The truth is, weight lifting has intimidated me for the longest time. It might have been all that iron or maybe all those bulk guys in the ‘guys section’ of the gym.
You know what I mean! But then, I thought to myself, enough is enough! The Spartan Race training calls for strength training, so I’ve got to put my big girl pants on and suck it up. And what’s awesome is that nowadays there are more and more girls who lift. And I’ve got to admit, they look totally bad@ss!
But then, on the other hand, you see all these ridiculous behaviors there! Grunting, loud noises, swearing! Gosh, guys looooove to show off. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to show off your skills. However, very often all you see is bad forms of people who have no idea what they are doing *Yes, even with my uneducated eyes! Imagine!* , and the only thought on your mind is, please don’t hurt yourself, please don’t hurt yourself! Haha!
Clearly, I don’t want to be one of them! Why get hurt because of lack of knowledge, especially that there’s so much information out there?!
I found some great rules of lifting etiquette and a few common mistakes to avoid at Bodybuilding.com. Here they are.
A FEW RULES OF LIFTING ETIQUETTE
- To start, always bring a towel and be kind enough to wipe off the machines, benches and equipment you use.
- Be sure to re-rack all the weight and replace all the dumbbells or barbells that are used.
- Don’t rest for extended periods of time on a machine that someone is waiting for; if possible work in with them between sets, most people are more than willing to share when asked nicely.
- Finally, please, leave your cell phone in your locker or car; nothing is more distracting than listening to another person’s conversation, unwillingly.
COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID
- Using too much weight, too soon; always start lower than your expected ability and work your way up that first workout. If your form suffers, you are swinging the weight, or using momentum, this indicates you may be using too much weight. Greater momentum increases the potential for injury and reduces the effectiveness to the muscle group being targeted.
- Not using enough weight; always play it safe, but if you can perform 30 reps with a certain weight, it’s likely time to increase it a bit. Tip: Increase the weight no more than about 5% at a time.
- Moving through repetitions too quickly, going too fast; there is nothing gained by lifting weights ‘fast’ some of the perks of lifting weight in a slow and controlled manner, include more total muscle tension and force produced, more muscle fiber activation both slow and fast twitch fibers, and less tissue trauma. *Remember, a joint is only as strong as the muscles that cross it; if you haven’t lifted in a long time, or ever, be careful what you ask of your joints.
- Not resting long enough, or resting far too long; both can be a workout killer. Tip: The recommended rest period is between 30-90 seconds, for overall fitness.
As you have probably noticed, my workout for today is called Arnold. *The Spartan Guide is very creative when it comes to workout names!*
According to the training guide, some may say that this isn’t functional, but Arnold says. “you’ll be back,” for this change of pace! Repeat this 3 times, using a weight you can lift within the desired range.
10-15 reps each:
Alternating backward barbell lunge
Alternating dumbbell chest press with overhand grip
Alternating incline dumbbell row with neutral grip
Back extension on machine with arms across chest
Cable lat pull-down with underhand grip
Alternating dumbbell shoulder front raise
Barbell wrist curl with arms on bench
Barbell wrist extension
Alternating dumbbell bicep curl with neutral grip
Seated 1-arm dumbbell tricep extension
Bridge and leg curl on stability ball
Leg raise with flutter kick on incline bench or floor
*For dead bug and flutter kick make sure the lower back stays neutral.
+ 30 push ups for 30 days challenge!!!
Now I’d like to hear from you, my weight-lifting friends! What are the most valuable lessons you learned while lifting? What are the errors I should avoid? Any tips or tricks?