Weight Training 101
If you want to shed fat or change the way your body looks, lift weights. Yes, it’s that simple. When it comes to changing how your body looks, weight training is hands down the biggest factor. Obviously nutrition is extremely important, but there are plenty of people who eat “healthy” and look like crap. If you don’t believe me, it may motivate you to know that weight training will:
- Raise your metabolism. Fact: Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn; that’s just simple math.
- Strengthen bones, especially important for women and the elderly.
- Make you stronger and increase muscular endurance. Life will get easier.
- Help you avoid injuries. You’ll be able to play harder and worry less.
- Increase your confidence and self-esteem. Just don’t get an ego!
- Improve coordination and balance. You’ll move better!
Getting started with strength training isn’t as complicated as some make it out to be. The routine you choose will be based on your fitness goals as well as the equipment you have available and the time you have for workouts. If you have trouble figuring out what to do, consult a professional.
If you’re setting up your own program, you should know some of the basic strength training principles. These principles will teach you how to make sure you’re using the correct weight, and performing the proper movements that assist you in reaching your goal(s). Listen to your body! and insure you’re always progressing in your workouts.
- Specificity. This principle means you should train for your goal. Your program should be designed around your goal(s). To lose weight, choose a variety of high rep movements that target your whole body; i.e. large movements. To increase strength – High weight, low rep movements. BE SPECIFIC!
- Overload: To build muscle, you need to use more resistance than your muscles are used to moving. This is important because our bodies adapt to whatever stress we continually put them under. Simply put, the more you do, the more your body is capable of doing! Elevating your workload will also insure that you avoid plateaus.
- Progression. To avoid hitting plateaus (or adaptation), you need to vary your levels of intensity. This can be done by increasing the amount of weight lifted, changing your sets/reps, changing the movement/exercises and changing the amount of resistance used. Progress can be made everyday!
- Rest and Recovery. Rest days can be just as important as workout days. It is during these rest periods that your muscles grow and recover.
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