10 Suggestions For Safe Resistance Training

Posted: July 19, 2008 in exercise, Sports Medicine
Tags: , , , ,


This was an excerpt from Charles Staleys’s “The Unatural Athlete.”  Some good sound advice!

1.  Don’t lift weights alone. Accidents can be avoided when a training partner is there to help. 

Bench pressing is particularly dangerous — many have died after becoming trapped under a 

weight they couldn’t lift back up. If you must bench alone, use dumbbells or a machine press. 

2.  Don’t lift weights unless you know what you’re doing. Seek qualified supervision so that you can 

get the most out of your training efforts, and stay safe in the process. 

3.  Don’t lift heavier than what your program calls for. Doing maximum-effort lifts (for any number 

of reps) can be dangerous, are not necessary, and have little place in most athlete’s training 

programs, except for occasional tests of maximum strength. As a general rule of thumb, leave 

2-4 reps to spare on every set. 

4.  Don’t training with weights right before skill training. Fatigue resulting from the weights will 

hamper your efforts at acquiring/improving skill, so do your skill training on days when no skill 

training is taking place. 

5.  Don’t train your legs with weights before running or jumping rope. Tired leg muscles (from 

squatting and other leg exercises) mean that your hip and knee joints are not as protected, and 

these activities create too much shock and jarring of these joints. 

6.  Don’t neglect to use safety equipment. Locking collars, proper training attire, solidly built 

equipment, and adequate space are all-important for accident-free training. 

7.  Don’t leave weights scattered on the floor or leaning against the walls or equipment. The single 

biggest cause of gym injuries is failure to put weights back on their storage racks. Keep a neat & 

tidy gym to avoid injuries. 

8.  Take a moment to make eye contact with anyone else lifting nearby before heavy lifts that 

require your total concentration (such as squats, power cleans, or deadlights). Doing so will let 

them know to stay at a distance so that you can concentrate on lifting, rather than whether or 

not someone is going to “walk into you” during a heavy set. This sort of thing happens more 

often than you think, especially in commercial gyms. 

9.  Don’t neglect any part of your body. Your training program should address every major muscle 

group so that a solid foundation can be developed. A neglected muscle means that you will have a weakness.  A recipe for injury.

10.  Don’t try to unload a bar one end at a time. Taking weights off the bar on one side only causes the 

other side to become unbalanced and fall (or more often, catapult) from the rack — sometimes 

with great speed and force. Be safe and unload plates from the bar by alternating ends.


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