Weight lifting and bodybuilding is a fun and rewarding sport although there are some safety concerns everyone needs to be aware of.
Focus on Technique
Failing to use the right technique during weightlifting exercises is the number one reason people get injured in the gym. Stop trying to boost your ego by lifting too heavy of weights that sacrifice your form and start focusing on proper form.
Some key examples
Squats – Make sure you go at least parallel. Failing to do so will cause pain knee pain. Also, be sure not to look down doing the movement. This will cause you to strain your back.
Bench Press – Keep your feet on the ground and your butt and shoulders on the bench. A nice arch in your back is preferred.
Shrugs – Avoid rolling your shoulders.
Be under control
More and more I see many people that seem unstable and trying to hurry through lifts. Being out of control on lifts can easy cause you to pull or strain a muscle.
Don’t bounce the weight around and make sure your feet are spread and planted right during lifts. Also make sure you have a good grip and breathe in and out properly during all lifts. Do not swing your body, like some people do while performing standing barbell curls.
It’s a good idea to get the blood flow going and do a little stretching before working out. If you are just starting legs, then do a few warm-up sets at 50% of your max. You should do a warm-up set or two for each body part being worked. You do not need a warm-up set for every exercise for the same body part though.
Be smart with your supplement choices
I recommend everyone avoid steroids or pro-hormones. Unless you have peaked in size, there is really no need to use them and it is not worth the shortcut. Also, be sure to use the recommend doses that a supplement calls for. Any “safe” supplement can be harmful if used in excess.
I also feel it is necessary to take breaks from supplements. Try to take a month break or more from a supplement after 2-3 months of continuous use. The longer you take of a supplement the more your body gets use to it and the less effect it has.
When in doubt have a spotter
If you are lifting heavy with a few reps, make sure you have a spotter. If you workout by yourself, do not be afraid to ask a stranger in the gym for a spot! Be safe and avoid an embarrassing situation and possible serious injury.