Don’t try to show off or impress anyone in the gym. Thinking about what other people think is one of the biggest obstacles to going to the gym and being successful in there in my opinion. It certainly used to weigh on my mind when I was younger and you worry about the puny little weights you are lifting in comparison to everyone else.
Remember everyone is different and everyone had to start somewhere. Stay committed and focused on yourself. Nothing else matters.
This is where “form over fiction” comes in. Loads of people workout to tell others about it or try and show off in some way, lifting the heaviest weights possible just to brag about it later. Yes lifting heavy is going to increase your strength and provide gains but if you are doing it with poor form you are likely to end up injured and may not even see the same results as if you were lifting lighter with perfect form.
It’s that old adage, quality over quantity.
Things like time under tension and range of motion are big ones here and are commonly overlooked. For instance take the squat, which your mate says they can do 150kgs for 8 reps…fair enough. However, when you go to the gym with them they aren’t even squatting down to 90 degrees or are perhaps bouncing up and down rather than a slower controlled movement in the down phase. It has been scientifically proven that a fuller range of motion results in bigger gains in strength and muscle size.
However, as with everything there is an argument that incorporating partial range of movement exercises to accompany full range ones can help more than just full range only:
Now it’s pretty difficult to analyse your own form on the various exercises you will do unless in front of a mirror but even then you can’t really watch yourself bench press for example. So I would suggest going with a buddy or even filming yourself, with weight or without so you can see/feel the range of movement you want to achieve and you can reproduce that in the gym. Then you have got to be realistic with the weights you are choosing so that you can still fulfil that range of movement, whilst pushing your body to hit your desired rep ranges.
Don’t cheat or fake it because you are only cheating yourself and limiting your success.