Bodybuilding takes hard work and the discipline is enormous. Building your body will require you to work around very heavy weights and irons. To guarantee that these items do not have a detrimental effect on your body’s muscles, you must take a few safety precautions or injury can set you back for months. Begin by reading lots of material on the best bodybuilding practices. Careful instruction in the appropriate lifting methods will pay off in the long term. Do not forget some of the most important and most overlooked methods of protection. These are the warm up period and the cool down period including stretches. Here are 5 essential techniques from the gym to protect your body.
1) Always start with proper warm ups. The warm up and cool down periods should last for at least 15 minutes. I like to start with a stationary bicycle or elliptical to get the blood flowing. 10 minutes of this exercise will make a huge difference in your performance. 5 minutes of stretching will follow to get the muscles use to what will come along.
2) Start by going from low to high. What we mean by this is start with lighter weights first. After one set of this size, move up to the heavier weights. This lets your muscles get the idea of heavier lifting and prepares them for the increase of your body’s strength.
3) Determine exactly what your limits are and how far you can go. Only you can determine what the limits of each muscle group will withstand during bodybuilding. It is good to always challenge the limits of your muscles but be careful not to strain them beyond their capacity. Even expert bodybuilders can cause terrible damage to their muscles by going beyond their limits in pursuit of bigger muscles.
4) Bodybuilding training is not a competition every time you set foot in the gym. It is a process for gradually building muscle mass and toning your body over time. You are not proving anything to yourself by hurting your muscles. Take your time as you increase the weights. When you feel you may be over exerting yourself, back off of the weight amount and increase the reps. Muscle definition and building muscle mass is a result of calculated restraint. Aggressive risks will only set you back from the goals you have designed.
5) Always have a spotter when training with free weights. We can not over emphasize this point enough. The spotter should be closely matched to your size so each of you can assist in the other person’s muscle building workout. If you find yourself in a troublesome position, the spotter can quickly jump in and help out. You can then act as their spotter and this serves to increase your motivation and accountability. Each partner will not let the other off of their goals easily. No one wants a visit to the hospital. Your spotter will prevent this at all costs.
Bonus – an often overlooked method to stay safe in the bodybuilding sport is the use of mirrors. Why do most gyms have mirrors surrounding the weight areas? The form and method of lifting weights is very important. Lifting weights off center or lifting weights improperly are a major contributor to pulled muscles and injury. Start using lighter weights in the proper form with mirrors and watch your bodybuilding efforts explode.