You may have heard about the many benefits of adding weight training to your current workout routine, or perhaps you’ve done your homework and debunked some of myths that were holding you back. Either way, you are about to embark on a new mission – to get PUMPED UP! Or ripped. Or shredded.
In any case, you are probably keen to start trying out weight machines at your gym and pumping iron with free weights and barbells. But before you begin your sojourn into the wide world of weight training it’s not a bad idea to cover the basics so that you don’t end up injuring yourself or others.
Here are just a few common mistakes that you’ll definitely want to avoid:
Foregoing a spotter.
If you’re just starting with weight training, you might not even know that having a spotter is an option, or you might think you don’t need one. Granted, the chick above probably doesn’t need a spotter, and whatever she’s doing, she’s probably doing on purpose, but if you are a noob and you get caught like this, you’ll either have to dump the weight off one side, or you ain’t gettin’ up.
In truth, you only need someone to spot you if you’re lifting free weights since the only thing keeping them from falling or crushing you is, well, you; obviously you won’t need a spotter on a machine where the weights are controlled by a pulley system of some sort. But if you’re depending on your own, potentially faulty muscles to keep your weights from crashing down, it’s not a bad idea to have an extra pair of hands at the ready should you be unable to lift or lower the weight safely.
It may be your goal to bench press your own weight, but it’s probably not a good idea to attempt it right out of the gate, no matter how fit you are. Trying to do too much too soon is a classic rookie mistake, and one that will likely end in injury. So start slow and work your way up, or if you’re not sure how to progress at an appropriate rate, ask for help from a qualified authority or hire a personal trainer.
Even experienced weight lifters can injure themselves when they aren’t proceeding with proper caution and care, so it’s no surprise that this common blunder is often the undoing of lifters new to the practice. Safety is key to ensuring that you remain fit and healthy when adding weight training to your exercise routine. So learn proper lifting techniques before you get started, and ask your spotter to give you pointers or let you know when you’re performing a move incorrectly.
Ignoring your body.
In this day and age we’ve been trained to ignore all kinds of signals from our bodies, relying instead on our powers of reason, intellect, and will to see us through. But believe it or not, your body rarely lies to you, and when it tells you that you’re in pain, there’s usually a very good reason. This isn’t to say that you can’t push your limits in order to get results, but you need to be careful not to overdo it.
Whether you’re trying to tone, bulk, or otherwise change the shape of your body through weight training, you need to understand that you’re not going to get the results you want without a proper diet. Luckily, you can join Weight Watchers, pick up an Atkins guide, check out candidadiet.org, or hire a nutritionist to help you figure out how you can integrate your diet with your weight training in order to reach your goals.