If you’re looking to bulk up, train for a sport or get stronger, weight training can be effective. But it can be dangerous, especially if you’re new to it. While trying to reach your strength goals, safety should be the first thing on your mind. Lifting more than you can handle, having poor technique and having a poorly designed exercise program are all mistakes that can lead to a serious injury. Marudeen Aivaz is an avid weightlifter, and took the time to share the mistakes most commonly seen in beginner lifters.
Too Much Weight
New weightlifters often think they need to prove how much weight they can lift. But if others in the gym are pumping out multiple reps at high weights, you don’t have to compete with them. Maybe they’re experienced and can handle the weight. Marudeen Aivas state that you must curb your ego, learning proper form is essential to avoid injury and develop efficient muscle growth. He adds that beginners should start with lower weights and work their way up slowly. If you want to lift 200 pounds, start at a comfortable weight and increase. You’ll build muscle efficiently and avoid injury. In fact, lifting heavy can damage your growth, especially if you’re young. Your growth plates haven’t closed yet and lifting heavy weights can cause them to close early, stunting your growth.
Exercising and getting in shape can be exciting. This can often lead new weightlifters to over train when they begin, staying in the gym for hours and taking no days off. When it comes to weight training, though, less is usually more. Why? Your muscles grow when they’re resting. While lifting weights, your muscle tissue tears, while you’re resting, it repairs itself and grows. That’s why rest days are essential to progress and having routine will keep your days straight.
Focusing on the Same Muscles Over and Over
Being able to flex a pumped-up bicep in the mirror is nice, but new weightlifters often fall in love with working mirror muscles instead of hitting a wide range of muscle groups of a period of time. Going to the gym five days a week and doing bicep curls will only lead to injury and is counterproductive. Yes, these are the muscles people show off the most, but Marudeen Aivas states an overall body workout is more effective. Break your muscle groups up by days, and pair related muscles such as chest and triceps exercises together on the same day. If you’re hitting biceps and shoulders on Monday, let them rest on Tuesday and work on your legs. In this time, your arms will repair and grow, and you’ll work out your legs.
Not Warming Up — And Not Tracking Your Progress
Like any physical activity, it’s important to stretch and warm up before lifting weights. And warming up doesn’t mean doing a few rounds of toe-touches. Weightlifting requires a comprehensive warm up, including dynamic stretches, movement and running. Your muscles need to be ready to bear the burden of heavy weight. This will help avoid injury and feel more comfortable. Find a warm-up routine that works best for you and stick to it.
Also, track your progress. If you began leg-pressing 150 pounds and now you’re up to 300 pounds, write down the incremental increases and the dates you hit your goals. Keeping a log of your progress is important to help you continue progressing, the use of a journal ensures that you are not guessing as to what you need to accomplish.
Marudeen Aivaz’s Final Thoughts
Making mistakes as a beginner will either result in potentially serious injury, or unsatisfied progress. Understanding and avoiding these common mistakes will help you progress and stay safe as a lifter. As Marudeen Aivaz has discussed, the most common mistakes faced by beginners is lifting too much weight, overtraining muscle groups, exclusively focusing on the same muscles, not warming up adequately, and failing to track process.