Yep, I'm writing another useless training thingy..
When I started lifting at the age of 14, I was helped out alot by my friends who were 3x bigger.. I don't think I did any curls or small musclegroup exercises the first year of training, just heavy compound movements.. Years pass, my strength stays in the "Damn, you can lift THAT?!?" realm of things.. But, there was always that fear of dropping something heavy on my chest during bench, or my shoulders popping out when military pressing.. This fear came about when at age 19 while deadlifting 595, my lower vertebrae decided to do this weird shifting motion that caused me to drop the bar on my second rep.. Since then, I got this jittery feeling about doing anything remotely risky, even if I did have a 290lb spotter over me. This made my bench suffer, my squat almost didn't exist, my lower back thanks me for ending the punishment..
Face your fears!
One thing I had to keep in mind is that I'm control of the weight, not the weight controlling me. Once you feel you can't control it, lower it.. Don't let ego take over the lift, that's when injury comes.. I've trained with guys alot bigger than me, and when I know I can't control the weight, regardless of their bullying, I won't touch it.. The "gain" isn't worth the injury, if they can handle it, good for them.. Taking your time in easing into it is the only way. I've seen alot of guys get hurt trying to break thru, yet they never even worked their way up to that point to begin with.. Remember, you control the weight, and it takes practice to know how much control each weight needs to get anything out of using it.
This is not a race!
I'm sure we've all seen it, too many seem to bench/squat/yank the weight too fast, in a poor range of motion. This is a pet peeve of mine indeed, I never move weight fast in a limited range. This is just askin' for something to tear. It may take me 3-5 seconds to get thru a single rep, because I like to stimulate the muscle being worked. Of course I've done reps way too fast once, didn't feel too much of a pump from it so that idea has gone bye-bye.. The idea of control also means rep speed should be in consideration.. No bouncing the weight off your chest, no hopping-like motion at the top of a squat, no yanking the bar off the floor in a deadlift.. Keeping control, staying in a smooth accent/decent type movement thru the set. This will help you grow, not swinging the weight around, that only means you can't handle it.
Face the music, and turn it up a notch!
Only when you feel strong, confident, you will be able to return to lifts of old.. Dexter Jackson, for example, couldn't deadlift for a long time due to back problems, much like myself.. He now can deadlift again, and credits deads for his gains that helped him get the placings he's earned so far.. I also stepped up and did actual deadlifts again after all these years, and boy did it feel good! Beating your fears on certain lifts can be a good boost, and it wakes you up to how strong you've actually gotten since the last time you tried.. Has it been awhile since you've gotten a certain number on squats? Get a good spotter, and go for adding 5lbs to your "comfort number".. You'll amaze yourself as I've amazed myself.. Stay focused and sharp, don't psyche yourself out too much.. If you tackle the mental aspect of the lift, it won't be as heavy as it looks..