FSB Step 2: Train With Proper Technique

The Fight Shape Blueprint

Step 2 of 6: Train With Proper Technique

Efficiency has long been something I’ve valued, sometimes to obsessive-compulsive levels.

Efficiency is all about eliminating and minimizing wasted resources, with those resources most often being time, energy and money.

I remember as a kid, ripping and folding toilet paper as I was doing a #2 and laying them out on my bare thigh, so that when I was done, I could rapidly wipe and get the hell outta there so I could go back out and play road hockey.

Perhaps too much info for ya, but hell, we’re friends, and now I’m sure you get an idea of just how deeply efficiency is ingrained into my being.

Exercising with proper technique is the most
efficient way to perform the movement.

This means that it uses the least amount of energy and puts the least wear and tear on your joints.

It also means you’ll require less time to get the same result, or achieve a better result in the same amount of time as performing an exercise inefficiently.

And here’s a story that illustrates how you’ll blow money by training with bad form:

A few years back I was lifting weights at the gym and saw a guy doing fairly heavy Deadlifts, but with horrible technique: his back was rounded, he raised his hips before his upper body, his elbows were bent and his weight looked like it was shifted to the balls of his feet.

bad-deadlift-formAfter he completed a set, I asked…

“Would you like a few pointers on proper form?”

“No, I’m good,” he said with a look of disdain.

I was just trying to be nice, but he wasn’t having it, so I continued my workout.

A month later, I entered the gym and glanced into the Physio clinic that is attached to the gym and saw this very same guy getting his low back treated!

Just looking at his form I knew this was the likely result and hopefully he learned his lesson.

Unfortunately, he had to learn it the hard way.

Here’s the thing…

If you’re reading this, I already think of myself as your Coach.


Kidding. 😉

Seriously though, I don’t want you to make this same mistake, so from this point forward, commit 100% to training with proper form and making it priority #1.

How much weight you can lift or how many reps you
can do are secondary to technique… ALWAYS!

This means you never go past TECHNICAL FAILURE, which means you stop as soon as your form breaks down or better yet, 1 rep prior.

This means when you learn a new exercise, get the movement down before you add weight.

So when you watch my videos or anyone else’s, pay attention to all of the form cues and practice them.

And here’s another big reminder…

You’re not going to get it right the first time!

Expect to be clumsy, awkward and feel like you’re doing it wrong.


This is normal.

Give yourself a break… Just don’t give up!

Keep focused on all of the cues and sooner or later, everything will fall into place.

I’ve been training consistently since I was 16 (almost 20 years!) and I’m still learning, adjusting and tweaking how I perform even the most basic exercises like Squats.

The path to long-term success in fitness (and every other endeavour) is to maintain the “student’s mind” and see every rep as an opportunity to learn and grow.

And before you go, I want to know what the WORST display of technique you’ve seen in the gym?

Let me know in the Comments below.


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5 years ago

Starting a workout without a proper warm up or mobility drills and starting with heavy weights is a sure sign of incorrect training and technique. It pains me to see young guys start their workout with standing bicep curls with heavy weights using a hip swinging motion with momentum.

5 years ago
Reply to  Patrick

Yeah I see this all the time – dudes load up 2 plates and start squatting (horribly)

5 years ago

Best trainer at all time

5 years ago

Hi Eric. I have two examples of poor technique that I see quite a lot. One is squats where people have their weight in the balls of their feet and their knees come over their toes – and worse, if they’re doing a full ROM squat, they hunch their back at the bottom of their range. The other is on the rowing machine. Instead of powering out with their legs then following with the arms, they pull with their arms first and barely extend their legs. It’s totally inefficient and I’m not sure what impact it’s having on their back. Oh and to add a third, I saw a girl doing kettle bell swings who must have thought it was an upper body exercise instead of lower body. I cringed at how her neck, traps and shoulders must’ve been being tortured.

5 years ago

My personal favorite is someone doing “push-ups ” that consist most of a slight dip between the shoulder blades and a craining of the neck towards the floor.

5 years ago

cute elephant. I go to the gym 2X’s a week for STRIVE CLASS (this class is for the older adult) Use of various machines. The current instructor has been using body movement and very,few of the machines. Came in the other a.m to find one of the class members a gentleman maybe 60-70 years of age. He was one of the first to leave the Strive Class for the weight class across the way. He asked if I planned to go there. NO I said weight lifting after 40-50 is not my thing. I like the Strive class. I asked him why he was using the ab- crunch machine. He said to warm up for the weight class so he could lose some of his belly. I told him that the crunch machine was a useless tool and he was using it wrong and for the wrong reason. I suggested… Read more »

5 years ago

Good morning Eric, because I don’t really know the correct forms or process for exercises, my observation of other persons exercise or routine is not valid. The only observation I process for persons exercise is pushing to much weight which I feel is damaging.