Weight Training 101 – Getting Started

Lifting weights is one of the best things that you can do to not only change your body, but to lose fat as well.  Weight training really is the key to changing the look of your body but working on cardio as well as following a proper diet is also very important. Some people are reluctant to get into a program for strength training but the following benefits of lifting weights may help to get you motivated:

  • By increasing the amount of muscle you have, you can help boost your metabolism because your muscles actually burn more calories rather than fat.
  • You can toughen up your bones which is very important to all females
  • You can enhance the endurance of your muscles in addition to increasing your strength
  • Work outs are safer which means less injuries
  • You can boost your self esteem as well as your confidence
  • Balance and coordination are improved

Starting out with strength training can pose many questions such as – which exercises are best? How many reps should I do as well as sets? How do I know if I have enough weights?  When you choose a routine, you will want to consider the amount of time you can spend on training, what your end goal is and what type of gym equipment you have to get the job done.

The Basics

There are some basic principles for strength training that need to be learned if you are going to work on your own program.  This will help you in deciding how much weight you need to use as well as the amount of sets and reps you will need to do so that you are making progress with your routine.

  1. Excess: You need to use resistance to help you build muscle.  This means that you need to use more weight for resistance to help build up your muscles.  It only makes sense that your body will be able to do more with weights as you keep working at it.  You will need to increase your weights and workload gradually so that you will not over do it or reach a plateau.  You should be able to complete your workout with some difficulty but also keep your form good while doing it.
  2. Development. It is best to increase the intensity of your workouts periodically to avoid hitting a plateau.  This can be done by adding on weights, doing different exercises, switching your type of resistance or adding in more sets/reps.  It is best to do this slowly once a week or at least once a month.
  1. Specificity. This means to be specific and train your body to meet your goal.  For instance, if you want to work on being stronger then make your workouts targeted to your goal.  You can add more weights as you get closer to your goal or if you are trying to lose weight then you will want to do a variety of exercises and reps that target various muscles fibers.
  1. Recovery and Rest. Having a day of rest is just as important as having days for exercising.  It is best to never work the same groups of muscles for consecutive days.  Your muscles need the break to grow and transform.

It is important to keep a few key points in mind prior to working on your own routine.

  1. Warming up is essential before you do any type of weight lifting.  You can help to prevent injuring yourself just by warming your muscles up.  The best way to do this is by starting with a light set of exercises or by doing a light cardio workout.
  2. Slowly raise and lower your weights. You should never have to gain momentum to lift the weights.  If you find that you have to do this then you need to lessen the amount of weight, you are using.
  3. Don’t forget to Breathe. You should always breathe through each movement and be sure to use full range of motion when you go through each movement.
  4. Use good posture. It is best to stand up straight and use good posture when working out.  Try to use your abs with every movement so you can protect your back bone as well as keep good balance.

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