Starting it Right

I started lifting weights when I was 19 years old. I was a skinny kid who was told by many that I had a good frame to start with. So , armed with my oversized head ( It’s the encouragement I suppose that made it swell ), I acted with haste and lifted away.

Nobody really guided me. But I did read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding from cover to cover and used it as reference to construct my own training programs. Training programs? Yeah right.

I weighed 130 lbs. back then and if I remember it correctly , was already pressing my own body weight within a month. That’s a 100% strength increase over 4 weeks! Not bad for a guy who couldn’t even do 10 strict push-ups right?

Then my shoulders started hurting. It hurt so much that I couldn’t lift the bar above my chest. So I went to the doctor and had a check-up. His diagnosis was tendinitis. Apparently my shoulders weren’t strong enough yet to handle the weight. My muscles adapted very fast to the weight increases over the 4 weeks I’ve been training but my tendons couldn’t take it. Because of that, I had to take time off for 2 months. It was grueling not to be able to lift weights especially if you’re peaking that fast! Well, pain is always part of the learning process. But you don’t have to experience it as long as you start right.

Major Concerns in Resistance Training 

As with any physical activity, there is always a degree of risk in weight training. However , the risks involved are generally lower than most sports. Rates of injury are the highest when it comes to running and aerobics and lowest for cycling, walking and resistance training.

The Back

If you scroll back, I have an article on back problems that emphasize on strengthening your core for a stronger back. Back injuries are debilitating and difficult to remedy.So a lot of effort should be focused on avoiding back injuries during weight training….especially in the lower back.

It’s extremely important to maintain a flat-back lifting posture whenever the lower body is being trained. Furthermore , research has shown that a normal, slightly arched back has been found to be more superior to a rounded back for avoiding injury to vertebrae , disks , facet joints , ligaments,and muscles of the back. 

The Shoulders

The shoulders are very prone to injury due to its structure and the forces that its subjected to during weight training. Because it has the greatest range among all joints in the human body , its excessive mobility also contributes to its vulnerability. No matter how small the injury is to the shoulder joint, it can bring about friction with adjacent structures that can worsen the original injury.

The Knee

Ah the knee. Just on top of my head , I know more people with knee injuries than I have fingers. The knee is very prone to injury because of its location between two long levers ( The upper and lower leg ). Just by the structure of it (The knee is a hinge joint ) , its really not built to move laterally. Imagine how you open and close a door? Well, its the same range of motion as your knee. That’s why its very important to strengthen various components of the knee because in real life, your knees are exposed to forces coming from different directions.

Nobody wants to get injured. Aside from setting you back from your fitness goals , it also deters your from doing everyday activities. So I hope my explanations above can help guide you start right. What’s the rush anyways?


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