When I was a kid, I used to weight train 6 days per week and play soccer 7 days per week … sometimes with two games in one night!
But that is not a recommended schedule for anyone … not even for a 17-year old boy. If I only knew then what I know now.
And it's not just me who has trained too much. I see people overdoing it everyday.
Too many people get hurt by training too hard and too often that they end up stopping working out for life.
In fact, I believe there is a dark side of cardio that can result in overuse injury and stops you from burning fat.
So while I like to see people workout harder and more intense, it is also very important for all of us to train conservatively and not overdo things.
If you currently do cardio or interval training 6 days per week, I highly recommend that you cut back to 3-4 workouts per week. If you lift weights more than 4 times per week, there is a good chance you will get a shoulder injury from overuse.
So be careful!
So here are 10 tips to train safe.
1) Do not do any exercise that you are not sure how to do. Always get personal instruction from a certified trainer.
2) Do not do anything that hurts or "does not feel right". There are plenty of alternative exercises for every movement. Just ask a certified trainer for substitutions.
3) Whenever you start a new program, use lighter weights than normal, and do only 1 or 2 sets per exercise. You must always expect additional soreness when starting a new program just because of the new exercises, so do not try to set world records in a new program right away.
4) If you need extra recovery within the workout or between workouts, do not hesitate to take it. Safety first.
5) Use a spotter if you are training with heavy weights. If you train alone at home, follow my recommendations in the manual and do NOT train to failure.
6) Check your ego at the gym door and start with a beginner or intermediate workout, even if you have been exercising in the past. The new exercises, and new style of movements will cause muscle soreness even from workouts you think "look easy".
7) Do not do interval training more than 4 times per week. Even pro athletes do not play hard everyday, so why should we?
8] Never skip a warm-up. Use the general bodyweight warmups and the specific warm-up sets in each workout.
9) If you want to start a workout program but think you have an injury, get medical attention and have a professional therapist rehabilitate your injury before starting an exercise program.
10) Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise or diet program. All together now, "Safety first!"
Bonus 11) If you decide to use running as your form of interval training, make sure you have good running shoes, always do an extra warmup, and choose a safe running surface (grass or trails rather than pavement / concrete). If you use a treadmill, please operate it safely.
Train hard but train safe!