Your bodybuilding journey can be one of two things: it can be safe and satisfying or it can be the biggest mistake you’ll ever make. It all depends on your thinking.
In the previous article, we talked about the importance of warming up and cooling down, we also explained why you should not be afraid to ask for help, and we told you the importance of support belts and when to use it!
If you haven’t read that part, click here.
In the second part, we dive deeper into personal safety, your way of thinking, and why it’s important to stick to proper form while lifting.
Before we begin, remember’ if you have the wrong mindset, lack proper experience or, if to you, safety while working out is not a concern. Get a pencil and paper, what you are about to read might save your life.
Pro tip 1: Don’t be a Know-It-All, Ask Questions
When I first started working out, I made lots of mistakes. My mistakes resulted in back pain, and if you read the first set of articles. You know that one time my right hand got bigger than the left.
Why Did All This Happen?
Simple, I was too proud to ask questions.
Now, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made back in the day.
Let’s say it’s your first time working out. In your head you want two things, one is to cut fat and the second is gain mass.
You don’t need a trainer or to ask questions for that, right? WRONG! See, there are lots of people out there masquerading as professional bodybuilders.
I ask you this.
How sure are you that that diet plan or workout routine you read in a magazine was not written by some fat guy in a basement in India?
What’s The Point?
If you don’t get it by now, the point is you need practical knowledge. And it’s not just you, even professional bodybuilders seek help.
Before he passed away, Joe Weider said this:
“Strive for excellence, exceed yourself, love your friend, speak the truth, practice fidelity and honor your father and mother. These principles help you to master yourself, make you strong, give you hope and put you on the path to greatness”
He didn’t say lock yourself in a basement and lift till you drop.
What I want you to remember is. There are no “stupid questions” when it comes to bodybuilding. if you have a question, ask someone, also, make friends in the bodybuilding community and use their experience and advice to better yourself.
Great Sources of Information to Use at Home
“how do I keep track of progress?”
“What should I eat?”
If you don’t get these questions answered, doubt will linger in head. AND THAT’S BAD.
Are you in North Korea? I’m sure you are not, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. the thing is, the internet is full of fad diets, conflicting opinions and in some cases made up nonsense.
To avoid getting scammed or making regrettable decisions, what you must do is find a good online trainer. There are thousands if not millions of trainers of trainers out there that you can work with via skype or similar sites or apps. This option is cheaper than hiring a spotter.
If you are in the market for one, tell us in the comment section, we will set you up.
When choosing a trainer, you should look for:
- Certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine or any other professional licensing/certification body.
- Use the 90-10 rule: 10% is written and 90% represents the human aspect (go for premium or extra options)
If you don’t have the cash, you can get very useful information on sites like YouTube. Also, a great way to keep track of progress at home is to invest in wearables.
Pro tip 2: Use Proper Form While Training
Why are they looking at me? Do I look stupid?
These are questions you need to stop asking yourself while at the gym.
Learn the Basics Before you Start Working Out
When left to your own devices, there is a lot of room for error. Bodybuilding is a dangerous sport, think about it, you stress your skeletal frame by lifting too much weight or lifting incorrectly. The bad news is if you don’t know the basics, the result might be injury or worse.
Here is the thing, there is a prescribed form and ideal method of execution for each bodybuilding exercise. That means that before trying something new, take some time to study the details. If you don’t understand anything, ask your trainer or workout buddy.
What’s More Important, Your Form or How Much you Can Lift?
From experience, I can tell you that your form is more important, why?
Lifting with the wrong form not only hinders progress and gains. it also invites injury. You need to work on your posture, learn how to lift properly, and figure out warm-up and cool down exercises that suit what you intend to do.
All in all, if you don t practice proper form, the following will happen.
- You will get injured.
- Your attempts to activate proper muscle groups needed will fail (waste of time and effort).
- you will not be able to lift to your actual strength.
Quoting nutrition and health professional, Nathan Ayala, “exercise done improperly is a lot of stress on the body”. He goes on to explain that your body does not have the ability to differentiate between different types of stress.
Stress equals, in this case, mental and physical pain. So, practice proper form while training.
Pro tip 3: Always Check your Gym Equipment Before Use
Do you have confidence in your equipment?
The problem with laziness is it can drive you to do some very foolish things. Laziness comes from the mind and it is part of being human.
If you have gym equipment, you may occasionally forget to lock your plates, some people rush repetitions, and some never bother to check their surroundings.
another costly mistake some people make is they never check weight plate collars.
As a rule, lifting alone is a big no-no.
You need a spotter or friend to help you if things go wrong.
According to the TelegraphUK, back in 2017, Babtunde Plumptre, who was a 39-year-old hospital IT analyst, died after suffering lacerations on his liver and spleen while exercising with a Smith Machine. According to eyewitnesses what happened was, the bench the victim was using collapsed.
Accidents can happen anywhere, to lessen the fallout. Check your equipment before use. The idea is to pay attention to the little details that might save your life. My advice, find a spotter or friend.
Pro tip 4: Clean Up After Yourself
A 2011 study by The Princeton University found that “clutter makes it more difficult to focus on a particular task”. According to the findings, “your small visual cortex can be overwhelmed by task-irrelevant objects, making it harder for you to allocate attention and complete tasks efficiently.”
When done using weights or any other tool at your disposal, put it back where it belongs. This is not just for safety reasons. As we have seen, clutter affects your ability to allocate attention and to complete tasks.
If that is not reason enough to start cleaning after yourself, remember that according to recent findings, slips, trips, and falls are the second leading cause of death and injury after traffic accidents globally.
I wish to tell you that bodybuilding is a simple journey that requires only lifting and dieting. But the reality is, your state of mind and dedication play a very important role in this journey.
There are no shortcuts or alternative routes. You must put in the work. To achieve your bodybuilding goals, you must stop making the mentioned mistakes. Instead, warm up before lifting, and cool down afterword, ask for help when you need it, find a spotter, use support belts when necessary, don’t be a know it all, use proper form, and always check your equipment before use.
I say again, you have the time, put in the work, and most importantly don’t forget to have fun. Purchase the full guide today for better insight on what you need to do to make your journey safer. It is up to you to do it, and you must do it.