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Fresh, Fit and Healthy Fitness  

No Pain, No Gain?

Safer & Better Ways To Succeed in the Gym

By Tom Bonanti


Itís a fact that in order to make gains in the gym you need a little pain and suffering. No one ever said building a beautiful body was easy! Good old muscle soreness is as much a part of working out as protein shakes and broiled chicken breasts. Yet physical pain is nothing to take lightly. The old saying, ďNo pain, no gainĒ is a bunch of macho bull invented by some steroid muscle head as an excuse to take more drugs.

Be aware of your body as you workout. When youíre exercising and something starts hurting, cut it out, or you may risk serious injury- injury that could set you back and cause you to lose important gains. Stop, drink some water, stretch lightly, and re-evaluate your form. Proceed with caution as you continue your workout. If pain persists, take a break, head for the ice and seriously consider seeing your physician.

This is especially true for individuals with pre-existing joint or muscle issues. Being a big brave macho man and working through the pain could eventually bring you to your knees in one hell of a hurry. For certain conditions  consult your doctor before beginning or restarting your routine. Iím referring here to things like chronic neck pain, shoulder impingement or rotator cuff issues, chronic low back pain and chondromalacia (wearing of the patella). Once youíre diagnosed and treated for one of these ailments, only with your physicianís approval should you return to working out. Most doctors will tell you that with the correct progressive exercise program many of the above conditions can be greatly improved often without any prolonged lay-off. Make sure if you have a personal trainer to get a note from your physician giving you clearance to exercise and have the doctor list any restrictions you may have to observe with your current condition.

Whether you are a healthy fresh-faced rookie or a seasoned pro with an injury or two under your belt, there are a few steps you can take to keep strong and pain free for years to come.

1.     Donít forget the importance of a 5-10 minute warm-up before you lift. A brief walk to the gym from home or a few minutes on a recumbent bike can rev-up your metabolism and warm-up joints and muscles preventing injuries.

2.     Stretch briefly and lightly before lifting weights. Save more intensive stretching of the muscle group you are working for between sets or after your overall workout. Greater flexibility means less chance of injuries during bodybuilding or any other sport or physical activity.

3.     Weight training should be progressive. Begin with a light warm-up set and then progressively challenge your muscles with the next few sets as you add weight gradually and carefully. Keep a journal of the weight you lift.

4.     Always watch your form as you perform each exercise. Be careful. Get a good contraction of the muscle during the positive or concentric part of the motion and slow down on the negative or eccentric phase of the repetition. Take your time with each exercise and make each rep of each set count. Donít bounce, jerk or throw weights around. Put weights back where they came from and maintain good gym etiquette.

Your body is a work of art and your workout is one the most important tools you have to shape and sculpt it the way you like. Make sure to perform your exercises in a safe manner to prevent injury and build a body that is symmetrically balanced with strength and flexibility.

Fresh Fit and Healthy
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL 33304, www.pumpnincgym.com.