Saturday, March 31, 2012

Warm up! For heaven’s sake warm up!

Often when I’m talking about weight lifting, someone will tell me that they WERE lifting weights, but that they hurt themselves.
Highly dubious. I have my suspicions about the way these people work out. You might get hurt if you push yourself too hard, or attempt to lift too much weight, or especially if you are not warmed up properly when you start your work out.

I haven’t been hurt yet working out with weights, but I do admit that sometimes my elbow makes a funny clicking noise when I’m doing bench presses. I’ve found that if I’ve warmed up more vigorously, this doesn’t happen as much. But clicking elbow can only be a bad sign.

There are various ways to get your muscles warmed up and ready to lift weights,  and one of them is by lifting weights. But traditional warm ups should always be considered first.
Sometimes my warmup includes jumping jacks, jogging in place, and stretches. I do this enthusiastically for about five minutes. But even then, I do my start my work out with less challenging exercises and move up to more challenging exercises.

Sometimes my warmup involves weight lifting exercises performed with lighter weights. Again, I do quick, explosive reps with very light weights. I choose exercises with a maximum range of motion. These exercises include French curls, and pull overs.

All this being said, I sometimes wonder.  Are all these people telling me that they’ve hurt themselves working out with weights, really people who don’t want to lift weights in the first place and would rather wear a leotard and ride an elliptical machine?

If you’re going to lift weights, then shut up and lift them. Pick a safe starting point, and lift an appropriate amount of weight. Don’t try to impress someone, don’t try to be macho. Just lift a proper weight that will provide you with great exercise.