Weight lifting is a topic that is surrounded by both fact and fiction. How do you know that the rules you were following years ago still apply today? Are you hurting yourself or risking injury by sticking to something that was a fad? Below—to help you on the right path—we’ve listed five major weight lifting mistakes to avoid making.
5 Weight Lifting Mistakes to Avoid
1. Not setting goals. Weight lifting will not help you reach your goals if you do not know what they are. You can secretly follow along behind the biggest guy or fittest woman in the gym, but if will not make you look like either of them. Determine your goals and your path toward them before you get to the gym so you can hit it hard and see results.
2. Lifting too light for too long. Light weights and high repetitions will not give you the results you desire. Select a weight that causes muscle fatigue by the final two repetitions. To increase muscle size, aim to complete five or six reps instead of 10 to 12.
3. Using machines. Yes, machines have their purpose, especially if you are a beginner, but they do not mimic life movements. How often do you sit and lift something heavy while at work or at home? Probably never. Instead, choose from the multitude of free-weight exercises that have you standing and performing every day movements, such as lifting heavy boxes, reaching overhead, picking up a child or re-arranging furniture.
4. Avoiding exercises. If you are unable to perform a push-up or a pull-up, you may find yourself avoiding these essential exercises. What happens, though, is that you can create muscle imbalances that not only look funny, but may also lead to injuries. When faced with an exercise you find challenging, start small, but start somewhere. Grab your gloves and perform one pull-up or push-up three times a week, and each week add one or two reps until you are able to complete five to 10.
5. Limiting your recovery. One of the bestweight lifting tips from Len Kravitz, Associate Professor of Exercise Science at the University of New Mexico, is to use adequate recovery time. Your muscles grow during recovery, meaning when you perform the same weight training exercises on a daily basis, you will not see results as your muscle fibers do not have time to repair. Plus, you may arrive tired, which limits progress. Instead, allow for one to two days of rest between workout sessions, especially for larger muscle groups.
Avoid these common weight lifting mistakes to improve each workout and see maximum results!
Image Source: Jon Clegg