Safe Training Tips

Yesterday, former meathead Patrick McGuire and I shared with you the creativeness behind the Turbulence Training for Meatheads program, combining traditional body building exercises with bodyweight exercise.

Being an experienced meathead myself, I like to share with you today, a few beneficial long term tips to keep you injury free.


Patrick McGuire: Craig, can you go over a few of your top ten safe training tip with us?

Craig Ballantyne: Yes, I would say that for the older guys, don’t do anything that hurts or doesn’t feel right. When I say older guys, I mean guys that have been training for three to five years that know their bodies. They’ll know when something just doesn’t feel right, so they won’t push it.

For example, I just got back from my workout. I was doing military press. After one set, something didn’t feel right in my right shoulder, and five or ten years ago I would have thrown on another plate on and would just deal with it the next day. However, not now, that’s kind of smart way of training these days.

There’s so many exercises, so many other things you can do that back then maybe you only knew six exercises so you really didn’t have any alternatives.  However, now it’s all the alternatives. There’s other things you can do if going down the road A, and it doesn’t seem like a good idea today, just take a right turn and go down road B and do something else.  Maybe you’ll do an easier exercise for lighter weights and get a pump or something. Most guys with a few years’ experience should already know that.

I guess another tip would be to check your ego at the door. Where I train, there are world class bodybuilders. It’s just some dungeon gym in Toronto, where you will be training right beside them, and you’ll  see some people that have a competitive streak in put another ten percent or fifteen percent on the bar not being able to keep up with these guys because they’re massive.

So, it’s much smarter to train within your limits. Again that goes to knowing what you know about yourself. I continually encourage people to find out exactly how their body responds to nutrition. I am always talking about this as well as how your body responds to exercise and what rep range.

Another good tip is to keep a workout journal for the first three to six months if you’re a beginner. This will probably put you at a more experience level than someone who’s been training for two to three years that hasn’t kept track. What this means, is someone who just goes and lifts for two to three years using programs out of a magazine that never is thinking about what they’re doing, truly isn’t mentally any further ahead than a beginner that comes in and actually notices what they’re doing for the first three to six months, or what changes, or what doesn’t feel good, all that type of stuff.

I know you may look like a dork at the gym but – I but do it all the time, and you know what?  I’d rather do that and know what’s going on. You’re going to get so much more out of the entire experience with fewer injuries if you’re doing it kind of the nerdy way. So the nerdy meathead is the way to be.

Patrick McGuire: Absolutely. Craig, I know just the both of us – I mean I know that we are lifetime, lifelong students of training nutrition as well as business. However, we seriously focus on the concepts of being able to know what we did in the past, what worked, what didn’t, and how to move forward. That’s one of the things I really have focused on, is nutrition big time. My training back in the day used to be the priority.

I didn’t journal that as much. When it came time to competitions where I was trying to go for two to three years at a time I would write it all down, my journaling became so important for both training and nutrition. So being a gym geek or a nutrition geek with a journal, it’s absolutely chic.  Craig, you said a lot of guys will just hammer through an exercise because they don’t know any better. Today there’s just so much more, like you were saying for your shoulder press, you can move into another body weighted exercise, or abs or other techniques of isometrics that will actually help the body get better.

So that’s really awesome you do mention that you got to be a student in the gym with your journal with you. I know you do it, I do it too.

Join us tomorrow for part 3 where I share with you more valuable tips.