06 Nov The Number One Goal of Every Workout Program.

Barbell What’s the number one goal in your training program?

Quick, what is it?

Fat loss, muscle building, fitting in your old clothes again, feeling more confident, improving your health, dropping 20 pounds, pressing or lifting something heavy?

Whatever it is, your main objective is really what I’m about to share with you right now.

The number one goal for all of us is to prevent injury, first and foremost.

If we don’t train smart and get injured while training, there is no more training.  And, this will prevent you from getting the goals you really want.

Injury prevention is goal number one in all training programs and everything else is essentially secondary to that.  Capiche?

Here are 5 Laws to train safe and prevent injury along your training journey.

LAW 1-Know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Sorry to be so blunt here, but unfortunately some people (not you) have no idea what they’re doing or why when it comes to exericse training.

Always ask yourself if the exercise matches the goal.

I mean, is a barbell snatch the best exercise for fat loss or is it just me than thinks this may be a highly advanced and technical lift?

Some people (not you) get caught up in doing a whole bunch of stuff or trying some ‘new shiny workout‘ they shouldn’t be doing in the first place.

If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re not like those people and have a good understanding of what you can do and what you can’t.

If you’ve read anything from me before, you know I’m all about fundamentals before anything else.

Make sure you have a good baseline of whatever type of training you’re doing before you get “fancy” with other things.

Get your fundamentals down, then get fancy later if you want.

Know what you’re training for and work on mastering those fundamental skills.

Be clear on what you’re doing and why, avoid distractions, and stay focused.

This is smart training and this keeps you from getting hurt.

LAW 2-Get a good coach.  

Knowing what your doing is greatly accelerated by getting a good coach.

This goes for anything in life, not just working out.

Getting a great, qualified coach can pontentially elevate your progress faster that anything else.

Kettlebell training is a perfect example.  You probably already know that kettlebell training for maximum safety and effectiveness absolutely demands the proper instruction.

You can’t afford to take this lightly.

If you’re serious about your training and you want exceptional (not average) results, you must get a good coach.

A great coach will help you train safe and train with your number one goal in mind, preventing injury.

LAW 3-Practice a lot.

Practicing your skills is the key for continuous improvement.

It doesn’t matter how good you get at swinging a kettlebell, pressing, squatting, or whatever else, you can always get better.

The better and more efficient you are with your exercise fundamentals, the more likely you will be to prevent injury along the way.

Practice, practice, practice, then practive some more.

Never under estimate the value of continuous practice in skilled exericise and fitness training.

Again, the better you get, the more your chances for injury will decrease.  I just read a really great book on the importance of “practice” and getting better results.

Practice makes improvement, practice doesn’t make perfect.

LAW 4-Focus on technique.

This should be obvious, right?

However, what happens when you try to race the clock to finish a certain number of reps and “beat your time?”

You know what happens, your technique suffers and that’s when people get hurt.

I’m not saying that density training is totally a bad idea.

Heck, I use density training sometimes in my own training and it’s a powerful training method, but I don’t think this should be done all the time and especially when you’re working with complex lifts like kettlebells, barbells, and bodyweight (yes, even bodyweight).

I’ve seen many people who can’t even do a single strict, solid push-up or pull-up “flail” their way through a series of reps.

Is “flailing” your body through reps a good idea?  Don’t think so.

Let me tell you, this type of training begs injury.

Never sacrifice technique to “beat your time” unless you want to end up taking some unintentional “time off.”

For the last several years I have really dialed into my own technique, always trying to improve on the things I perform.

The result has been no injury to speak of in many years, despite training at a high level (knock on wood, of course).

LAW 5-Listen to your body.

“Pain is a signal that something is wrong.”  I honestly can’t remember where I heard that, but it stuck with me.

Don’t ignore pain and train through an injury.

Learn to listen to your body.

As a former physical therapist (and back injury patient), my patients would ask me “It hurts when I do this, what do you think?”

My reply was “don’t do that.”

Seriously, just using good, common sense is your best indicator of what you should and shouldn’t do, as basic as that sounds.

It doesn’t mean you stop moving or stop exercising, but you must train in ‘pain free’ movements, so if a particular lift or exercise is bothering you…don’t do that!

Again, this is “common sense 101.”  Sometimes minor aches and pains spontaneously resolve if you don’t do things that aggrevate them, so learn to listen to your body.

When I was younger, I didn’t listen to my body when I had initially sustained what I thought was just a ‘back strain’ at the time.

I ignored pain and I paid the price with a devastating injury, as a result (that sucked!).

Listening to your body is an absolutely unbreakable law for optimal training.

Burn this in your brain.

We all have specific goals and things we want to accomplish in our own training.  But, don’t forget that the real main objective is to train safe and prevent injury.

I know this is easy to forget and take for granted, especially when you are healthy, strong, and feeling great.

Always train safe, train smart, and keep making progess.

Keep injury prevention as your key to getting what it is you want.

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