Bruce Lee said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”.
That is true with anything you want to be good at. In the gym, that’s form. Yesterday, I did a 20 rep max backsquat. I haven’t squatted in at least a month. I have done other leg stuff, just not that. However, after a few warm ups to “grease the groove” as they say, I jumped right into it and it felt pretty good. Well, not after rep 16, then it pretty much sucked and I had to go to that dark place inside to finish….
The point here is form rules all. You expend less effort when you have good form. You use the right muscles when you have good form. You have better “muscle memory” when you use good form. Hence why I was able to jump back in after at least a 30 day break. I practice good form ,and a I practice a lot. Especially for compound lifting movements. They say 300 repetitions produces muscle memory. 3000 produces embodiment. More than that, up around 10,000 produces mastery.
No, I am not advocating you do sets of 1,000 until; you master something. That isn’t how it works. But pick something you want to get better at: squat, deadlift, pull ups, handstands, clean and jerk, broad jump, and do a few sets of careful reps concentrating on just form, every day. If it’s weights, use little or no load. Just a light or empty bar. Concentrate, be deliberate. Go slow. Speed is not your friend here. And be honest with yourself. If you can have someone watch or video yourself. Tear your form apart, fixing each as you go. You won’t get perfect overnight, but you will see improvement.
It takes time, but it is so worth it.