I have to write a correction to a previous article in which I stated I had never received a serious injury from lifting.
I have a friend who was not getting the results they were after for one main reason-they were afraid of injury. They simply did not attempt the more difficult exercises, did not use enough weight and performed far too many reps to gain strength.
I explained that (1) I had never had a serious injury from lifting, (2) lifting had greatly aided in recovery and long term stability from all the injuries I had incurred outside the gym and (3) being stronger at the time of my injuries may have prevented my injuries in the first place.
On the very next day after this conversation I incurred my first semi-serious injury from lifting!
And the injury was entirely my fault. I wasn’t over-reaching, I wasn’t showing off, I wasn’t pushing for a personal record, I wasn’t using bad form or “cheating” on my form. I wasn’t even close to my normal maximum for that lift. I was on the vertical leg press and was more than 200 pounds below my max.
I was injured because of something you should never do. I lost concentration. I was careless. I let my mind wander.
A close relative was in the hospital after surgery with a serious illness and things had not gone as planned. I was worried and distracted. That is not an acceptable excuse.
You should concentrate on every rep of every set regardless of how much weight you are using. If you are distracted and lifting heavy, pack up and leave the gym. Having several hundred pounds on the bar is not the time to get careless or lose concentration. Believe me, I will follow my own advice from now on.
My injury was not terribly serious (a cracked rib) but it could easily have been much, much worse.
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