In the gym, there are two kinds of people. The first kind of person is the one who is serious about getting stronger. They have done the research and are now putting it into practice. It’s all about self-improvement, and with self-improvement, there are no shortcuts. The other kind of person is the one that just wants to look like they’re working out. They don’t want to put in the work that gets results. They just want everyone to see them as a buff guy.
When doing squats, it’s popular to only go down a couple of inches, and then bring the bar back to the starting position. It requires minimal work, but it does make for a display of working out. That final extension is called “lock out”.
When the first type of person sees the second type of person doing this, they get to make the joke “practicing your lockouts?” as if they were doing this faux exercise in order to get stronger. It’s to let the second type of person know that they’ve been spotted as a fake.
I heard one person asking for advice once about the concept of “shipping it”. His problem, he confessed, was that he was a perfectionist. He had all of these great ideas. He’d get about 50% done executing them, and then put them on the shelf forever. I wanted to call him out and ask if he was practicing lockouts.
Perfectionism is what people do when they’re afraid of being judged. They don’t want to know if it’s a good idea or not. These people have written manuscripts, but haven’t shown them to publishers. It looks like they are writers, because they are physically writing. But until they “ship it”, they are just hobbyists. They’re not serious. They haven’t done the research and are now trying to put it into practice.
Practicing lockouts is actually dangerous, believe it or not. It seems harmless, but it’s sinister. Generally the last few inches of an exercise are the easiest. Each week you do the exercise, you’re supposed to move up in weight. As you move up, This creates a false sense of confidence, and unbalanced muscles. The danger arises when you want to do a full extension. Once you do, you will be stuck. You weight will have increased faster than the muscles that actually do the heavy lifting can handle. If you are doing a squat, this will leave you at the bottom of the squat position and you can’t get back up.
In life, there is no fundamental difference between practice and execution. Doing it, is the practice. The body doesn’t know it’s in a gym, it just knows it has to exert force. However, if you spend all day in the coffee shop trying to write, but getting nothing done, then you’re just kidding yourself. You’re going through the motions.
If you spend all day coming up with ideas but not executing, you’ll develop a habit of doing it. Your practice becomes practice, and never execution. Then when it comes time to execution, you’ll choke and fail.