‘Barbell Recidivism’ is describing the re-offending of the lifter in terms of the efficiency of their lifting technique. The skill that may have been grasped fleetingly in one training session, may not be there the next.


A good lifter is always paying attention to the efficiency of their lifting. It serves a couple of purposes; it obviously achieves the greatest yield in the effort applied to the bar, and additionally, it can be a useful distraction from actually how stressful the resistance of the bar is creating.



Mastering any physical task will only come after competency in each compartment of physical adaptation. In lifting, it’s going to be neuromuscular, mobility, contractile potential and energy system. That is; Can you coordinate what you already have to work with? Do you have the mobility to get into the positions necessary to efficiently apply what you have to the bar? Are your muscles strong enough to contract or hold a contraction against the resistance? And do you have the energy system requirements to execute the volume of work you are attempting?


The Law of Reversibility applies to all of these adaptations. That is, you can lose these adaptations if they are not re-visited. Generally, the capacities that have been possessed for the longest will stick around the longest. These sorts of long-held  capacities usually coincide with a genetic predisposition towards them. So someone who has tremendous flexibility will tend to maintain it without doing much flexibility work. A person of not especially good mobility however who has a very long training history of developing elite flexibility will also likely hang onto that adaptation for an extended period.


Being a ‘Barbell Recidivist’, will usually be the lack of attention in warm ups to the neuromuscular requirements for the given lift. A good part of the warm up is the attention towards the accuracy of the lift. A few key cues will have been taught and acquired through training history and that is occupying the mind of the lifter.


Mobility too though, might also be the culprit. The warm up will involve the preparing of the structures to reach certain positions of leverage, and although you’re able to coordinate yourself, you maybe working against tightness and lack of pliability in some structures to reach the necessary positions during the exercise.



This is WHY we warm up; hit all of those positional spots, sequencing your self just so. Over time, I have gone away from prescribing general warm ups and moved more so towards specific warm ups for the individual. Being that full amplitude whole body lifts are usually performed first then a general warm up seems to be redundant.


Its not unusual for a great general warm up regime be displayed by a new lifter to the gym followed by gawd-awful application to the main exercises; a waste of time. The ‘Barbell Recidivist’ will also distract themselves with unnecessary focus towards something else, instead of the main task at hand; a non specific warm up, what the person next to them is doing, what is going on outside the gym, music, the weather of something that ain’t gonna help them with what they are doing right at that moment.