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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

What’s up, guys? Sean Nalewanyj at www. and in this video today we’re
talking about a subject that I don’t think it gets discussed often enough but it’s
one that actually a crucial part of a properly structured fitness program, and that is the
issue of injury prevention. Always remember that when you go to the gym
and you are training hard, you’re lifting heavy, you’re striving for progressive overload
from week to week, you’re not just stressing your muscles; your joints and connective tissues
are also taking a beating as well. And that stress can very quickly add up overtime
and it can lead to real problems if you aren’t careful and if you’re not taking the proper
injury prevention steps. So, building muscle and preventing injuries
both go hand-in-hand because your entire ability to make those ongoing size and strength gains
hinges on the fact that your joints are healthy enough for you to do so in the first place. And it might not seems like a big deal right
now, but trust me, when you end up on the sidelines with an injured lower back, injured
shoulder, elbow, knee, wrists or whatever else, you’ll really quickly wished you’re
taking this area of your program more seriously. And it’s so easy to take it for granted
when you’re healthy and when you don’t have any issues, but once you’re injured you’ll
feel very differently about it. This is especially true when you consider
that some injuries can potentially throw your program off for several months, several years,
or even permanently in more extreme cases. And on top of this, also remember that your
goal here isn’t just to be in a gym for the next six months or the next two years
of five years or even ten years. If bodybuilding and fitness is something you’re
adopting as part of your overall lifestyle and you want to stay in great shape for the
long haul then this is something that you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life. So, keep that in mind. You want to be training in a healthy state
for life, so keeping those joints and those connective tissues healthy should be treated
as a primary concern. So, here are seven tips you should be implementing
into your program in order to minimize your chances for injury. Following these tips doesn’t guarantee that
you’ll never get injured. Most people who train seriously over the long
term will encounter at least a few minor injuries along the way, but it will reduce the chances
by quite a bit. So, tip number one for preventing injuries
before you even jump into your actual workout is to perform a proper warmup first. For most average lifters out there, a pre
workout warmup is usually nothing more than, maybe, a few light reps before the first main
exercise at best and in a lot of cases the warmup process get skipped altogether but
it was something I would highly advice against because a well-rounded warmup routine is a
highly effective way to minimize your injury risk. It’ll prepare both your mind and your body
for the workout ahead by increasing core temperature, improving joint mobility, joint lubrication
and getting your muscles and your nervous system firing in preparation for those heavier
weights to come. Now, there are a lot of different ways that
an effective warmup can potentially be done. It should only take about ten to fifteen minutes
of your time to complete. I like to use a mix of certain dynamic movements,
a bit of self myofascial release. So that could be with a foam roller or a ball
or something along those lines. And then most importantly a few weight acclamation
sets before the first main compound exercise of the workouts. So that’s where you’re going to start off
with a really light weight for higher reps, and then gradually increase the weight while
lowering the reps to acclimate yourself up to your first working set. And I’ll put two links in the description
box below that you can check out from some previous post that I did, one that shows a
good well-rounded lower body warmup that you can use and one that uses an upper body warmup
as well. Tip number two, a pretty simple tip on a surface
but once you start diving into each individual exercise it gets a lot more detailed, that’s
to make sure that you’re performing all of your exercises using proper technique and
that you’re not going excessively heavy on your sets. Now, this should pretty much go without saying
but the bottom-line here is that if you’re not able to lift the weight through a full
range of motion while using correct form throughout the entire set and without the assistance
of a spotter then the weight is just too heavy for you (period) and it needs to be lightened
up. Heaving around huge amounts of weight using
a lot of momentum and sloppy technique, that’s probably the single biggest cause of weight
training injuries. It will significantly increase the strain
on your joints and your connective tissues throughout the workout. And even though you might not run into any
problems in the short term; you might be fine for a few months or even a few years, it’s
pretty much a guarantee that consistent ego lifting will take its toll eventually. So, if you’re serious about building a great
physique and maintaining it for years to come, remember, this is a lifelong endeavor. It’s critical that you keep your ego in
check. That you learn the proper form for each exercise
and that you stick only with weights that you can handle while maintaining complete
control at all times. And also keep in mind, as you’re striving
for progressive overload, anytime you increase the weight on a certain lift your technique
should always stay the same each time. If you ever sacrificing form in order to add
more weight then you’re just trying to move too quickly and you need to slowdown and be
a bit more patient with things. And when I talk about performing your exercises
with proper technique, I really mean proper technique, not just glancing at some quick
ten seconds tutorial online and then jumping straight into those heavier sets. You really need to go through a properly research
each individually exercise you’re doing because, especially on your compound lifts, there ara
a lot of smaller subtleties involved that tend to get overlooked but that can make a
big difference in terms of minimizing injury risk. So little things like tucking you elbows and
retracting your scapula during bench presses, bracing your core properly during squats,
preventing lower back rounding(?) on dead lifts, keeping your wrists neutral on lateral
raises; these are just a few examples of many that a lot of lifters, especially beginners,
just aren’t aware of. So along with moderating the actual weights
you’re lifting also make sure to go through each exercise in your plan an research the
proper technique in detail because that can really pay dividends for you over the long
term. And not only that is going to help you minimize
the stress on your joints but it will also go along the way in helping you maximize the
effectiveness of each exercise, just from muscle standpoint as well. Tip number three to prevent injury is to moderate
your overall training intensity and keep it within the appropriate limits. So that means performing the majority of your
sets, I would say no further than about one to two reps short of failure and also limiting
or completely avoiding high intensity technique; so things like forced reps, rest-pause reps
or heavy negatives. Occasionally going all the way to failure
or adding in a more advanced technique from time to time isn’t going to be a problem
as long as it’s done properly and done cautiously, but doing those things on a frequent basis
not only is it unnecessary for building muscles but it’s also going to put your joints under
a lot more stress, not only from just a sheer intensity itself but also from increasing
the chances of a sudden slip up when you’re trying to squeeze up those extra reps when
you’re in that highly fatigue state at the very end of a set. One to two reps short of failure is a good
level of intensity that’s going to be high enough to stimulate hypertrophy and strength
gains, but without putting excessive stress on your joints. Tip number four when it comes to preventing
injuries along with moderating your intensity level on each set, you also want to moderate
your total training volume and frequency for the week. So even if you are stopping the majority of
your sets one to two reps short of failure, just doing too many total sets in general
can also lead to problems if you aren’t careful. Now, every person is going to tolerate weight
training a bit differently depending on certain factors like genetics, their body types, experience
level, their nutrition, things like that; but directly hitting each muscle groups somewhere
between about one and a half to three times per week, performing around thirty to sixty
total reps per week for small muscle groups, about sixty to a hundred reps for larger muscle
groups, that’s generally a pretty good muscle building range in most cases. Some people can go a bit higher, especially
if it’s for a temporary overreaching cycle. But somewhere in those ranges will strike
a good balance between stimulating muscle growth effectively but also giving your joints
and your connective tissues enough recovery time throughout the week. And also remember that regulating your total
training volume applies both to weight training and to cardio as well. Low impact cardio like walking or cycling
or swimming, those things aren’t going to be a concern even at higher frequencies in
most cases. But higher intensity-higher impact methods;
things like sprinting, outdoor jogging on harder surfaces, plyometrics, even things
like hitting a heavy bag, those are going to place your joints under a lot more stress
and so they should also be moderated as well. Now, in terms of actual workout structure,
another injury prevention guideline that tends to get overlooked is to make sure that your
overall selection of exercises is properly balanced out, so that every muscle group is
being trained with equal focus and equal intensity throughout the week. If one set of movement pattern just being
consistently over emphasized while other ones are being ignored then certain joint and muscular
systems can end up being pushed out of their optimal position and optimal firing pattern. For example, putting more focus on horizontal
pressing versus horizontal pulling, which is a really common mistake in most training
plans, that can lead to shoulder instability. Doing too many quad dominant movements compared
to posterior chain movements, that can lead to issues in the knees. Training your abs without any lower back work. These are just a few examples out of many. So as a general rule, each movement pattern
that you perform in your training plan should be balanced out with an equal amount of its
opposite movement pattern. So, again, horizontal presses should be matched
with horizintal pulls; vertical presses and vertical pulls; compound quad movement with
compound hamstring movements, et cetera. Tip number six, unrelated to your actual training
plan, that’s to work on maitaining proper posture just during your day-to-day life outside
of the gym. So having a well-balanced joint and muscular
system isn’t just about what you do in the weight room but it also has a lot to do with
your regular resting posture and your movement patterns as well. And this is become especially important nowadays
where people are spending hours and hours in seated position hunched over their laptops
and their computers. I’m guilty of this myself, constantly staring
down smartphones. This can cause a lot of issues all throughout
the body from your head all the way down to your ankles and your feet. Remember that your body as a whole is interconnected
and when you develop dysfunction in one particular area it usually has a cascading effect throughout
the rest of the system. Now, all the details behind proper posture
and how to treat certain issues that might come up are way beyond the scope of just this
video. But just keep in mind that how you move or
how you don’t move your body throughout the day has a big contributing effect on the
health of your joints and your connected tissues, and just how efficiently your body functions
during training as well. So being mindful of your daily posture and
movement patterns, limiting how much time you spent sitting, taking regular breaks when
you’re working, and including certain rehab technique; things like self myofascial release,
muscle activation exercises, stretches, these things can be really helpful when used properly
but it is something that you’ll have to properly research separately on your own depending
on your own situation. And then tip number seven is to incorporate
regular deloads into you plan. And I’d recommend doing a one week deload
for every six to twelve weeks of consistent training. That’s just where you’ll either continue
training on your regular plan but you’ll reduce the weights by fifty percent or you can just
take an entire week off altogether. And that’s going to give your joints and
your connected tissues a bit of a break and allow them to fully recover from the previous
weeks of training and also give you a nice mental break as an added bonus. Now, if you do find that you’re running into
issues with joint pain even though you’re following all the point in this video keep
in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done anything wrong, you might have
but it doesn’t automatically mean that. It’s definitely still possible to get injured
even if you are being really careful and it usually just comes with the territory to a
certain degree for people who are training seriously over the long term. If the pain is fairly minor and it’s only
happening during a certain exercise then the first thing you can do is to experiment with
different variations of that exercise to see if you can find one that’s more comfortable
for you. So that could mean switching from, like a
barbell press to a dumbbell press or a cable press, maybe a barbell squat to a dumbbell
split squad or a hack squat, a pull-up to a pull-down, a free weight curl to a cable
curl, these are just a few examples of many. You can also test out a different angles and
different body positioning during those movements to see what feels best for you. And you can also try switching to lighter
weights and higher reps and slowing down your lifting cadence as well while you try sort
things out. No single exercise is a must for building
muscle and if you can find a comparable version that still hits the targeted area but without
the added joint discomfort then you can switch to that movement for a temporary period while
you work on treating the root cause of the injury. Now, in a more serious cases where the pain
pretty significant regardless of which exercise or which rep scheme you choose then you’ll
definitely be best off to just take some time away from that movement altogether or from
the gym in general, depending on how severe it is. Because that way you’ll be able to get the
injury properly assessed and properly treated. If you continue to push yourself when something
is clearly off that’ll almost always makes things worse and it can have a very serious
long term consequences depending on what type of injury you’re dealing with. So, again, just remember that building a great
physique is all about what you do in the big picture and taking a short break from your
workouts to let yourself heal is going to be a much smarter option than ignoring those
obvious signs and possibly setting yourself up for bigger problems down the road. So, minor aches and pains can sometimes be
work through as long as you’re careful and you’re taking active steps to fix the root
cause of the injury separately. But significant joint discomfort should be
taken very seriously and treated professionally before you return to the gym. Muscle loss won’t kick in until about two
full weeks of inactivity and even then it’s a slow process after that. So think a bigger picture and if you know
in your gut that you should be taking a break then chances are you’re probably right. So, hope you guys find this advice helpful. Make sure to hit the like button, leave a
comment and subscribe to stay up to date on future videos if you did find it helpful. If you want to grab a complete step-by-step,
science based muscle building and fatloss program to maximize your result in the gym;
the meal plans, workout plans, supplement guides, everything laid out in a simple structured
format then you can check out my Body Transformation Blueprint by clicking here or by heading over
to using the link in the description box below. You can follow me on facebook and Instagram
as well if you aren’t already, the links for that are also in the description box. And the official website is over at
where you can access all of my latest blog post and other updates. Thanks for watching, guys. I’ll see you in the next video.

63 thoughts on “7 Injury Prevention Tips Every Lifter Should Follow

  1. I wish i knew these at my first years of trainning. I learned most of them the bad way…Are there any foods, herbs or supps helping the joint health?

  2. Very happy I found this channel, you put out great content keep it up! I only wish I had seen this sooner.

  3. Good timing, just got back from the gym where I watched some bros go stupid heavy on cat back deadlifts super-setted with smith rack squats. The good news is that there's a physical therapy clinic on the ground floor of the gym.

  4. My biggest problem now is having ATP. Whenever I try and squeeze my glutes and squeeze my core, my lower right back rib cage muscle starts aching.

  5. didnt lose any muscle even with a 3 months break…i maintain with a few pushups here and there and maintaining a mind/muscle connection…

  6. I have a permanent shoulder problem where a certain range of motion I move my arm I have tender pain in the joint and thought it ended my lifting career. But with some good warmup and a few tweaks to certain lifts which keeps my shoulder in the comfortable pain free range of motion, I can lift with not much problem 🙂

    just wanted to share this to give encouragement to others who think they wont be able to perform due to a permanent injury.

    Stay safe.

  7. I'm still dealing with a knee problem that popped up in December. Had to stop squatting, but I could still deadlift without pain. Last week I decided to start squats again because my knee had been feeling good for the last few weeks. I started extremely light and after about 2 weeks of doing squats my knee started to bother me again. Tried doing deadlifts yesterday and warmups were fine, but on my second lift with my working weight my right knee started to hurt. Funny thing is my left knee is the one that was injured originally….

    How do you work quads when you can't bend your knees?

  8. Sean I got a V shred ad before I watched this vid, that v shred hack vince, actually every time I see this his ad is on ur video

  9. I suddenly can't do pullups or overhead press evenly…I used to be strong in these, 225 strict and 315 push press and 12 strict pull ups…now I cant do even half and always veer to the right…any ideas what might be wrong?

  10. Hey sean great video.
    Is there any exercise other than lateral raise and upright row to hit medial head of the shoulder? Both these exercises cause me some discomfort even after nailing down the form..? Thank you.

  11. Hi sean, I have a dilemma. I have a weak lower chest (underdeveloped mass) and its surrounded by fat (the most stubborn areas of fat for me). I read an article and listen to fitness gurus that all I need is doing incline bench, if i doing flat or even decline bench, it gonna make the situations even worse because it could push the fat all over the places, so I better avoid that (based on what article and gurus said). Okay, I already consistent doing incline bench and I have a great result. But I still wonder what happened if i do flat bench with a certain period of time. I did flat bench then and my lower chest eventually starts to developed. I increase mass and getting leaner ! by doing flat bench and I wonder if I try decline soon. So what's your opinion to make my situation become less problematic ?


  12. 8:03 – Basing volume on reps is in direct odds with Dr. Mike Isratel's opinion, which is more popular in Reddit.

  13. Great tips but injury if you push yourself is gonna come. That doesn´t mean herniation but definitely will come

  14. Sean is offering information most all other YouTubers don’t mention. Follow these guidelines and you’ll save yourselves a lot of aggregation and injury over the longer term.

    All of this train every set to failure bs you’ll hear from others is wrong, especially for natural athletes. This will only lead to CNS exhaustion and types of injuries Sean is discussing within this video.

    Long ago I trained nearly a thousand people for over a decade when I was a personal trainer both owning gyms and prior to that working as a trainer for others starting at 15 years old.

    I’d learned through trial and error in my own personal training experience and for clients, all the issues Sean discussed. I’d even come up with my own term for training to failure, pushing progression to quickly, and employing poor movement patterns as “suffocating gains.” Your gains can regress (you lose muscle) by adding more and more total sets, along with the mistakes outlined above.

    Lastly, more isn’t better in weight training other than progressive overload over a fairly long period between adding load to any movement. Let your muscles breath and get used to the new loads. To this end you can alter rep ranges from 6-8 to 6-10 or 8-10 to 8-12. This method allows the muscles to add load volume over time allowing connective tissues to accommodate heavier loads over a broader range of reps.

    Sean is the best no BS guy on YouTube I’ve heard. I know this because I’ve lived it.

  15. All very solid tips that I don't think everyone is appling it how they should. Often times this things get overlooked and all that matters is going hard, but when injuries occur your mindset shifts completely

  16. Good video Sean – definitely an area that isn't discussed much. One thing – I had issues with some joint pain but a change to diet, including more healthy fats (Essential Fatty Acids etc) seemed to solve that issue.

  17. 1. Perform a warm up.
    2. Proper technique.
    3. Moderate intensity (1-2 reps short to failure) .
    4. Moderate volume x frequency.
    5. Focus on all the exercises the same.
    6. Maintain proper posture outside the gym.
    7. Take a break/deload every 6-12 weeks of constantly training.

  18. On a deload week, would performing body weight exercises (pull up,push up,dips, & squats) be doing too much?

  19. On a deload week, would performing body weight exercises (pull up,push up,dips, & squats) be doing too much?

  20. sean wat do u think of dumbell side bends for obliques,r thy effective for building up obliques???

  21. You touched on this but the trend in the natural bodybuilding community in recent years has been training your muscles/movement patterns with a high frequency (2-4x/week). I believe pushing frequencies up like this hurts your longevity. Sure you MIGHT make progress slightly faster in the short term but at what cost? For example my body feels so much better if I train things twice every 8-10 days rather than twice every 5-7 days. You can only handle so much volume in a given amount of time and progress levels out over time with genetic limits taken into consideration so I believe the differences between them are essentially negated.

  22. As a 60 year old "athlete" I totally agree with these tips. Just wait guys….oh and frankly just to put a positive spin on getting older, I lift about the same as I did when I was in my 20's but watch the the elbows and rotator cuff! Nice video Sean.

  23. Hi would rowing for 20 minutes be enough for warm up ? I jump to heavy weights immediately after that. Is it safe ?

  24. Don’t get too caught up into total volume. If you trialing more sets 4-5 per movement can lead to joint issues. Depending on the muscles they’re volume limited. 10-15 sets for biceps or triceps is just too much and you won’t grow unless you’re juicing.

  25. I struggle reconciling stopping 1-2 reps short of failure, yet still progressively overloading. So what would reaching a plateau look like and what do you do when you reach one?

  26. Hi Sean, currently cutting and experiencing some pain around the side-delt region in one shoulder. I generally follow all of the advice you discuss in this video, so I'm wondering if I'm just using too much weight on lateral raises (25 lb dumbbells for around 10 reps). Is this too much? What weight do you generally use? Thanks!

  27. Watching this after a shoulder injury using improper technique and too heavy of a weight – thanks for the wisdom

  28. kkFunny, I just watched your video about deloads and decided that is just the ticket! Afraid there is a larger problem though. Your videos are vry clear and we averaage joes understand them and swear to abide by them. And we do until the stupids sneak back in—again. where is the magic buton tht will keep these stupids away.

  29. Warm ups for the muscles is very crucial… most people do not warm up the muscles…. they launched right into their work set… as you get older warm-ups takes longer… I use mind to muscle connection I never work out without it!

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