Before each set

16.35 Double check that the poundage you have loaded is what you want—consult your training log. ^en check that you have actually loaded what you think you have. It is easy to load a bar incorrectly. Leave no room for errors that could ruin a set.

16.36 Securely put collars on your loaded barbell. While most trainees usually do not put collars on their barbells, get into the habit of using them. Plates on one end of the bar sliding just a little can be enough to disturb the balance of the bar, and mar a set. Get yourself a pair of light-weight and quick-release collars if where you train does not have them. Take them when you train, along with your set of little discs, and perhaps chalk too.

16.37 If you use adjustable dumbbells, as against fixed-weight ones that have no adjustable collars, be sure they are securely fixed on before you use the 'bells. A dumbbell coming apart while in use, especially overhead, could prove disastrous. Be very fussy about checking all potential sources of accidents.

16.38 If between sets someone talks to you and disturbs you, politely but firmly make it clear you are there to train, not socialize. By anticipating the pos sibility of disturbance, and taking action accordingly, you can help avoid someone coming up to you during a set and ruining your concentration.

16.39 When you get in position for a set, pay attention to ensure you take the right grip and/or stance/body position. Do not charge into a set, grab the bar and then realize after the first rep that you took an imbalanced grip, wrong stance, are lopsided while on a bench, or whatever. Take the time, be conscientious, and get positioned right for every set you do. Mentally go through a few reps and establish that everything is in order before you take the bar and start the set.

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