GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR INJURY PREVENTION
How many of us here have some sort of joint supplement in the cabinet? Some glucosamine and chondroiten with MSM, maybe Super Cissus Rx? Do you have joint aches? Do those joint aches prevent you from performing at the elite levels that your mentality or sport demand? Here are some things to keep in mind during your training that will ease up tension on the joints and prevent other injury. Please keep in mind that I do recognize some genetic or even age related reasons for joint pain or injury and that this write up in not intended to touch on such topics.
Even according to Dave Tate – arguably the greatest weight lifting coach to have ever lived the majority of problems in peoples lifts are of a technical nature. The most common weight training injuries are related to poor exercise technique. Incorrect technique can pull, rip or wrench a muscle, or tear delicate connective tissue quicker than you can strike a match. An out of control barbell or stray dumbbell can wreak havoc in an instant.
Everyone has very specific biomechanical pathways. Arms and legs can only move in certain ways, particularly if you're stress loading a limb with weight. Strive to become a technical perfectionist and respect the integrity of the exercise - no twisting, turning or contorting while pushing a weight. Either make the rep using perfect technique or miss the weight. Learn how to miss a rep safely; learn how to bail out of a lift and ask for a spotter when needed. Don’t be a “tuff” guy.
Using too much weight in an exercise is a high risk proposition rife with injury potential. How do you know if its too much: if you can't control the weight during the negative; if you are unable to control the mind muscle connection and/or contract at the top of the movement; if you can't contain a movement within its biomechanical boundaries; and if you have to jerk or heave a weight in order to lift it. Using unrealistic weights while using devices such as wrist straps (not wraps) where you are somewhat affixed to the weight, if you are forced to drop the weight, it may remain attached to you during its decent.
Using too much weight in an exercise is a high risk proposition rife with injury potential. When it's too much: if you can't control a weight as you lower it; if you can't contain a movement within its biomechanical boundaries; and if you have to jerk or heave a weight in order to lift it.
An unchecked barbell or dumbbell assumes a mind of its own; the weight obeys the laws of gravity and seeks the floor. Anything in its way (or attached to it) is in danger.
Poorly Performed Forced Reps
Cheating and forced reps are advanced techniques that allow the lifter to train beyond normal. Taken past the point of failure, the muscle is literally forced to grow. When incorrectly performed, a cheating or forced rep can push or pull the lifter out of the groove. The weight collapses and a spotter must come to the rescue.
Cheating movements work; real world data prove this statement. Yet cheating, by definition, is dangerous. Any time you use momentum to artificially goose rep speed, thus allowing you to handle more poundage than when using strict techniques, you risk injury. To play if safe, use the bare minimum cheat to complete the rep. On forced reps, make sure your training partner is on your wave length. Don't go crazy.
How does overtraining relate to injury? It negatively impacts the body's overall level of strength and conditioning. Overtraining saps energy, retarding progress. You can't grow when you're overtrained. It also interferes with both the muscles and the nervous system's ability to recuperate - ATP (adenosine triphosphate, an energy compound in the cells) and glycogen stores are severely depleted when an agitated metabolic status is present. In such a depleted, weakened state, is it any wonder that injury is common, particularly if the athlete insists on handling big weights? The solution is to cut back to 3-4 training sessions per week and keep session length to no more than an hour.
Inadequate or Completely Neglected Warm Up
Let's define our terms. A warm up is usually a high rep, low intensity, quick paced exercise used to increase blood floor to the muscle. This quick, light movement raises the temperature of the involved muscle while decreasing blood viscosity and promoting flexibility and mobility. How? Everyone knows that a warm muscle with blood coursing through it is more elastic and pliable than a cold, stiff muscle. Riding a stationary bike, jogging, swimming, stair climbing and some high rep weight training are recommended forms of warm up.
Try a 5-10 minute formalized warm up before stretching. If you choose high rep weight training, try 25 ultralight, quick reps in the following nonstop sequence: calf raise, squat, leg curl, crunch, pull down, bench press and curl. Do one set each with no rest between sets. This can be accomplished in fewer than five minutes and warms every major muscle in the body.
Negative (eccentric, or lowering) reps are one of the most difficult and dangerous of all weight training techniques - and very effective at stimulating muscle growth. What makes negatives so risky? The poundage you can handle in negative exercises is likely to be the heaviest you'll ever lift.
Normally, we only lift what we're capable of moving concentrically. In negative training, we handle a lot more weight. Most bodybuilders can control approximately 130% of their concentric maximum on the eccentric phase of a lift. Someone using 200 pounds for reps in the bench press, for example, would bench roughly 260 in the negative press. Because of the increased weight used with negatives, you need strong, experienced spotters. Exercise extreme caution. If the rep gets away from you, the spotters need to grab the weight immediately.
If you under-eat and continue to train hard and heavy, you're likely to get hurt. Again, it relates to your overall health: Before of heavy training when in a weakened state brought on by severe dieting or restricted eating. It's best to save the big weights, low reps, forced reps and negatives for non diet growth periods. While dieting requires reduced poundage, this doesn't mean you can't be intense in your workout - it just means you need to use lighter weight.
ADD or FBD
If you’re a spaz who can’t ever focus then get the hell out of the gym. If you’re watching yourself in the mirror while bench pressing, then get the hell out of the gym. If you’re talking about how kick ass the Patriots are while doing a squat, then get the hell out of the gym. If you are talking about how great the Jets are then please go jump off the Veranzano bridge. If you’re doing a standing overhead press while staring at the broad in spandex who’s ass is quite perfect while she runs on the treadmill, then get the hell out of the gym. Go to the doctor. If you have ADD get some wellbutrin. If you have FBD get some clomid or run some tren with no test.