Lifting weights is easy, but preventing injuries when lifting weights is not always as simple. Because of this, it is not uncommon to find many injuries in weight training. To help prevent injuries and make your workouts more productive, here are seven key factors that you should take into account when weight training.

  1. Too many repetitions
    Do not do one exercise exclusively for a long period of time. For example, injuries occur frequently to bodybuilders, powerlifters, and athletes who do many bench presses. By doing the bench press in the same manner for many repetitions over a period of time, the stress on the support structures increases progressively. In time, an injury such as tendonitis can develop. Thus, to prevent over use injuries, you should vary exercise execution. Don’t do the same exercise in the same way continuously for many months.
  1. Using too much weight in an exercise which overstresses the muscles and support structures.
    In an effective periodization plan, heavy weights are very effective for muscle growth, but they are only used for a portion of the year. They are not used continually. The constant use of very heavy weights, especially when the body is not ready for them, over stresses the support structures greatly and can easily cause soft tissue injury.This is especially true if you max out often or are continually using 90 percent or more of your maximum weight in the exercises. For most athletes, the use of such heavy weights should be used only for testing purposes to measure the progress being made. Maximum weights are not effective training weights. Lighter weights in the 70–90 percent of maximum weight are much more beneficial for releasing the natural growth hormones to enhance muscle strength and size and with much less chance of injury.
  1. Insufficient warm-up
    Warm-up implies that you do activities to warm-up the muscles so that they are ready for the exercises to be performed. The best way to do this is with active stretching to get the muscles working. Doing static stretches, as is often recommended for bodybuilders and athletes, are not specific to any type of workout and have very little effect on preparing the muscles for the upcoming activity. If you want to do static stretching, do it after the workout.Prior to the workout, do active stretches to work the muscles by pulling or pushing the limb or body part through the full range of motion. In addition, doing a light set using 50 percent or less of the weight that will be used in the first set is effective in preparing the muscles for the heavier weights to be used. The key point to remember is that the warm up should be used to warm up and prepare the muscles for the upcoming work. It should be very specific to the workout.
  1. Not using good form
    This is perhaps the number one reason why many injuries occur. Bodybuilders, athletes, and others do many exercises incorrectly. This is understandable to a certain extent because exercise technique is rarely regarded as being very important. You must do an exercise in a manner that allows you to target the specific muscles in question, and at the same time, do it in a manner that is not injurious to the body, especially the joints and connective tissues surrounding the joint.Common examples of poor technique include a rounded back and knees not over the base of support during a squat, seated exercises with a rounded back, and moving weights held at the extremities at an excessively fast rate of speed. To learn more about how the exercises should be done safely and effectively, see Kinesiology of Exercise.
  1. Poor or absent periodization plan
    Regardless of whether you are a bodybuilder, powerlifter, weightlifter, or athlete involved in a particular sport, you should periodize your annual training program to achieve maximum benefits. With a sound periodization plan, there will be a steady progression from one type of training to another to achieve your goals. Each type of training develops your body to a point where you are then capable of doing the next type of training to bring you to higher levels. You do not experience any stagnation but show steady progress in your training.
  1. Training results are not commensurate with your technical and tactical abilities
    This is a common mistake made by many athletes who believe that developing greater levels of strength or other physical qualities will continually make them better athletes. You must understand that there are two main directions of training. One is improvement of technique, and the other is improvement of the physical abilities as they relate to your technique. If you overdevelop the physical abilities, your technique will suffer and you can become a poorer athlete. Thus, all the physical gains should be done with technique taken into consideration at all times. For more information on this topic, see Build a Better Athlete.
  1. A lack of sufficient or effective recuperation in between workouts
    In order to have continual effective workouts, your body must be physically ready for each workout. If the body is not sufficiently recovered from the previous workout, the following workout will not be a quality one. Thus, recovery is extremely important. When you have full recovery, there is full or almost full adaptation from the previous workout. The effects of the workout are sufficient to make changes in the body to make you stronger or faster.

In essence, you adapt to the workout to experience the physiological, chemical, or hormonal changes in the body from the workouts. However, if there is insufficient recovery, these changes do not take place and you eventually fall into a state of overtraining. The means and methods that you should use for recovery are detailed extensively in the book, Sports Restoration and Massage. It details the many different means that can be used for recovery, including the sauna, steam room, physiotherapy, pharmaceutical, chemical, and other methods.

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