Safe and Effective Resistance Training

Strength training is one of the safest forms of physical activity, having a much lower injury rate than other common recreational activities like, basketball, tennis, golf, or running. As long as some simple guidelines are followed your strength training experience can be injury free.

Technique First

Approximately 80% of the injuries that occur during strength training are because of poor technique. The purpose of this site is to help you learn how to safely and properly perform a variety of exercises but you ultimately have responsibility for ensuring that you are doing the exercises properly. If you are not sure how to do an exercise after watching the exercise videos, it may be worth investing a few dollars to have a personal trainer or strength coach spend an hour showing you the exercises that are causing confusion.

A major cause of technical errors is training to failure. When you push yourself to the point that you can no longer lift the weight the last couple of repetitions are usually done with less than perfect technique. During the first 4-6 months of training, when your body is still learning to perfect the movements avoid training to failure, stop the set when you or your training partner first notices that your technique is starting to break down.

No Pain More Gain

One of the most persistent myths in strength training is that muscle soreness represents progress and that if you are not sore the next day you did not work hard enough. This is based on the notion that breaking down the muscle causes them to increase in size and strength. This is an overly simplistic approach to a series of very complex physiological changes at the cellular level involving many hormones, growth factors, and nutrients. There is little scientific evidence that breaking down the muscle is the best stimulus for adaptation. While it is common to be sore for a few days when you take up a training program for the first time; attempting to be sore after every training session will quickly lead to overtraining and a variety of injuries, particularly tendonitis as the tendons do not recover as quickly from the stress of training as the muscles.

Progression

It is important to challenge yourself during a training session, the overload principle, one of the primary principles of training, states that the muscles must be put under a continually greater stress if they are to continue to adapt. On the other hand the need for progress must be tempered with adequate recovery so that your body can adapt to the stress. It is human nature to jump in to a new activity with enthusiasm and while you may have the time to work out six days per week it does not mean you should. When starting a strength training program being with two sessions per week, increase to three after a few weeks months and then move onto a more advanced program, training four or more times per week after 3-4 months of training.


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