Thin Line Tip #1: Only lift the weight you know you can! Many injuries occur due to inexperience, both by not knowing your personal limit, as well as not having correct form during certain lifts. The combination of the two can put you on leave for weeks or longer. Don't try to look like the strong tough guy by doing a lift you haven't done with weight beyond your limit; it's a recipe for disaster. The weight will come with patience, practice, and form. Stay dedicated and focused on your strength and fitness goals, you will achieve them.
Thin Line Tip #2: Do not over train! Over-training can cause a lot more harm than good. Once you've completed enough sets to feel the fatigue setting in, switch to your next exercise. Over time you will develop more muscular endurance, giving you room for more sets or reps. Until then, stick with what you and your body know and leave time for sufficient rest and recovery.
Thin Line Tip #3: Monitor your movement. When doing lunge or squat exercises make sure your hips, knees and feet are aligned. Mind your back; make sure there is no flexion or extension. Keep your shoulders down and back instead of forward or up.
Thin Line Tip #4: It is called WORKING out for a reason. It isn't "chilling out", you're not at home. You are in the gym, the domain for all those who share the same dream to be fit, get stronger, and be better. You are there to do work. Make that time in the gym work for you. You have your goals. You have the want, the drive, and the determination. DO THE WORK, GET THE RESULTS. DON'T DO THE WORK, DON'T GET RESULTS. It is just that simple.
Thin Line Tip #5: Go your own pace. Don't try to keep up with the guy that's been doing this for 10 or more years. Always remember that they started at the same place. That is how many people hurt themselves. Focus on yourself, focus on your own goals, and if you keep up the hard work, soon you will be the person the people look at when they work out.
Thin Line Tip #6: DO PLANKS! As responders core strength is key, whether we're using it to help carry that man or woman down the stairs on a stretcher or dragging a line through the hall to slay the dragon. Our core is made up of several muscles that combined support our daily activities and are necessary for function on scene. Planks have been the tried and true simple method of strengthening these muscles and can be done literally anywhere! Start with a short time (~30 seconds) and push yourself as time goes on. Focus. You can do it.
Thin Line Tip #7: Cardio is key. Yes, the right diet will get you down in weight and body fat, but to really see results inside and out, cardio is a must. Start by walking your dog or a shorter jog, and your next cardio day (two days later), make it longer or faster paced. It doesn't take much to get started, but remembering to do it and getting the motivation to is what takes skill. Believe you can do it!