Young athletes are usually enthusiastic about making it to the top as quickly as possible. In the eagerness to achieve more, they often over exert themselves and sometimes end up injuring themselves. Athletes must not go to the gym just to lift weights. The primary objective is to improve strength and enhance performance in the sport. Without the guidance of a qualified trainer, young athletes often practice incorrect techniques, which may hinder their performance or worse, result in injuries that can end their athletic career.
Strength-Training Mistakes Athletes Make
Here are some of the most common mistakes many athletes make in the eagerness to quickly build strength.
1. Ignoring Form
Before athletes can become the champs of lifting weight, they must be in form to achieve this. Often, this aspect is overlooked and even gym trainers add weight before the athlete is in form. Though many trainers coach the athletes to first attain form, they still celebrate the athlete who lifts the most weight. This encourages the athletes to try to lift more weight and ignore form, which is an incorrect approach.
2. Too Much, Too Soon
Over enthusiastic athletes often move to heavy weights too soon trying to become Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight. Too much weight too soon is a common mistake many athletes make during strength-training. Lifting too much weight can lead to muscle tear and other injuries. It may also lead to exhaustion, sprains and can weaken the muscles.
3. Unplanned Approach
A planned approach yields better results and this holds good for strength-training too. It is crucial that athletes plan for training and practice. Discussing with the trainer and understanding your specific requirements can help in better planning. Based on the sport you’re involved in, the trainer may focus on strengthening the muscles that are used the most. A haphazard plan will only yield slapdash results.
4. Not Increasing Weight
When training for strength, athletes must gradually increase the weights to make continuous progress. It is absurd to repeatedly do the same thing and to expect different results. Everyone begins with light weights and then slowly increase the weight to build muscle and burn fat. Some athletes use light weights and do too many reps with them. This is ineffective and may cause injury due to the stress of the repetitions.
5. Training With Buddies
A normal fitness regime alongside friends adds to the competitiveness and encourages you to perform better. It also makes working out more fun. This strategy works well in most circumstances, but not while training for strength. Trying to compete with people having different levels of strength and stamina can cause problems in the weight room. Pushing yourself to match the other person’s limits is dangerous and causes permanent damage to your muscles.
6. Exerting The Same Muscle
Some athletes firmly believe that to build a certain muscle, they must keep working out on the same muscles. For instance, swimmers generally concentrate on arms and shoulders, while runners focus on their legs. Exerting the same muscle or group of muscles every day can be dangerous and may cause injuries, imbalances, and workout plateaus.
7. Not Listening To The Body
Since athletes hit the gym to strengthen their body, they must first learn to listen to it. Your body tells you a lot about your strength-training program. Some athletes assume that no pain means no gain. Actually, pain means it’s time to take a break and allow your muscles to recover. While some discomfort and soreness are common, pain is not. Pain is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.
8. Running Away
Running is a fantastic cardio workout. However, the distance covered plays a crucial role. For strength-training, smaller runs are optimal. Leave the long and tiring runs for the triathlon athletes. When the idea is to build strength, keep the running short, but effective. And more importantly, do not run just before or after a rigorous workout. It not only leaves the athlete exhausted but it is also useless and deprives the energy needed for the workout.
9. Celebrity Plans And Online Workouts
Training for strength must follow an individualist approach. In other words, each athlete’s physique, stamina, hormones, goals, and requirements are unique. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. An experienced person’s weight training will be different from that of an amateur’s. Most celebrity programs, internet workouts, and magazine know-hows are designed for a different set of people. What strength-training athletes need is a customized program that addresses all their requirements.