New ROK Article: Weightlifting With a Camera

No, you’re not physically lifting the cameras! You’re using them to judge your form. It’s a supplemental technique for lifting and all exercises, and you can read it below:

A camera, and more specifically, a video camera, can be a highly useful tool for all physical culturists, particularly those who have developed their muscles and peripheral nervous systems to a fair degree and want an edge beyond the common rabble.

Just to clarify, I am not telling you to waste your time at the gym taking selfies of yourself in the mirror—I’ve never felt any desire to prance about in my underwear with the goal of snookering Tinder sluts, and I wouldn’t expect any of you do so either (frankly, a decent head-and-torso shot is all you need for Tinder, in my meager experience using the app).

No, I am referring to the use of video cameras specifically. Filming yourself working out can provide numerous benefits to all facets of training: one of which is training the proper form of a lift.

Most gyms have mirrors that are intended for this purpose, but I find these to be only partially effective at best for two reasons: One is that, when you are truly straining yourself on a lift, you likely won’t be able to concentrate upon your form, and looking at a mirror might actually keep you from lifting to your full potential-the iron game has a lot more mental exertion than you would expect, and besides, when you’re doing a squat, you absolutely do not want to look down to see if your knees are fully bending-angling the neck can lead to rounding of the back.

(In a marked contrast to the idea of mirrors, some such as Pavel Tsatsouline even recommend blindfold training to develop tactile response, but I’ve never tried it)

Secondly, the mirror, obviously, only shows you the front. And while your form might look good from the front, it might be a complete disaster from the back. Similarly to the squat example given above, there’s really no way to explicitly know whether your deadlift is using proper form, besides the quick and dirty judging of “whether or not my back hurts.” Besides, the human mind has a limitless capacity to delude itself, so you may be able to ignore any lower back pain as being “not serious”—I certainly did the first few times I deadlifted, before I managed to shore up my form. Part of said “shoring up” involved the use of a camera.

You can read it here