If we are talking about lifting, the word “control” is a word that I have come to dislike.
Many people tend to interpret controlled lifting as being synonymous with slow lifting. That is a problem because in order to demonstrate supreme control, you actually need to be able to lift a weight fast.
There is more to lifting than just moving a weight. We need to train our muscles to contract against resistance. One connection that needs to be made is for that muscular contraction to happen quickly, not to just happen.
Really, I am a huge proponent of lifting in a controlled fashion.
But just because you are doing an exercise slowly, does not necessarily mean you are the one who is in control.
Doing slow and (seemingly controlled) squats, but with wobbly feet - allowing your weight to shift from the front to the back part of your feet - is not controlled.
Bench pressing the bar up for a 3-count (and down for the same) is practicing little control if your back is relaxed and the bar flops around like a leaf in the wind, spanning from over the top of your forehead to over the top of your chest.
Control comes back to your body.
Can you produce enough tension throughout your body to handle and support the weight you are about to take? Have you established the proper body positions, positions that are necessary to safely begin the set? From the positions you create, are you able to generate enough force to move the weight without crumbling out of position?
Over the past couple of years, I have fallen in love with the word “deliberately”.
Deliberately means to do something consciously and intentionally; on purpose.
It is hard to not be controlled if you are doing things deliberately.
Approach your sets deliberately, don’t just go through the motions.
Once you have begun each set, move the weight deliberately, not casually.
Work on putting some speed on the bar.
This is where you really begin to understand what control is.