We’ve talked about safety and gear when running outside before (Mike has done a great job of covering the important points), but it’s important to remember safety doesn’t get checked at the gym door. If you’re doing anything, from treadmill running to weightlifting, make sure you know how to be safe. I learned that the scary way this weekend!
(image courtesy Daily Mail UK)
Saturday morning I woke up feeling a bit rundown, but decided I would still try to push for my planned gym workout. I did weighted squats first, and while they felt a bit tougher than usual, I felt decent. Then I went to use the bench press, and that’s where I should have realized I was off to a bad start. I did my warmups, and went to do my working set, and could only eke out 4 of the 5 planned reps in the first set. I should have taken weight off the bar and done a lighter set, but I’m stubborn. The next one I muscled out a full 5 reps, and then came the bad set. I did 2 reps, and on the third one my arms gave out completely and I couldn’t lift the bar back up. This was a problem. I couldn’t lift the bar up, and I couldn’t move easily because if I shifted the wrong way I ran the risk of the bar slipping backwards and ending up on my throat. Then I remembered the “roll of shame“, and I managed to carefully roll the bar down my body to the end of the bench and to freedom. But if I hadn’t read up on safety tips when lifting alone, I probably would have panicked and been trapped under the bar until someone else entered the weight room!
This was an important lesson for me. First, I learned not to be ego-driven, and not to push too far when I’m feeling crappy. More importantly, I learned that safety isn’t just about being aware of your surroundings, or using common sense around weights, or not flying off the back of the treadmill during intervals. It takes less than five minutes to do a quick Google search and come up with tons of videos and tips on how to handle just about any workout safely, from simple bodyweight workout safety to not crushing your windpipe with a barbell. So don’t be like me. Take a few minutes, review your workout, and make sure you know what to do if things go badly!