Today I’m going to give you the 10 best practices for a SAFE workout.
The first thing to remember about keeping your workouts safe is to avoid doing too much cardio. Particularly if you’re just starting out in a new routine or haven’t done much cardio lately. More is not necessarily better!
Same goes for strength training. More is not necessarily better. So here are the:
Top 10 Rules for Safe Workouts
- It is important to train conservatively and not overdo things. If you are doing resistance training (and everyone should), don’t do any exercise that you aren’t sure how to do. Always get personal instruction from a certified trainer.
- Don’t do anything that hurts or doesn’t feel right. There are plenty of alternate exercises for any exercise in any workout program. Just ask a qualified trainer for help.
- Whenever you start a new resistance-training program, use lighter weights than normal and perform only one set per exercise. This will minimize the muscle soreness that you can expect with any new program.
- If you need extra recovery time within the workout or between workouts, don’t hesitate to take it. Most beginners only think about how they can do more and more exercise to help them lose weight faster. But everyone (from beginners to pro athletes) needs some days of light exercise to allow the muscles to repair. And don’t worry. If you do the right type of exercise, you’ll still lose fat even when you are not working out at the gym.
- Check your ego at the gym door and start with the easier alternate exercises, even if you have exercised in the past. New movements, even those that look easy, will cause muscle soreness. This goes for yoga too. Many beginners overstretch and end up with the same kind of injuries often associated with weight training. So no matter what you do, be conservative.
- Do not do interval training or hard cardio more than four times per week. Even pro athletes don’t play hard every day. Doing too much cardio is the biggest reason beginners end up hurt, frustrated, and in the doctor’s office. Research shows that all you need to lose fat is three interval-training workouts per week. When you do cardio, you’re doing the same movement thousands and thousands of times in the same workout. If you have even the smallest injury, it will be magnified by this repetition.
- Never skip a warm-up. Instead of using the treadmill to warm up, do a general body weight circuit of easy squats, easy push-ups, and ab planks to prepare your body for resistance training.
- If you decide to use running as your form of interval training, make sure your shoes are in good shape, always do an extra-thorough warm-up, and pay attention to the running surface. If you use a treadmill, please operate it safely.
- If you have any type of injury at all, rehabilitate the injury before you start an exercise program. You are better off committing three weeks to rehab now, before the injury becomes serious, than to neglect your body and be forced to stop exercising for three months later on.
- All together now: “Safety first!” Check with your health care professional before starting any new exercise or diet program, if you have any doubts about your health. There is no need to get hurt, no matter how serious you are about getting into shape.
Don’t Let Your Workouts Be the Reason You Can’t Work Out
Those are the top 10 safety tips to keep in mind before you start working out. Don’t make the classic beginner mistake of doing too much exercise too soon.
And know that your diet will have a much greater impact on your weight loss results, so there’s no reason to over-exercise. Your program should include resistance training and interval training to help you burn fat, but you only need to exercise three times per week with total-body workouts.
Hope these guidelines help!