These are some weight training tips you will want to take notice of because if you don’t you might not ever be the same again!
We have all been told, and we all know, that we need to warm up before doing any exercise but how many of us can truly say we do? The last thing you want when you’re making gains in the gym is to get an injury which puts you out for the rest of the summer. Warm ups don’t have to take up much time either. When i say, warm up, we are talking about very low weight and high reps, at a fairly fast pace. Just enough to get blood pumping through the muscles that you are about to work. Stop warming up when you feel your muscles aren’t cold anymore. This brings us nicely onto the next point, stretching.
Stretching is different than warming up because when you stretch you are lengthening a muscle and you do not want to stretch a cold muscle as this could cause injury and/or will just be a lot less effective. After warming up and stretching your muscles are relaxed and warm which means your muscles have gained a bigger range of movement. And that is why warming up and stretching will reduce the risk of injury. Warming up the body is just like warming up a car, you wouldn’t go racing around in your car when it’s cold as it could go bang!
The number one cause of injury is poor weight training techniques! If you have poor technique you can pull, and rip muscles or tear connective tissue. This was very apparent for me when i was doing stiff leg dead lifts one day in the gym. It was when I was doing it the first couple of times that i suddenly i felt my lower back just give up on me. Ouch the pain! The next couple of weeks were spent going to the physio to put me right. It was probably 3 or 4 months before i felt comfortable doing any back exercises, squats or dead lifts.
Obviously now I am wiser and I have sought some advice and watched many videos on the proper technique for the dead lift and other difficult exercises. The thing with lower back problems is they never really truly go away, and once it’s done the first time it easier to hurt it again, so do yourself a favour and educate yourself on how to perform a proper exercising technique!
So my advice would be to perform proper technique (if this means doing lesser weight then so be it) or skip it all together.
Leave your ego outside of the gym; do not perform exercises with weights you can’t manage. How do you determine if it is too heavy? If you can’t control the weight with proper form for the majority of the set, and if you have to heave or jerk the weight to lift it, means it is too heavy. Performing an exercise with proper form with a lower weight will give you better gains than performing the same exercise with heavy weights that put your back out!
The downfall of most over enthusiastic gym members! It is a good thing to push yourself but at the same time you need to listen to your body when it needs a rest, to recover and to build the exercised muscle. Just keep in the back of your mind, am I overtraining? You can’t grow when you are over trained! It depends on the muscle type genetics you have but I would say you don’t need to be in the gym any longer than 45 minutes MAX! At that time your body has reached its peak.
I would keep sessions down to 2-4 per week depending on your goals. Check out my workouts for skinny guys, which includes a 2 day workout. To lose weight or tone up, go for about 4 sessions, and if your building muscle bulk, go fewer times.