To the experienced eye, taking a look around any gym can be pretty disturbing. What you witness can often seem like the prerequisite to an accident. You know, you see a car pull out, and you see another car driving by having not noticed… you know what’s coming…
But, what can you do? It’s not like you can go up to a total stranger and tell them their form sucks; bodybuilding is a macho pastime, and it’s bound to lead to confrontation. So I’m glad that you’ve actively sought this information out yourself, because, staying safe should be your number one priority in bodybuilding. Just one single accident, if serious enough, can pretty much end your ambitions, just like that. And if you are very unfortunate, can also ruin your life.
It’s almost impossible or me to sit here and describe how to keep you injury free in every lift. It’s beyond the scope of an article, and probably beyond the scope of any amount of articles. In order to stay safe and injury free, you need to learn the correct form for each exercise you do. And the best way to do this is to have somebody with good experience (preferably a certified trainer) to teach you.
Train light until you have the form, and then begin adding weight, and never, ever sacrifice form at the expense of adding more weight: that is an accident waiting to happen.
Many people get injured because they don’t warm up. I would advocate some simple stretching and several light warm-up sets of each exercise before you move onto your working sets.
Don’t be driven by your ego. I see this at gyms all the time: groups of young guys all competing with each other, neither wanting to look the weakest, so they begin lifting weights they are obviously seriously struggling with, and have terrible form. That is how most accidents occur in weights training – when the ego takes over common sense.
In fact, forget about what the weight is altogether. What you should focus on is how each exercise feels, and what it does to your muscles. The weights are nothing but a means to an end, because at the end of the day, you are doing nothing more than training the muscles.