Leave your ego at the door

One of the most harmful things a person can bring into the gym is their ego. To put it plainly, your ego can, and will, lead to injuries one way or another. It’s better to admit to yourself that, when it comes to lifting, you don’t know everything and need to take things slowly.

Weights are a very interesting thing. If you talk to anyone who has spent years lifting they’ll tell you that the weights are almost a sentient object. If you disrespect them, they’ll hurt you, plain and simple. This is where a person’s ego can be a dangerous thing.

We all have goals we want to achieve in the gym, and that’s a good thing, but you can’t rush the process. If you take someone who is naturally athletic, or has strong genetics, and put them in the gym chances are they’re going to think they’re ready to lift heavier then they should. It’s one of the most common mistakes when it comes to weightlifting. There’s always that feeling of accomplishment when you lift a weight that others struggle to, and that’s not a bad thing, but you have to take the time to build up to that weight.

If you try and lift a weight that your body is literally not prepared to lift, you will get hurt. It’s not the good kind of pain either. You will get injured. You might not notice it immediately, but you will a day or two after you’ve made the mistake of lifting too heavily. We’ve all seen videos of people “failing” in the gym, dropping incredibly heavy weights in vain attempts of internet fame, or trying to impress their friends. While it’s funny for those watching the videos, the brutal truth is that these injuries are severe and serious. Broken ribs, torn hamstrings and quadriceps, dislocated elbows and fractured arms. Even paralysis and death. The consequences of lifting too heavily too quickly, or not understanding the forms and techniques that coincide with such heavy lifting, are serious business.

So, rather than rushing your body and risking serious injury, accept that it is going to take some time to work up to those weights. If you’re hitting the gym seriously, and maintaining the correct diet and habits outside of the gym, you’ll get to those goals. But part of the grind is understanding that it’s going to take time. You can’t cut corners and rush this kind of thing because the consequences are frighteningly real and they will catch up to you one way or the other. If you’re unaware of correct form or techniques, take the time to do your research. The internet is an obvious option, or you can talk to a trainer at your local gym and ask them what you should be doing. It’s worth the awkward questions in the long run I promise.