Everybody has seen the guy who would rather die than bench press less than his training partners. When you sacrifice form for weight on the bar, you are essentially developing fake strength and training your ego, not your muscles.
It would be naive to ignore the indisputable fact that everybody goes to the gym to improve his/hers physique. If this was not the case, there would be no mirrors in the gym. You don’t need mirrors to perform the exercises correctly. When was the last time you needed a mirror while running? Do you see professional sprinters train with mirrors around them? The mirrors in the gyms are only useful for posing.
When your primary focus is weight, exercise form usually suffers as a result. A good example of fake strength and ego lifting would be arching your back to the extreme when performing the bench press. What’s the point of doing that? Reducing the range of motion helps you lift more weight, but we all know that the load will drop by 50% if proper form is incorporated.
If you are a recreational natural bodybuilder, and your goal is to simply build muscle, there’s absolutely no need to kill your joints to chase arbitrary numbers. It will do you no good, and the only thing that you will achieve will be a partial and temporary ego satisfaction.
Truth be told, you can reach your maximum muscular potential without ever maxing out. Keep in mind that if you are a natural bodybuilder, you are limited by your hormonal profile. Heavy lifting cannot eliminate the natty limitations.
You’ve been slowly conditioned to accept the strength numbers of drug users as something achievable by a natural bodybuilder. The whole Internet is flooded with videos of bodybuilders lifting insanely heavy weights. The truth, however, is that modern strength is mainly the result of chemical ingredients. No one would lift similar numbers without the drugs.
The advice of NattyOrNot.com is to quit lifting with your ego and finally make some real progress. This does not mean that you shouldn’t work hard, but do it without pressuring or hating yourself.
Ultimately, nobody really cares how much weight you are lifting. Everyone is focused on their own problems and narcissism. Don’t even bother trying to look good in the eyes of others. It’s a lost cause. Stop ego lifting. Build muscle.