Not all of us have the luxury of a spotter while we weight train. This can be a problem at times because weight training can be dangerous, especially when you get up to the higher weights. Here are a few tips to help keep you safe when working out alone.
Buy Safety Equipment
If you have the funds, nothing beats a cage system with a nice safety bar. It makes it practically impossible to hurt yourself. This is what I use at home to train by myself and it has never let me down.It consists of the standard weight brackets and a bar that goes from pst to post to catch any falling weight bar.
Of course, any piece of safety equipment can be compromised by improper usage. When setting up your cage, before you do any exercise with weight, test it out with no weight. Make sure that the safety bar is set to a point that if the weight drops, the bar will not hit you. Mark the position of the bar for each exercise that you do. I use labels on the post to indicate the position for each exercise.
Never Max Out By Yourself
If you do not have a cage system, never go for max weight by yourself. It is always tempting because we want to know what we are capable of, but resist the urge. Going for max always involves the risk of failure where the bat can come crashing down on you. Have a helper or do not do it. If you want to get an idea of what kind of weight you can push, use a one rep max calculator to get an idea.
Don’t Use Weight Collars
I personally never use weight collars with most exercises. There is just really no need for them with exercises that do not get much bar flex. Now, you might need them on a heavy deadlift but avoid using them if possible on other exercises. Why, well if you fail on a bench, for example and you end up with a bar on top of you collars trap the weight on you. Without collars, you can tilt the bar to a side and potentially slide the weight off of you in an emergency. Of course the bar will then go crashing to the other side so this is an emergency thing only.