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strong women series

How to be safe in the power cage – weight lifting for women Ep. 3

Healthista’s new Strong Woman series brings you a lesson a day for w fortnight to get you started lifting safely and effectively. Today, coach Nicola Addison, personal trainer of Eqvvs training who trains models Elle Macpherson, Daisy Lowe and Erin O’Connor brings you safety in the power cage

Lifting is super trendy right now, but it’s also – actually – quite dangerous for the uninitiated.  Ask anyone who has been injury by a flying squat bar and never set foot in the weights room again.

We’re all about education at Healthista and that’s why we asked celebrity trainer Nicola Addison to work with us on a weightlifting for beginners series. The series runs for a fortnight and this week, week one, Nicola will be bringing you short videos all about lifting safely and including the little things trainers and super fit lifters seem to do instinctively that most of us have no idea about.

Episode 1: How to use the power cage

Episode 2: How to load the squat bar

Today, we’re covering safety in the cage. If you’re not familiar with the language of lifters, the cage  is the structure in gyms built for lifting using the bar.  It’s usually a square featuring slots for setting the height of your bar and also features safety catcher bars at shin height.  The cage protects lifters from injury and helps people lift safely. It also means you can set your squat weight at a higher level than that you could lift from the floor.  Safety in the power cage means that if you have set your lifting weight too high, you’re protected from injury if your drop the weight when you can’t go any further. Don’t be a martyr. If you can’t complete a set, drop that weight and you’re far less likely to be injured, Nicola advises.

Next week Nicola will be bringing you tutorials explaining how to safely do all the big moves that you see on Instagram – the dead lift, the squat, the clean and jerk, the row and the Olympic twist. Once the fortnight is over, she’ll bring you a great finisher workout to put it all together (and basically murder your muscles).

Tomorrow: How to prevent bar and rack injury

Impatient? Watch the whole series on YouTube


With over 18 years of successful industry experience in some of the UK’s most prestigious wellness centres, Nicola Addison currently provides consultancy services to businesses and individuals in the UK and Europe. Having opened upwards of 18 independent exclusive commercial leisure facilities, she has had a successful career to date, both within large and small businesses with varying degrees of complexity.

Nicola is a well known industry voice and regularly publishes across the national press. Nicola is fully media trained and contributes to TV & radio as well as providing video content for her clients.


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