When a fitness coach or physical trainer recommends weight training for fitness and muscle building, understand that it is because you can tone your muscles, look better and reverse muscle loss due to aging through strength or resistance training.
Each time you see someone looking toned and fit, the chances are high that their workout includes weight training at the gym. Working out on weight machines or with free weights like barbells and dumbbells will always deliver reliable and lasting results. The concept driving this style of muscle building is the same – placing resistance on the action of muscles through weights. By placing a load on them, you are stimulating your muscles to grow bigger and gain strength.
The good news about weight training is that it doesn’t require very long workouts. The typical session lasts under an hour. Also, working out twice or thrice a week is enough and daily weight training might actually be less effective at bulking up.
You will begin seeing results from weight training very quickly. Even 2 or 3 sessions every week, each lasting under half an hour, will help firm up and grow your muscles. When combined with around 3 hours of aerobic activity every week, this can help overall muscle building and fitness.
When you do it correctly, weight training can deliver impressive results. But if you don’t learn to do it the right way, you could end up with injuries that are painful and even permanent. Sprains, strains and fractures are all risks with incorrect weight training technique.
1. Learn The Right Technique
While getting started, it is best to workout under the guidance and supervision of a fitness coach. Wrong habits can be difficult to break once they are established. And even experienced weight training participants can benefit from having a fitness specialist review their performance from time to time.
2. Start Slow
While a workout may recommend many sets of multiple reps, you are better off beginning your training with just a single set of repetitions. Starting at the right weight, do 12 reps of each exercise – and do not attempt multiple sets. This is in fact just as effective as doing 3 sets of fewer reps.
3. Don’t Push Too Hard
Trying to exercise at a weight that’s close to your limit in an attempt to push your muscle to grow faster is a mistake. The ideal starting weight is one that leaves your muscles fatigued after 12 to 15 reps. Ending each workout with at least one good set left in you is a good idea.
4. Stop Rushing
There’s no rush to scale up to heavy weights or perform 5 sets of each workout. Such growth and development will happen with time. If all you can do is lift a few pounds, start right there. Ignore what others are doing. Focus on working your muscles at or near the limits of their capacity. Only after you are comfortably able to perform atleast 12 sets of each exercise should you consider increasing the weight training load.
5. Get Rest
Muscles grow bigger and stronger only in the interval between workout sessions. That’s why experts recommend that you give muscle groups a break for 48 hours before exercising them again. One way of doing this is to alternate upper and lower body workouts, thus giving each group a break of 48 hours before the next session begins. When your workouts focus on developing a single muscle or group, then you can exercise it more often.
Weight training helps preserve muscle mass despite aging. Naturally, the older you grow, the faster your muscles will atrophy. Lean muscle mass becomes lower. Unless you exercise regularly, the muscle becomes replaced by fat. Weight training can arrest this process and even reverse it, so that your muscles will not decrease in mass and keep growing bigger and stronger.
The benefits of having greater muscle mass are plentiful. You can work harder before becoming tired. Your body will be more supple and toned, with greater flexibility of joints and a lesser incidence of joint and back pain. Bone density grows higher with exercise, and osteoporosis-related fractures in the elderly population will drop in frequency is you consistently engage in weight training.
Weight training is also popular for its fat melting effects. With the dual benefits of greater lean muscle mass and lesser fat, it is no wonder that weight training is a popular choice for beginners and expert bodybuilders alike. Structured programs like “Muscle Gaining Secrets 2.0” can guide you through the steps of developing your personalized weight training routines.