Vasectomy Surgery: Tieing The Sperm Canal To Avoid Sperm Ejaculation

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure performed on adult males in which the vasa deferentia (tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the seminal vesicles) are cut, tied, cauterized (burned or seared), or otherwise interrupted. The semen no longer contains sperm after the tubes are cut, so conception cannot occur. The testicles continue to produce sperm, but they die and are absorbed by the body.

Purpose

The purpose of the vasectomy is to provide reliable contraception. Research indicates that the level of effectiveness is 99.6%. Vasectomy is the most reliable method of contraception and has fewer complications and a faster recovery time than female sterilization methods.

The cost of a vasectomy ranges between $400 and $550 in most parts of the United States. Some insurance plans will cover the cost of the procedure.

Demographics

Approximately 500,000 vasectomies are performed annually in the United States. About one out of every six men over the age of 35 has had a vasectomy. Higher vasectomy rates are associated with higher levels of education and income.

Description

Vasectomies are often performed in the doctor’s office or an outpatient clinic using local anesthesia. The area around the patient’s scrotum (the sac containing the testicles that produce sperm) will be shaved and cleaned with an antiseptic solution to reduce the chance of infection. A small incision is made into the scrotum. Each of the vasa deferentia (one from each testicle) is tied in two places with nonabsorbable (permanent) sutures and the tube is severed between the ties. The ends may be cauterized (burned or seared) to decrease the chance that they will leak or grow back together.

 

vasectomy

 

 

How To Gain Weight Fast: The Ultimate Guide For Skinny Guys

How To Gain Weight: A Complete Guide
Can’t gain weight? This guide takes you step by step through the gaining process, helping you to set up a meal plan and providing you with a muscle building workout.

This Guide Teaches You:

  • How to determine the amount of calories you are currently eating.
  • The best way to dial in your eating plan so that you can gain weight in a healthy manner.
  • Which foods are best for weight gain.
  • How to eat plenty of calories even when you feel full.
  • The best way to workout so that you build quality muscle mass.
  • How to supplement to maximize the weight gaining process.

Introduction

Weight Gain

I was once a skinny guy. A very skinny guy.

Not only that, but I was also what you might call “skinny fat.” Despite the fact that I loved to exercise, I looked horrible. There was no way in the world you would catch me with my shirt off in public.

I also had a very hard time gaining weight. At times it seemed like I was eating from sun up to sun down, but despite this, the scale stuck around 140-144 pounds until my senior year of high school.

Two and a half years later, by the time I had reached the age of 20, my life had dramatically turned around. I was 190 pounds of solid muscle, stronger than I ever imagined I could be, and girls were talking to me.

This probably sounds like hyperbole, or some sort of a sales pitch. I apologize if it does, but it’s the God’s honest truth.

In this article I want to share a few things I learned during those years. I will be providing you with specific advice of training, nutrition, cardio, rest and even supplementation. If you have any questions, or if I can help in any way, please please your questions or comments below.

Skinny Guy Confessions: What I Was Doing Wrong

Looking back upon those years, it’s easy to see what I was doing wrong and why I wasn’t gaining weight(and muscle). Here are the major reasons why I wasn’t making progress:

Cardio Overkill – I was exercising way too much. WAY too much. During the Summer months I was outside from sun up to sun down, running, playing baseball or basketball, or swimming.

When I wasn’t outside, I was indoors doing some form of cardio – step ups, jumping rope, or even aerobics (yes, it was the early 80s). It wasn’t unusual for me to run 3 miles a day, do 45 minutes of step ups, and play baseball for 4 hours. This was just another typical day for me.

So here’s the problem: while I was certainly fit and healthy from all that exercise, I was expending a crazy amount of calories. Am I telling you that I should have stopped exercising completely? Of course not. Cardio work is a great way to improve overall health. The problem with doing “too much” cardio (and general exercise) is that it conflicts with another one of your primary goals – gaining weight.

Research backs up common sense on this subject. (1) A recent meta-analysis on the impact of cardiovascular exercise on resistance training determined:

Our results indicate that interference effects of endurance training are a factor of the modality, frequency, and duration of the endurance training selected.

The bottom line is that when you run a lot of cardio concurrently with your resistance training, it impacts results. The more cardiovascular work you do, the greater the tendency for it to impact your results.

If your primary goal is to gain weight and build muscle, then it would make sense to not push cardio too much. This is a competing goal; one that is in direct conflict with your weight gain goal. Because of this it makes sense to minimize the amount of cardio you do.

If you are a skinny guy, keep cardio sessions to “about” 3-4 per week, for 20 to 30 minutes each. If you play sports, or have an active lifestyle and can’t really reduce cardio, then it’s time to improve your diet.

Weight Gain

Not Eating Enough – Most skinny guys think they are eating enough, but are really only guessing about daily food intake. Here’s what I recommend: instead of guessing, spend a week logging everything you eat. Don’t change your eating habits, meaning don’t purposely eat more or less than normal.

At the end of the week spend the time going through your food choices. Learn exactly how many calories you ate, on the average, during the course of the last 7 days. If you need help, there are numerous websites and books that provide nutritional information on every possible food item.

How does this number look? Is it above 3,000 calories per day? I am guessing that your food intake is less than expected.

Gaining weight and building muscle is like every other endeavor in life, meaning that it requires a certain minimal time investment to become proficient. If you want to make the basketball team, you’ll need to put in some practice time. If you want to conquer the latest Xbox game, it will require a minimal time investment as well.

If you want to gain weight, you’ll need to invest some time in analyzing and planning your eating plan.

Remaining Weak – Progressive overload is king. “Working out”, while healthy, is not a magical method of building muscle mass. If you are not pushing yourself in the

gym to build strength, you won’t build muscle. Stay weak, stay small – this sums it up nicely.

When you push for strength you are forcing your body to respond. In response to this demand, you will build muscle – if, you aren’t undereating.

During my teen years I did a lot of bodyweight work, along with bench presses and curls. Unfortunately, I used the same weight over and over again, week after week, year after year, and was unable to build any muscle.

No one ever told me that the body adapts rather quickly to a certain weight, and that more resistance would be required. I thought that I could magically “pump” my chest and biceps into growth using 95 pound bench presses and 25 pound curls.

Next Steps – Time to Gain Weight and Build Muscle

So, we have determined that skinny guys need to:

  1. Stop doing so much cardio.
  2. Eat more food.
  3. Get a lot stronger then they are now.

Cardio is the easy part. We can control how much cardio we do each week. Let’s move on to the next step of our journey, and learn “how” to gain weight properly, and in a healthy manner.

How to Gain Weight

Weight Gain

This section will provide you with a step by step process on how to gain weight in a healthy manner. If you have any questions regarding diet and nutrition, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.

Step 1 – Analysis of Your Existing Diet

This is an essential step of the process, so do not skip it, and guess at your average calorie intake.

The truth is this…most skinny guys think they are eating enough food, but when you ask them to tell you how many calories they are eating on a daily basis, they aren’t certain. This uncertainty is a major part of the problem.

If you can’t gain weight, something must be done. You are left with 2 choices:

  1. Keep doing what you’re doing, in this case guessing how many calories you are eating on a daily basis, and hope you gain weight.
  2. Take control over the situation, learn what you are eating, make necessary changes, and set a minimum daily calorie goal.

Obviously, the second option is our only option. So, with that said, let’s get started.

Grab a notebook, computer, an iPad, iPod or phone. You will need to write down everything you eat and drink this week – no exceptions. If you are not sure of the exact quantities, notate things in a manner that makes sense to you. For example:

  • A fist-side portion of potatoes.
  • 1/2 box of macaroni and cheese.
  • Nearly a full, large-size glass of milk.

Next, head over to Calorie King and calculate how many calories you’ve eaten this week. Some of this will be guess work, but that’s part of the learning process. Don’t fret if you feel like this may not yield 100% accuracy. That’s not the point. The point isto start learning about foods, their calorie content, etc.

Now, calculate a daily average. How many calories are you eating per day? 2,200? 2,500? Is this number lower or higher than you expected?

Step 2 – Make Dietary Adjustments

It’s time to structure some form of eating plan, and add calories. Use this as a starting point:

  • Calories. Add 500 daily calories to the average you calculated above.
  • Protein. Make sure you are eating at least 180 grams of protein per day.
  • Fats. Make sure at least 20% of your daily calorie intake comes from healthy fats.
  • Carbs. With your protein and fats in place, fill in the rest of your daily calorie intake with quality carbs – fruits, veggies, grains, etc.

It is certainly ok to eat more than 180 grams of protein per day. While studies indicate you may only need 150 grams per day for muscle growth, you have to consider the reality that you are currently underweight, and your body may gain muscle at a relatively rapid pace. Because of this, it’s better to eat a little more daily protein, rather than a little less.

High protein intake is perfectly safe to those of you without pre-existing kidney issues. Eating more protein can also help to balance out your eating plan, so that you don’t have to be so carb reliant. It can be hard to force feed yourself heavy carb meals when you aren’t feeling overly hungry.

The recommended 20% fat intake should also be considered a minimum. Fat is calorie dense, holding 9 calories per gram, compared to proteins and carbs which only have 4 calories per gram. What does this mean? It’s easier to get in your daily calories if you increase your fat intake. You won’t feel as full, because fats are more calorie dense.

If you are having a hard time enough enough food, you may want to increase your fat intake as high as 40% daily. This will make reaching your daily calorie goals much easier.

Weight Gain

Step 3 – Weight Gaining Goals

Aim for about a 2 pounds per month. Some will consider this rate “slow”, but it does add up to nearly a 25 pound bodyweight gain over the course of a year, and almost 50 pounds in 2 years.

If you follow this approach, and work hard to get a lot stronger than you are now using the workout plan below, your weight gain will be a quality weight gain. You will build a lot of muscle mass, and look great after 2 years.

Some of you may prefer to gain weight more rapidly than this. While more rapid weight gain can work for some, usually it’s a recipe for fat gain. The human body can only add so much muscle mass per day, week and month. The faster (more aggressive) you push your weight gain, the more likely you are to accrue a higher body fat percentage.

This isn’t what you want.

The First 2 Weeks

Ignore the weight you gain during the first 2 weeks of your bulk. During this time you are increasing your carb intake, most likely your sodium intake, and your digestive demands. Your body is holding a lot more water. This is not rapid fat gain, so don’t panic!

After 2 weeks, weight gain will normalize. Weeks 3-4 will tell the true story. Make these adjustments based on your weight gain during weeks 3-4:

  • Losing Weight – Code red! Add 750 calories to your daily intake. Ignore what the scale says for the next two weeks, and make new adjustments based on what happens 3-4 weeks from now.
  • Holding Steady – Add 500 calories per day. Re-assess your rate of weight gain during weeks 3 and 4, and make any necessary adjustments so that you are gaining approximately 2 pounds of body weight per month.
  • Slow Gain – Add 250 calories per day. Re-assess your rate of weight gain during weeks 3 and 4, and make any necessary adjustments so that you are gaining approximately 2 pounds of body weight per month.
  • Optimal Gain – Stay the course and don’t change a thing!
  • Rapid Gain – If you’re gaining weight too quickly, drop your daily calories by 250 and re-assess your eating plan after another 3-4 weeks.

A Note About Junk Food – Dirty Food

You’re young, skinny and hormonally strong. While you don’t want to eat a ton of junk food, taking in 10-25% of your daily calories from fast food, chips, energy drinks or cookies isn’t going to hurt you. It may actually help you reach your calorie goals.

Life is about balance. As long as you are eating mostly whole, nutritionally dense foods, it’s ok to add some junk in each day.

Whole Foods That Can Help The Skinny Guy Gain Weight

The following choices are whole foods, and are general “unprocessed” or “lightly processed”. They are full of good nutrition, cost-effective, calorie dense, and found at every grocery store.

A little of each of these foods goes a long way. You can add small servings of these foods to shakes or meals, or use them as snacks in between meals. They add a ton of calories (and flavor) without leaving you feeling overly full.

Bulking Foods for Skinny Guys
Protein Foods
Food Serving Calories
Ground Beef, Cooked, 70% Lean 4 oz 305
Bacon, Thick Cut 2 slices 122
Chicken Wing, with Skin 4 wings 394
Chicken Leg with Skin 1 leg 337
Pork Chop 2 chops, 8 oz 436
Eggs, Large 2 eggs 156
Steak, Ribeye 10 oz 544
Salmon 4 oz 233
Beef Brisket 4 oz 246
Pork Sausage 4 oz 384
Fruits and Veggies
Food Serving Calories
Banana 1 large 121
Grapes 20 70
Avocado, sliced 1 cup 234
Pineapple 1 cup 83
Orange 1 large 86
Pear 1 large 133
Sweet Potato 1 large 159
Potato 7 oz 142
Nuts and Legumes
Food Serving Calories
Peanut Butter 2 tbsp 188
Peanuts 2 oz 321
Almonds 2 oz 328
Pistachios 2 oz 316
Peas 1 cup 125
Black Beans 1 cup 220
Dairy
Food Serving Calories
Whole Milk 1 cup 146
Butter 2 pats 72
Heavy Whipping Cream 2 oz 205
Cream Cheese 1 oz 99
Cheddar Cheese 2 oz 228
String Cheese 1 piece 80
Cottage Cheese 1 cup 216
Carbs and Grains
Food Serving Calories
Brown Rice, cooked 1 cup 216
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 222
White Rice, cooked 1 cup 242
Pasta, cooked 1 cup 182
Wheat Bread 1 slice 78
Oils and Misc
Food Serving Calories
Olive Oil 1 tbsp 120
Coconut Oil 1 tbsp 117
Frozen Pizza 1 pie 1,267
McDouble 1 burger 400
Beef and Bean Burrito, frozen 1 burrito 290

Power Weight Gain Shake for Skinny Guys

One of the easiest ways of adding calories is via a “weight gain shake”. The following shake can be consumed once per day, and contains 1,066 calories. Simply add the ingredients into a blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy.

  • 16 ounces of whole milk – 292 calories
  • 2 scoops of chocolate Premium Series Protein – 260 calories
  • 2 ounces of heavy cream – 205 calories
  • 1 large banana – 121 calories
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter – 188 calories

Hit the Gym – A 3 Step Muscle Building Plan

Weight Gain

Now that you have an eating plan, and know how to gain weight, it’s time to maximize your training. Building muscle is rather simple. It requires:

  • Consistency – Not missing workouts. Consistency plays a major role in making quality gains.
  • Progressive Overload – You must get a lot stronger than you are now. No exceptions. There is no “easier” way to build muscle.
  • Good Tools – Using the best possible exercises, when possible. The better your tools (exercises), the better your results.
  • Patience – Gains take years, not weeks. Look 2 years down the road, not 2 weeks. You can make amazing progress in 2 year’s time, so dedicate yourself to sticking with a plan.

The following 3 step plan is merely one possible way to build muscle. With that said, it’s a very effective approach. Combine this plan with enough food, and you will see some very impressive results.

Here is an overview of the program:

  • Step 1 – Priming Stage. This is a one month introduction. You will begin with one set per exercise, and after a couple weeks you will move on to 2 sets per exercise.
  • Step 2 – Building Phase. This is a five month phase that will help you maximize your beginner gains.
  • Step 3 – “Jacked” Phase. The last phase of the program, you will continue to use this phase as long as strength gains remain consistent.

Training Notes

  • Sets. Push each set for as many reps as possible, stopping a set when you feel like you might fail on the next rep, or when your form starts to slip.
  • Weight. Use the same weight for each set of a given exercise.
  • Rep Minimums. Each exercise has a “rep minimum.” When you are able to reach this minimum rep amount for each of the 3 sets, add weight the next time you perform that exercise. So when you see a “8 rep minimum” for an exercise, you will add weight when you re able to perform 8 or more reps for each of the sets.

Stage 1 – Priming

During the first 2 weeks use only one set per exercise. During weeks 3-4, use 2 sets per exercise.

Start with a very light weight for each exercise. Get a good feel for exercise form. Add weight when you are able to hit the “rep minimum” for a given exercise.

Don’t take big jumps in weight; instead take the smallest jump possible – generally 5 pounds per lift. Muscle building is a marathon, not a sprint. These small jumps will pay off very quickly.

You will be training 3 days per week:

  • Day 1 – Workout
  • Day 2 – Off
  • Day 3 – Workout
  • Day 4 – Off
  • Day 5 – Workout
  • Day 6 – Off
  • Day 7 – Off
Stage 1 – Priming
Workout
Exercise Sets Rep Minimum
Squat 1/2 10/10
Bench Press 1/2 10/10
Stiff Leg Deadlift 1/2 10/10
Seated Overhead Barbell Press 1/2 10/10
Bent Over Row 1/2 10/10
Skullcrushers 1/2 10/10
Pull Ups/Lat Pull Down 1/2 10/10
Dumbbell Curl 1/2 10/10
Leg Curl 1/2 10/10
Calf Raise 1/2 10/10
Sit Ups 1/2 10/10

Stage 2 – Building

Continue using the weights you left off with during the Priming stage. For any exercises you did not perform during the Priming stage, start with a light and conservative weight.

You will be working out 3 days a week, using the same schedule as you did during your first 4 weeks of training:

  • Day 1 – Workout A
  • Day 2 – Off
  • Day 3 – Workout B
  • Day 4 – Off
  • Day 5 – Workout C
  • Day 6 – Off
  • Day 7 – Off
Stage 2 – Building
Workout A
Exercise Sets Rep Minimum
Squat 3 8
Bench Press 3 8
Barbell Row 3 8
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press 3 8
Leg Curl 3 10
Skullcrushers 3 8
Dumbbell Curls 3 8
Standing Calf Raise 3 10
Weighted Sit Ups 3 15
Stage 2 – Building
Workout B
Exercise Sets Rep Minimum
Still Leg Deadlift 3 8
Leg Curls 3 10
Incline Dumbbell Flye 3 10
Pull Ups or Lat Pull Down 3 8
Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Flyes 3 10
Cable Tricep Extension 3 8
Dumbbell Hammer Curl 3 8
Barbell Shrugs 3 10
Side Bends 3 15
Stage 2 – Building
Workout C
Exercise Sets Rep Minimum
Leg Press 3 15
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 8
Seated Overhead Press 3 8
Leg Curls 3 10
Dips or Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extensions 3 8
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 3 8
Seated Calf Raise 3 10
Cable Crunches or Planks 3 15/60 sec

Weight Gain

Stage 3 – Jacked

Stage 3 is a little more intense, and introduces the deadlift and 20 rep squat. For the 20 rep squats, stop at 20 reps; do not go higher.

Workouts are structured more in a heavy, light, medium manner with Monday being the heavy day. Wednesday is a lighter day, focusing on mostly isolation-style lifts, while Friday is the medium day.

  • Day 1 – Workout A – Heavy
  • Day 2 – Off
  • Day 3 – Workout B – Light
  • Day 4 – Off
  • Day 5 – Workout C – Medium
  • Day 6 – Off
  • Day 7 – Off
Stage 3 – Jacked
Workout A
Exercise Sets Rep Minimum
Squat 3 6
Bench Press 3 6
Barbell Rows 3 6
Seated Overhead Press 3 6
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 6
Dips or Skullcrushers 3 8
Barbell Curls 3 8
Seated Calf Raise 3 10
Weighted Sit Ups 3 15
Stage 3 – Jacked
Workout B
Exercise Sets Rep Minimum
Deadlift 3 5
Dumbbell Flyes or Pec Dec 3 10
Leg Extensions 3 10
Pull Ups or Lat Pull Down 3 10
Bent Over Reverse Dumbbell Flye 3 10
Cable Tricep Extensions 3 10
Dumbbell Hammer Curl 3 8
Barbell Shrugs 3 8
Dumbbell Side Bends 3 10
Stage 3 – Jacked
Workout C
Exercise Sets Rep Minimum
Squat 2 20
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 8
Seated Arnold Press 3 8
Leg Curl 3 10
Seated Two Arm Dumbbell Extension 3 8
Seated Dumbbell Curl 3 8
Standing Calf Raise 3 10
Cable Crunches or Planks 3 15/60 sec

Supplements for the Skinny Guy

Supplementation, like training, should be eased into. For the first phase of this program, you may want to consider fortifying your nutritional base with the following Supplements:

  • Multivitamin
  • Fish Oil
  • Whey Protein
  • Weight Gainer (optional)

Weight gainers provide quite a few calories, and are convenient to have around for those busy times in life when cooking isn’t an option, or for times when you miss meals.

By the second phase of this program, you should have your diet pretty much dialed in. Your training will also be on track and consistent. At this time, it would be ok to start exploring other popular supplements, such as:

  • Creatine
  • BCAAs
  • Pre-workout formulas
  • Post-workout formulas

Other supplements that may be of benefit, based on your specific needs (age, stress, sleep, low testosterone, poor recovery, etc) include:

Antioxidants
Joint health
Recovery
Sexual health
Sleep enhancement
Stress reduction
Testosterone boosters
Protein bars
Meal replacements

6 Easy Steps To Burn Abdominal Fat

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One of the most common questions I get is how to lose belly fat. Belly fat is actually the most dangerous type of fat – besides aesthetics, large waist lines are indicators of –disease-disease-disease.

It takes more than just crunches! We start to gain weight in our midsection when our cortisol levels spike. Stress is one of the primary culprits for high levels of cortisol secretion. When this happens cortisol breaks downs lean muscle (the type of tissue that burns calories most efficiently) and also holds on to fat storage in the abdominal region. That stress can even get WORSE with bad dieting; studies show that the stress caused by dieting can increase cortisol levels, making no change in belly fat even with calorie restriction. So how do you shape up? Incorporate these 6 things below and you will be on your way to a flatter belly in no time flat!

1. Sleep

If you want to work late at night, think again. When your biorhythms are off, you end up eating more. When you’re tired you produce more ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other fat-building foods. Losing sleep can also alter your hormone production, affecting your cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity, prime reasons for belly fat! Getting about 7 hours of sleep a night is one of the best things you can do for your body shaping goals.

2. Short bursts of exercises

1000 crunches a night may get you strong abdominal muscles, but with a full layer of fat on top, you will not get the results you really want. Instead of all those crunches, do exercises that engage multiple muscle groups and work your cardiovascular system. Try planking, where you hold yourself in a push-up position, resting your forearms on the ground. Try 3 or 4 sets of holding for 30 seconds each. Getting up and moving throughout the day by going for walks will also help.

3. Sugar is your Enemy

Fighting belly fat is 80% healthy diet. Reduce calories by filling yourself up with protein, vegetables, whole grains, and replacing bad habit snacks with good ones. For example, if you have a sugar craving, replace your calorie laden latte with a Muscle Milk lite, one of my favorites, because it has zero sugar and a ton of protein that will satiate while also torching my sugar craving! Another great trick is a sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee or oatmeal- the spice has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar. It also slows the rate at which food exits the stomach, which helps you feel fuller longer.

4. Vitamin C

When you’re under extreme stress, you secret more cortisol hormone. Vitamin C helps balance the cortisol spikes that happen to you under this stress. Besides being a good way to counteract a cold, Vitamin C is also essential for making carnitine, a compound used by the body to turn fat into fuel, making this vitamin your fat burning friend.

If you’re going through an emotional crisis, stress from work, or a bad eating splurge, increase your vitamin C – it’ll help counteract the negative side effects. Try bell peppers, kale or kiwi fruits. These have even more Vitamin C than the famous Orange!

5. Eat Fat

Yup, you heard me! It takes fat to burn fat. Like I said above, it’s sugar that gets you fat, not fat. Good fats include foods rich in Omega 3′s, like salmon, avocados & walnuts. These foods are full of nutrients that help keep you satiated throughout the day.

6. Slowing down your breath

This is a very simple method that you can use even when you’re in the midst of doing something else. Whenever you notice you’re feeling tense and uptight check and see how you’re breathing. Most people under stress either alternate holding their breath with short breaths, or take rapid shallow breaths. After you become aware of your own breathing, consciously relax your belly and slow down the breathing. This works best if you focus on slowing down the exhalation rather than your inhalation. With each exhalation you can say to yourself “slow down”. That is all there is to it- Simple but surprisingly effective!!!

medical

Top 10 Ways to Avoid Injury

jay-cutler-pain-in-bodybuilding

1) Incorrect Technique

The most common weight-training injuries are those related to the use of poor exercise technique. Incorrect technique can pull, rip or wrench a muscle or tear delicate connective tissue quicker than you can strike a match. An out-of-control barbell or stray dumbbell can wreak havoc in an instant. Each human body has very specific biomechanical pathways. Arms and legs can only move in certain ways, particularly if you’re stress-loading a limb with weight. Strive to become a technical perfectionist and respect the integrity of the exercise — no twisting, turning or contorting while pushing a weight. Either make the rep using perfect technique or miss the weight. Learn how to miss a rep safely; learn how to bail out.

2) Too Much Weight

Using too much weight in an exercise is a high-risk proposition ripe with injury potential. What’s too much: If you can’t control a weight on its downward, loading trajectory; if you can’t contain a movement within its biomechanical boundaries; and if you have to jerk or heave a weight in order to lift it. An out-of-control barbell or dumbbell assumes a mind of its own; the weight obeys the laws of gravity and seeks the floor. Anything in its way (or attached to it) is in danger.

3) Inadequate Warm-Up

Let’s define our terms: A warm-up is usually a high-rep, low-intensity, quick-paced exercise mode used to increase blood flow to the muscles. This quick, light movement raises the temperature of the involved muscles, while also decreasing blood viscosity and promoting flexibility and mobility. How? Everyone knows that a warm muscle with blood coursing through it is more elastic and pliable then a cold, stiff muscle. Riding a stationary bike, jogging, swimming, stair climbing and some high-rep weight training are recommended forms of warm-up.

Try a 5-10-minute formalized warm-up before stretching. If you choose high-rep weight training, try 25 ultralight, quick reps in the following nonstop sequence: calf raise, squat, leg curl, crunch, pull-down, bench press and curl. Do one set each with no rest between sets. This can be accomplished in fewer than five minutes and warms every major muscle in the body.

 

4) Not Stretching

Stretching is different than warming up. Properly performed, a stretch helps relax and elongate a muscle after warm-up and before and after weight training. As a result of warming up and stretching, the muscle is warm, loose and neurologically alert — at its most pliable and injury-resistant. In addition, stretching between sets actually helps build muscle by promoting muscular circulation and increasing the elasticity of the fascia casing surrounding the muscle. Finally, if you perform muscle-specific stretches at the conclusion of your workout, you’ll find that this will virtually eliminate next-day soreness.

5) Bad Spotting

If you lift long enough, you’ll eventually get to a point where you need to have a spotter(s) for a number of exercises, including the squat and bench press. When you work as hard as you’re supposed to, you occasionally miss a rep. Nothing wrong with that — it’s a sign that you’re working to your limit, which is a good thing if it isn’t overdone. Yet when you work this hard, you need competent spotters. A good spotter should conduct himself at all times as though the lifter is on the verge of total failure. Your training partner can also give you a gentle touch that allows you to complete a rep you’d normally miss. A top spotter needs be strong, sensitive and ever alert to the possibility of failure — not looking around or joking with friends.

6) Incorrect Use of Cheating & Forced Reps

Cheating and forced reps are advanced techniques that allow the lifter to train beyond normal. Taken beyond the point of failure, the muscle is literally forced to grow. When incorrectly performed, a cheat or forced rep can push or pull the lifter out of the groove. The weight collapses and a spotter has to rescue the lifter.

Cheating movements work; real-world data prove this statement. Yet cheating, by definition, is dangerous. Any time you use momentum to artificially goose rep speed, thus allowing the lifter to handle more poundage then he could using strict techniques, you risk injury. To play it safe, use the bare-minimum cheat to complete the rep. On forced reps, make sure your training partner is on your wavelength. Don’t go crazy.

7) Training Too Often

How does overtraining relate to injury? It negatively impacts the body’s overall level of strength and conditioning. Overtraining saps energy that, in turn, retards progress. You can’t grow when you’re overtrained. It also interferes with both the muscle’s and the nervous system’s ability to recuperate — ATP and glycogen stores are severely depleted when an agitated metabolic status is present. In such a depleted, weakened state, is it any wonder that injury is common, particularly if the weakened athlete insists on handling big weights? The solution is to cut back to 3-4 sessions per week and keep session length to no more than an hour.

 

8) Poor Nutrition

If you undereat and continue to train hard and heavy, you’re likely to get hurt. Again, it relates to your overall health: Beware of heavy training when in a weakened state brought on by severe dieting or restricted eating. Best save the big weights, low reps, forced reps and negatives for nondiet growth periods. While dieting requires reduced poundage, this doesn’t mean you can’t be intense in your workout — it just means you need to use lighter weight.

9) Negatives

Negative (eccentric, or lowering) reps are one of the most difficult and dangerous of all weight-training techniques — and very effective at stimulating muscle growth. What makes negatives so risky? The poundage you can handle in negative exercise is likely to be the highest you’ll ever lift.

Normally, we only lift what we’re capable of moving concentrically. In negative training, we handle a lot more weight. Most bodybuilders can control approximately 130% of their concentric maximum on the eccentric phase of a lift. Someone using 200 pounds for reps in the bench press, for example, would bench roughly 260 in the negative press. Because of the increased weight with negatives, you need strong, experienced spotters. Exercise extreme caution. If the rep gets away from you, the spotters need to grab the weight immediately.

10) Lack of Concentration

If you’re distracted, preoccupied or lackadaisical when you work out, you’re inviting injury. Watch a champion bodybuilder train and one thing you’ll notice is his or her intense level of concentration. This is developed over time, and the athlete systematically develops a preset mental checklist that allows him or her to focus on the task at hand. More concentration equates to more poundage. More poundage equates to more growth. More poundage can lead to getting hurt if you don’t pay attention. Train smart.

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