Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lifting Essentials 1

So I go into the gym, and every time I see a slew of people doing exercises wrong, or doing a useless workout. Everything I see is absolutely ridiculous! Here are some tips for in the gym

Clothing: Loose, comfortable shirt, stretchy pants or capris (I recommend not wearing shorts for a variety of reasons, but the main one is because it is physically painful for certain exercises), and the proper shoes. I wear converse low tops because I have a lot of ankle mobility, and I am not fighting against a lot of cushion for some of my exercises. Don't go and get really stylish clothing for the gym. It makes you stand out and it looks ridiculous and is not necessary at all (there is a girl at my gym that dresses like an '80s music video dancer).

Knowledge: Know what you are doing, how to do it, any why you are doing it. Before trying a new exercise, look up videos of how to do it. ExRx is a great place to see how an exercise is done properly. It also gives a nice description of what it does and breakdown of how to do it (the videos are small and in black and white, making them hard to see). It shows you perfect form so you can see EXACTLY how to do it. Youtube is a bit spotty with these kinds of ends up mostly being videos of people showing off how much they can lift (usually with not very good form). However, good lifting videos DO EXSIST on Youtube. I found one for bench press and the guy talked everything through. It was amazing!

A spotter: Not only is it safer to have a spotter, they can tell you how to improve your form (assuming they know what the proper form is). Don't risk it and rely on your own strength. Don't cheat yourself and not do as much as you know you can if your spotter isn't there. If you can't have your normal spotter, ask around in your gym. Most people there are more than happy to help another in need!

Water: Being properly hydrated eneables you to lift more and it prevents you from being really dizzy. I cannot stress enough the importance of proper hydration. Years ago, I ran cross country. Our coach always told us that if you are only 10% dehydrated (which would not sure in your urine), you would be about 15 seconds slower. If that is what 10% does, then I don't want to know how what happens when its more than 10%...

That's all for now. Stay tuned for more lifting essentials (I didn't want to overwhelm everybody)


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