Thinking Like a Pro: Smart Gym Moves, Part 2

How can you make your journey to bodybuilding glory as safe as possible?

In our last blog post we talked about the importance of warming up, using a spotter when performing potentially risky exercise and the importance of wearing weight belts when your lower back will be under a high level of muscular strain.

Today’s blog post will cover more ground in terms of establishing your personal safety while you’re working out at home or in the gym.

A large percentage of bodybuilders also have equipment at home and they work out in the garage, basement or living room. Some folks even have a dedicated room at home where they use a home gym. Regardless of whether you work out at home, or at the gym, your safety is a #1 concern.

Pro Safety Tips

  1. Pro Move # 1: Always Lock Your Plates

If you’ve been lifting weights for some time now, you’ve probably thought once or twice not to lock your plates because the process does get a little tiresome, especially if you’re using rotating cuffs.

While some bodybuilders admittedly forego the use of weight plate collars while they’re working out, don’t follow in their footsteps. If they want to increase their risk of injury while working out, then that’s their decision.

However, if you want to be one hundred percent injury-free and accident-free as you continue with your bodybuilding transformation, pay attention to the little details that could save your life. Unless you have two spotters on either side and a complete mastery of gravity and the physics of weight plates, not locking your plates before lifting can cause severe accidents that could prematurely end your bodybuilding days.

Pro Move # 2: Bring Those Bars and Plates Where They Belong

If you’re done using your weight plates and you’re moving on to bigger plates or a completely different tool or equipment, be courteous and place all the equipment back to their proper places in the gym. You’re doing everyone a huge favor by doing so!

Another reason for this tip is that it can be dangerous to have loose plates and bars on the floor when you’re working out. Imagine tripping over a bar while carrying a hundred pounds worth of plates; you’ll be a sight to behold, I can guarantee that!

Pro Move # 3: Don’t Be Too Proud To Ask Questions

If it’s your first time to use the gym specifically to cut fat and gain mass, you have to be willing to talk to certified trainers and other bodybuilders so you can benefit from their experience and knowledge.

Reading books, magazines and manuals is an excellent habit and will definitely protect you from false information. However, practical knowledge is just as important and even Mr. Olympias like Jay Cutler still seek advice when they want to clarify or improve their technique.

There are no “stupid questions” when it comes to bodybuilding. Even the simplest questions are important especially if they concern technique and form.

Pro Move # 4: Stick to Proper Form and Ideal Execution All the Time

Each bodybuilding exercise has a prescribed form and ideal method of execution. Before even trying a new movement, study its details closely and ask your trainer questions before picking up a bar. Many weightlifting and powerlifting movements seem extremely simple… until it’s actually time to perform them.

Unorthodox strength building exercises such as Russian kettlebells also have special techniques that will ensure your safety. If you fail to follow basic safety guidelines and proper form, one or all of these things can happen:

  1. You’ll end up with an injury.
  2. You will fail to activate the proper muscle groups needed to carry out a movement successfully.
  3. You will have to settle for half repetitions or “half reps” because you didn’t achieve the full range of motion required by the exercise.
  4. You’ll have a severe accident that could injure or even kill you.

Proper form and technique doesn’t just keep you safe – it also maximizes your performance and the actual gain or muscular benefit of all exercises. Maintaining ideal form can be difficult at times and this difficulty is actually what makes you stronger and better.

If you can overcome the difficulty of using proper techniques every time you hit the gym, you will not be wasting your time (or money) because all your efforts will pay off.

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