Have some respect and fix your bad form by Paluna Santamaria

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Below is an awesome article written by one of my favorite weightlifters that I coach: Paluna Santamaria. Yah she’s a great weightlifter, but she has a lot to say that just needs to be said. She is a positive person making a positive impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @Palunamoves ! Now enjoy!

Have some respect and fix your bad form by Paluna Santamaria


Lately my social media feeds have been flooded with lifting videos. This usually makes me happy. I get to see ladies who were afraid of weights killing it in the gym. I see strong guys getting stronger, I see encouragement, support and smiley faces; other times I get a little disappointed. Half of those videos have bad, if not terrible form.

I read a hashtag the other day that made me chuckle, it read: “badformgoodlooks.” At first glance, it’s clever, it’s funny and it acknowledged what I was seeing in the video, but after the first laugh it made me think deeper.
In a world full of weekend cert trainers, self proclaimed celebrity trainers and Instagram coaches I think we need to be a little more responsible with our content.

Berlin 2012 front squat 2

If you are a newbie looking for feedback, posting your progress videos is great, but if you are charging for services, calling yourself an expert, a competitive lifter or a certified personal trainer, you owe it to yourself and the people who follow you to acknowledge your bad form, explain what you are working on and then correct it.

The web world is great. We all have a chance to express ourselves without worrying about the consequences of our words or actions. It’s fun, you get instant feedback from friends and followers. You feel great about yourself. You click “share” and all of a sudden you are funny and famous.


If you are looking to increase your followers or create a specific persona on-line, your bad form and clever hashtags may be part of your plan. If that’s the case you can stop reading here, although it’d be better for the industry if you got your shit together, in other words, study more, practice more.

I read an article once called “your Facebook personality” or something like that (my apologies to the author as I can’t remember where I read it).
The author urged you to ask yourself what the purpose and intention of your post was, to analyze the type of feedback you were expecting before posting. I must say practicing this has taught me a great deal about myself.
Even though my post is directed towards those charging for services, the above exercise can be useful in all aspects of our lives. It’s the “think before you speak” of the internet world.

Let me clarify, this is not about who’s a better coach. Let’s be real, no one will ever be the best coach in the entire world. There is room for everyone. Whoever claims to be the one and only needs to check their ego at the door.
This is about being responsible, having work ethics, respecting your work, your teachers, your coaches, your students.

I have huge respect for my clients and even though I don’t have millions of followers on any social media venue, I know few people wanting to improve and learn are watching. Some admire my work to the point of copying exactly what Im doing.
I don’t have any crazy impressive skills but I do have an obsessive thirst for learning and understanding what Im doing which in return has made me very efficient at the skills I’ve chosen to practice.

When you don’t see and/or acknowledge your bad form we’ve got a problem. We need to educate and help each other. We have the ability to choose what we share, let’s think twice, be stricter on ourselves.

I’ve posted bad form videos to make a point; to share my journey or to teach something.
It’s important to know where we stand when we decide to charge people for a service. Your journey won’t be everyone’s journey so the way you lost 20lbs or got PR’s on all your lifts may not be the best way for someone else. There is no rush to post.
Social media gives us a power that we didn’t have years ago. It allows us to reach a bigger audience.
It welcomes everyone into our world; our routines, the people we love, what we enjoy eating, etc.

Lets use this power to hold us accountable to continue improving as athletes and coaches. Lets train hard, eat well, spend time with our families and rest. In other words, let’s walk the talk and have some respect.


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