Weight Training Safety Checklist:
Three Things You Can't Afford
To Ignore

It's vitally important to keep weight training safety measures in mind – especially if you're a beginner. To get the most out of your workouts, and to prevent injury, there are 3 things you should know.

1) Proper technique is a must when you're lifting weights.

When you're training with weights, especially heavy ones, always perform with care.

Think about putting a full-length mirror where you work out, so you can check your form.

It's important not to hurt yourself, so watch out for the following:

When you press weights over your head, you MUST make sure you have a secure grip. Don't look up at the weight, or you'll strain your back.

If you're a beginner, don't push your limits too soon. Don't get over enthusiastic and start lifting very heavy weights.

First of all, you should just learn how to do the exercise movements with light weights. Only when you have mastered the movements should you start with heavy (but still manageable) weights.

Progress gradually and consistently.

2) If you feel pain, stop the workout immediately.

When you are doing weight training workouts, the muscles you're working on will feel uncomfortable. The exercises should feel quite hard.

But the discomfort you'll feel (because of the effort the muscles are putting in) is very different from pain.

If you feel pain in a specific area, that's a sign that something's wrong. If that happens, stop the exercise that's working on that area.

If the pain disappears, try the same exercise with a much lighter weight. If it still hurts, stop training that area for the rest of your workout. If the pain persists, cool it with an ice pack (tip: a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel is a useful substitute), and consult your doctor.

3) Give your muscles enough recovery time.

This is probably the most important weight training safety issue. You shouldn't train the same muscle groups two days running.

For example, if you train your shoulders, chest and arm muscles today, you should give those areas a rest tomorrow. Instead train different areas such as your legs and buttocks. This is because the body is not used to the pressure. It needs time to repair itself, so it can cope better with the pressure the next time.

Recovery is just as important as your training. Allow 48 hours before you train the same group of muscles again.

There you have it. Keep these weight training safety issues in mind when you train.

Train hard, eat well and you'll get your dream body in next to no time.

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