The gym is a wonderful place, but it can also be very dangerous. So how do you prevent yourself from getting injured?
Well, perhaps a good way to look at, is to see what you shouldn’t do. It’s obvious that you don’t want to throw a dumbbell at someone who has been on the treadmill for too long, but some things aren’t so clear.
And with that, let’s begin.
1. Don’t lift with poor form
EVERY time we post a video on Facebook, someone will criticise the form. Though this can be frustrating, it does go to show that most folk who lift are interested in their well being. If you walk up to a weight without being sure of the correct form to lift it safely, you run the risk of serious injury.
For example, CrossFit is a sport often associated with poor form, and in a survey by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research it was found that “97 (73.5%) participants had sustained an injury that had prevented them from working, training or competing.” It’s not a good idea to generalise, and it’s obvious that not all CrossFit is like this otherwise it wouldn’t be so popular, but you can see some basic correlation.
2. Don’t lift alone
You don’t HAVE to have a gym buddy, but for safety, try and get one. Okay, if you have been lifting for twenty five years, and you are using the safety mechanisms on a machine, the chances of you getting hurt are slim.
But new or old, lifting free weights can at times be dangerous. The bench press for example; if you pick a weight that is too heavy for you, you could crush yourself. So either get a buddy, lift in a busy gym or lift sensibly.
3. Don’t go too big too soon
It does seem that in every article, we talk about not trying to lift too big. But there is a reason. Lifting too big and overreaching yourself is a catalyst for poor form and extra strain on your muscles and joints, and with that, comes injuries. Yes you want to be looking at overloading, and progression, but there is a fine line between that and lifting something you can’t lift properly.
4. Don’t ignore others
“But I don’t want to pay attention to the sweaty grunter!” you may be shouting. Well that’s fine. But a gym is a place where you can learn from others, whether that means learning from their mistakes, or listening to their advice.
You should also pay attention to the staff at your gym. The induction is done for legal reasons, and can seem boring, but it is designed to keep you safe.
5. Don’t stay glued to your mobile phone
Yes you can use your phone for listening to music, and you might want to send the odd text to let your other half know that you will be late for dinner. But if you sit on your phone, perhaps browsing on our site to see if we have a protein sale, then you aren’t giving the gym your full attention.
In turn this means you might not put the effort in, meaning poor results. It means you might lift with poor form, meaning injury. And, in extreme cases, you might annoy others so much that you end up with a fist in the face, and a whole new type of injury
Disclaimer: we have no evidence that anyone has been punched due to having a chat mid set. But we do have an active imagination.
6. Don’t be a messy gym user
Not re-racking your weights is possibly one of the most annoying things that you can do. Behind murder, burglary and playing music on a dodgy phone speaker when in a public place. You are creating a tripping hazard, which means YOU can trip.
A lack of care for the facilities, will soon become a lack of care for your workout. The reason you aren’t putting weights back properly, or wiping your sweat from machines, is because you aren’t focussed, and a lack of focus, can cause problems.
7. Don’t take too much pre-workout
“Why would a supplements provider tell me to not take too much of their products?” The reason is simple. There is a specified dose on pre-workouts for a reason and that’s to keep you safe. If you take too much of something, you run the risk of going too hard or not being able to focus. You also run the risk of crashing, and if you’re mid set, you’re asking for trouble.
8. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet
Yes this is on the internet, but for every one helpful article, like this, there are a dozen useless ones, with poorly researched information based on internet myth.
There are also hundreds of gifs with dangerous but exotic workouts, and a seemingly infinite number of “fitspo” memes. “No pain, no gain” isn’t always true. If you in pain, you could be injured, and you can’t make gains when injured.