Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to avoid muscle injuries

By Jon Cardozo

In the beginning of a new body building program, the trainee is understandably enthusiastic and wants to see as much progress as possible as quickly as possible. This is a good thing of course, and it is important to take action while there is plenty of excitement and motivation to get going. However, this would be a good time to gain a little knowledge and do a little planning before getting started.

Even though a person might be eager to get started, rushing ahead with misinformation can lead to major problems down the road. Not only can this impede your progress in a strength training program, but it can also lead to injury and illness if care is not taken in the beginning. Here are a few tips to help you avoid pain in the future.

The first thing you should do is address any preexisting injuries before taking on an intense muscle building program. Getting a checkup with your family doctor is a good start, but you may need to consider some other therapies such as myofascial release to clear up any trigger points or scar tissue. Even some forms of massage therapy can be quite helpful, and many are surprised by the relief that these therapies can provide.

You may have to shop around to find the right chiropractor or massage therapist, but there are some real gems out there. The right kind of therapy can effectively treat injuries to your muscles and connective tissues. If you ignore these problems and try to get started on your weightlifting program anyway, you can make the injury much worse.

Another important thing to keep in mind is the recovery program. You should never underestimate the importance of resting in between workouts. Some people make the mistake of going to the gym day after day and following an extremely intense workout program. The truth is that your muscles need rest in between workouts since that is when they grow. Too many beginners try to build their muscles all at once.

Remember that muscle grows because you're exposing it to a heavier weight than it is used to. This growth occurs after the workout is complete, and the body needs time to rebuild the muscle cells. This is why many well known trainers only recommend a few hours of workouts per week, believe it or not.

Getting plenty of rest is actually one of the most important parts of muscle building. Do not underestimate the importance of a good night's sleep. Growth hormone is released during deep sleep, which is why you need to get plenty of sleep if you're serious about building a good amount of muscle. Also remember that your entire body is under stress during a workout, not just your muscles. You need to give your entire body a chance to recover before returning to the gym.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that listening to other guys in the gym is not always the best way to make progress. They may pretend to know what they're talking about without having the results to prove it. Your goal is to rise above the masses and be the best you can be, not simply to follow everyone else in order to become popular. Make sure to follow a proven system from a bodybuilding trainer who has experienced success without resorting to a bunch of supplements (let alone steroids).

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