Heavy weight lifting - Sacrificing good form to look stronger (but everyone stopped watching a long time ago).
Heavy weight lifting and the common mistake of lifting heavy weight with the goal of trying to get bigger. Heavy weight training should be something used very sparingly.
How often do you, or someone else around you, go crazy with their weight lifting and add as much weight to the bar as possible, but find themselves (yourself) not really able to control the weight and thus limit their full range of motion?
You will see this a lot. People sacrifice good form just to look strong. Yet, the people who are "really built" (the people with real lean muscle mass and low body fat) are using less weight than you are, but are making the exercises harder and more effective when doing so. That's the key.
Could they lift more? Sure they could. But why do that if it's not needed...
Don't over do it. If you struggle on the first few reps, lighten up. Using momentum to lift the weight does nothing for you. There's no isolation involved. It defeats the purpose.
Don't go to the gym with the shear purpose of looking stronger, and only focusing on the temporary pump. Tame the ego. You will only look strong for an hour or so, but go right back to average when you go home, day after day.
The idea is to take an amount of weight and be able to lift that amount in a controlled manner without throwing your shoulder out of alignment...
We want our workouts to be tough, and heavy duty, BUT, what we don't want is to use such an extreme amount of weight that we aren't targeting the muscles effectively.
Take bench press for example...
Someone is piling on plates, but watch how they perform their reps. It looks sloppy. They lift a lot of weight, yet they have no muscle definition. Why? Because they never target any single muscle effectively.
They continue pushing the weight, but find their shoulders and triceps are getting a better workout than the chest muscles. So then you see guys walking around with over developed triceps, shoulders, but an under developed flabby chest, because it only receives half a workout due to other muscle groups doing most of the work.
Heavy weight lifting - The solution:
Now take a little weight off the bar, get a better range of motion, focus on the muscle you want to be worked, and then you will find that the workouts are much more effective.
How much you lift does not determine your gains. Adding heavy weight training CAN be effective, but it should not be the main focus if you want to build muscle. Heavy weight training, where you are performing 5 - 6 reps sets should be done as just another intensity change. And there are lots of ways to change the intensity of the workout.
If you must be the person who lifts the most weight in the gym, be smart about it. Work up to it. Once you've worked up to it by adding a few pounds per week, you'll be at a point where you can control the weight versus it controlling you.