Updated: Feb 10
The Mindset That Prevents Injury During Resistance Training
Resistance training, such as strength training or weight training, includes any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against external resistance, with the expectation of increases in strength, power, hypertrophy, and/or endurance.
Resistance training can cause injuries—like any physical activity. This is especially true when you are handling heavier weights. The human body isn’t a machine, so it can’t perform repeated movements precisely the same way each time.
It doesn't matter whether slight changes in movements are intentional or not. These small, incorrect movements accumulate to unbalance the muscle, leading to injury. It wasn’t a sudden snap; gradual misuse caused the injury.
To prevent injuries from resistance training, you should prepare accordingly. Use proper form, don't attempt too much weight, warm up before your workout, and don't cheat.
Rather than parrot the same things here, I'd like to share a mindset with you that’ll help prevent injury during resistance training.
Here are some simple things to keep in mind.
Understand it will take time—trust the process
Be patient and trust the process of weight training. Understand that results will come slowly. I mean very slowly—a few pounds a month, at most. This may seem discouraging. But it's important to understand that muscle doesn't grow overnight.
You have to consistently apply stress over time and let your body repair itself to see any significant change in your physique. Don't rush it. Enjoy the process and celebrate the small wins along the way. With this approach, your success will be much more enjoyable and sustainable—without injury.
Understand it’s your battle
Working out is not about impressing others with how much more weight you can lift. It's about building a strong and functional body for yourself. I understand most of us began weight training to impress others. But if you want to look good on the beach, there are plenty of other ways to do that (no offense if you're reading this on the beach).
If you want to lift weights for your health, understand you don't need to go overboard with your workout routine. Find a way to make it sustainable. Aim for progress every time you work out instead of trying to lift as much weight as possible each time you work out.
Quality trumps quantity
When it comes to lifting weight, you want to maintain a mindset of quality over quantity. Every rep you perform should be done carefully and with the utmost attention to detail. Every rep should look exactly like the one before it—as should the one after it. As mentioned in the first paragraph, I know this is impossible. But it’s still a goal to shoot for.
There should be no half reps, no cheat reps—there should only be perfect reps. A perfect rep is one that is performed with complete concentration—each muscle fiber in your body firing at precisely the correct time. Your form should be immaculate.
You should use the right amount of weight for your body. And never rush through repetitions or sacrifice form for the sake of moving more weight. With this mindset, you’ll minimize the chance of injury.
Stick with the basics
There's a lot of information out there about weight training. There are new techniques and new products coming out all the time. It can be a little overwhelming for those starting out. After all, you want to get in shape, but you don't know the best way to do it.
But everything you need for proper weight training is already at your fingertips. The important thing is being able to distinguish the information that will help you reach your goals from the useless fluff.
Sure, some newer techniques may be very effective. But only if you already have a certain level of skill or fitness. If you don’t think you are at that advanced fitness level, stick with the basics. It’s the best and most proven way to reach your goals—and to do it without injury.
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