5 Tips on What NOT to do While Lifting Weights

How to avoid injury and see results!

Ready to put some focus on your weight-lifting goals? Studio SWEAT and Studio SWEAT onDemand have some great classes and videos that’ll teach you proper form and get you on track to some toned muscles, but there are also some pretty important “No-Nos” in weight training for both injury prevention and to be sure you are progressing in your fitness goals. Cat Kom is joined by AJ, our SSoD weightlifter extraordinaire, with the top five rules for what NOT to do while lifting weights.

What NOT to do:

  1. DON’T hold your breath. Just like during cardio, it’s important to move oxygen through your body. The best way to do this properly is to exhale during the hardest part of the move. When Cat needs to remind herself to do that, you may even hear a loud exhale or two that gets her inhale/exhale rhythm on track.
  2. DON’T use the same weights every time you workout. If you always grab the same weights, you won’t progress. If your goal is 15-20 reps, and you can nail that, it’s time to increase by 2-5%. And no, you won’t “bulk up” by increasing weights.
  3. DON’T focus on quantity over quality. Always focus on high-quality form. Let’s unpack how to do this and still maximize the burn. If you’re in a class where the trainer’s got you doing a particular exercise for time, say 45 seconds, you may be able to get 30 seconds in before you hit a wall. At that point, you have a couple of options that don’t sacrifice quality: stop early, or drop to a lower/no weight. If you’re counting reps, it’s ok if you can’t get all of them (hey, it might mean you need to drop the weight a bit). Listen to your body. Bad form can lead to injuries, and no one wants that.
  4. DON’T lockout your joints. Say it with Cat: “A little bend is your friend!” Say you’re doing a shoulder press – when you get to full extension, there should still be a soft bend in your elbow joint. Don’t forget about that lower half (even when doing upper body exercises); you’ll hear AJ and our other trainers reminding you to keep soft knees, maybe even a split stance when you’re doing upper body lifting.
  5. DON’T use the same weight for every exercise. If you’re taking a full-body class, you should have a variety of weights. AJ’s rule of thumb is to go 5-10% higher for large muscle groups than for small. If you’re using 10-pound weights for shoulders and triceps, you probably want to have a set of 12-pound weights nearby for chest and back. In some exercises like deadlifts, you’ll actually avoid injury by using a higher load. Don’t be afraid to go heavy. Weight training can help prevent osteoporosis, and strong muscles will protect your body from other injuries.  

For those body-sculpting, fat-torching workouts (including weight training the right way), check out Studio SWEAT and Studio SWEAT onDemand!