results take Time.

I am sure many of you at some point have worked out and looked in the mirror or hoped on the scale, expecting to see a change. Unfortunately, after looking into the mirror, you immediately notice really no change has occurred and you get discouraged and quit. Believe me, only through strict dedication and persistence will you see results.

For most lifting programs, to notice increase strength and muscle mass, you must be completely dedicated to that program for at least 6 weeks without missing workouts. For example, if you look at Olympic weight lifters they start preparing months in advance to achieve personal bests in certain lifts. They know they cannot get stronger by just lifting for a week then maxing out. It can only happen through strict obedience of a work out plan and dedication through the end.

5. The Gains Are In Your Recovery

While it is important to work hard and remain dedicated, it is even more important to focus on your recovery.  I have learned this the hard way. 

By ”recovery”, I am referring to two parts.  The first being your immediate recovery after your workout.  Push yourself hard during your training, but be sure to give yourself the rest and fuels you need to actually gain strength and fitness from your workout.  To do this, you need to get a well balanced meal or large snack after your workout, with lean proteins, high glycemic carbohydrates, and healthy, unsaturated fats.  I have recommended Lean1 several times on this site, because I really think it is the best and most complete recovery formula available.  A real, full, meal is awesome as well but sometimes its easier and best to do a recovery shake followed by your next meal, especially after a really hard workout.

The second form of recovery is the periodic sense.  Weight lifting has many forms: strength building, maintenance, and recovery.  It is important to have a series of hard lifting days, followed by a day of recovery within the week.  Also, it is important to have a series of hard training weeks, followed by several days of recovery.  During these recovery days, you need to focus on conserving your energy, resting, and preparing both physically and mentally for your next day of hard work.

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6 Responses to “The Basics of Weight Lifting”

  1. Ryan Mettee said:

    Hey Bill,

    How you doing? I played strong safety for a couple years in college and you’ve always been a big influence of mine for going out, leading a defense, and smashing some skulls.

    I currently work with two entrepreneurs, John Assaraf and Murray Smith. I’m currently promoting their new book “The Answer: Grow any Business, Achieve Financial Freedom, and Live and Extraordinary Life.” I wanted speak with you about a business opportunity related to their new book. Do you have an email address I can contact you at? Mine is [email protected].

    I look forward to speaking with you Bill and I hope all is well.



  2. FRANK THE TANK said:




  3. Tom Taggart said:

    Hey Bill, Just wanted to start by saying that you are ALL MAN brother. I was a fan of yours growing up. I was a strong safety in High school. I wanna tell you how great your blogs are. I just found this site today and im telling you man, I think im gunna read all of them. Theres some really good stuff here eh. Keep up the good work Boss.

  4. Rick said:

    Hey Bill,

    Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and tips. It’s really great stuff.

  5. Sam said:

    Hey Mr. Romanowski; I am a highschool athlete and I was wondering if you could email me a sample workout routine. I am always looking for new ideas and I believe; from reading your book ROMO; that you might have some good workout routines.


    [email protected]

  6. chico said:

    are going to write a workout book?

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