It happens to all of us at one time or another especially as we get further into a fitness program that we imperceptibly drift in our form and technique especially during resistance or strength workouts. A few weekends ago, Chuck and my dad were doing Legs and Back from P90X, and Chuck noticed that my dad's pull ups were becoming shorter in stroke length and made it a point of spotting my dad for form on the next set. Within a minute or two things were on track, and as a matter of fact today I heard from from my dad and he has begun to pay particular attention in the other strength routines such as Chest and Back. Although his rep count dropped off for both push-ups and pull-ups he felt the effects were just as good and that the workout was less of an aerobic sprint for numbers and now a real strength building day as it should be.
A few things are worth pointing out here.
First: We've been talking about the benefits of community and workouts buddies. Even those of us who've committed to a fitness program are not immune to slipping into bad habits. Remember that practice makes permanent and not perfect! A buddy can keep us on track and help us avoid some frustrating pitfalls.
Second: Good form is almost synonymous with good results but also less risk of injury. Your body will tell you when it has had enough. When your form heads South you are done. Write it down, and shoot for it the next time. There is no point in twisting and jerking about just to get a few more low quality reps in.
Finally: While it is very important to write down the information and numbers for each workout I can't stress enough that this is NOT your goal! Your goal is to participate at the best level for your own physical fitness program. Don't let your ego take over and undermine an otherwise productive and rewarding day and discourage you from the next workout.
So the tip of the day: If you are working out and are finding it is becoming routine, monotonous, and perhaps even a bit like drudgery then maybe it's time for some fitness technique rehab. Call up a friend and have them make some casual observations, and I think you'll be surprised at how a few minutes of constructive criticism can keep us focused and recharged so we can bring it very day.
Now, dontcha wanna put your shorts on and get into the gym and push play!