Weight training is also known as strength or resistance training. It strengthens your joints and bones, builds stronger and lean muscles, and it even helps improve your metabolism. Because of this, you will certainly burn more calories even when you are taking a rest.
What You Need To Start Weight Training
It would be best to take pre-workout supplements before you begin your workout. This is to boost your strength and performance. With pre-workout supplements, you can surely endure an intense and long-term weight training activity.
If you are a beginner and you have never ever lifted weights before, getting a certified personal trainer might be a good choice.
They will be responsible for teaching you the correct form for a certain type of exercise. Moreover, they can even prepare you for a resistance training program that best fits your needs.
Many fitness centers or gyms can provide introductory weight training sessions at a cheaper cost or for free. They can also offer you trainers that are available to guide you through the process. Furthermore, while most fitness centers have a combination of free weights and resistance machines, you can also opt to get a comprehensive weight training session in the comfort of your home with the use of basic training equipment.
Equipment Options You Should Know About
When it comes to having a toned body and building lean muscle mass, you don’t necessarily need some weights. For example, you only need your body weight when doing lunges and pushups. This is because the bodyweight will provide the resistance you need in doing the said exercises.
You can choose to use dumbbells in your home workout sessions. A beginner’s adjustable dumbbells can start at around $50. However, the price goes up as you add more weight to the dumbells.
Another popular option would be kettlebells (weighted balls with handles).
Several kettlebell exercises can work out many of your muscle groups all at once. This makes this equipment perfect for a full-body workout. Besides that, it can also be great if you are short on time.
In addition to your workout equipment, try out resistance bands. These bands are color-coded and elastic. Moreover, they can give you different levels of resistance when stretched and pulled.
If you want to buy resistance bands, the prices can range from $10 to $60. These elastic bands can be very portable and light. Hence, you can easily take them anywhere you want, especially when you travel.
Tips Before You Begin Your Weight Training
If you are ready to start your weight training activity, it would be best to keep these tips in mind:
Aerobic activities like brisk walking or a 5-minute jog can help increase the blood flow to your muscles. This will prime your muscles for a great workout. Furthermore, jumping jacks and skipping rope can also be a good warm-up activity.
Lighter Weights First
It would be best for you to start with lighter weights first. Choose a weight you can lift 10 to 15 times with the correct form. Begin your workout with 1 or 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. After that, you can then progress slowly to 3 sets or more.
Increase The Weight Gradually
If you feel like the recommended sets are too easy for you, try to increase the weights by 5 to 10%. It would be best to make sure the increased weight is the right weight for you before you begin exercising. This is to prevent any muscle injuries.
Provide a 60 Seconds Rest In Between Sets
It is vital not to disregard this tip. This is because taking a 60-second rest can prevent you from having muscle. Moreover, if you experience muscle fatigue, your muscles will start to decline their ability to produce force during workout sessions.
Workout Not Longer Than 45 Minutes
Having longer workout sessions doesn’t always mean better results. Sometimes, it can lead to an increased risk of muscle fatigue and burnout. Hence, it would be best to workout not longer than 45 minutes to give your body time to relax.
Stretch Your Muscles Gently After Your Exercises
Stretching after your workout session can be beneficial. It can help ease muscle tension and boost your flexibility. Besides that, it can also reduce your risk of getting an injury.
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Provide a One-Day or Two-Day Rest In Between Workouts
It would be best to have rest days in between your workouts. This will give your muscles time to recover during an intense weight training session. Not only that, but it can also help replenish your energy stores before you start off your next workout.
Exercises Beginners Should Try
The following is a list of some exercises and the target area it works out that is perfect for beginners:
- Dumbbell single-arm rows
Target Area: This exercise targets your upper arm and back muscles.
- Dumbbell shoulder press
Target Area: This exercise targets your shoulder muscles.
- Dumbbell chest press
Target Area: This exercise targets your chest muscles.
- Bicep curls
Target Area: This exercise targets your biceps. These are the muscles that are located in front of your arms.
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- Tricep extensions
Target Area: This exercise targets your triceps. These are the muscles that are located in the back of your arms.
- Resistance band pull apart
Target Area: This exercise targets your shoulder, arms, and back muscles.
- Lunge with dumbbell
Target Area: This exercise targets your leg muscles. This includes your hamstrings, calves, buttocks, and quadriceps. If you add a dumbbell to this exercise, you will work out your biceps too.
Target Area: This exercise targets your leg muscles. This includes your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.
- Calf raises
Target Area: This exercise targets your calf muscles.
Weight Training Schedule That Might Work For You
If you want to build strength without building up the size of your muscles, a weight training schedule of three workouts a week might suffice. When it comes to a three times-a-week weight training session, it is believed that it is as effective as more regular workouts for strength building. This is according to a study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal.
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However, it is different if your goal is to build strength and increase muscle mass. This is because you will need to do more frequent workouts and repetitions if you want to build up muscle mass. Hence, doing the weight training program you chose three times per week won’t be enough.
You can opt to work all of your muscle groups during an exercise. You can also do 1 or 2 sets of each exercise and work your way up. As you work your way up, you might notice that the exercises you thought were hard are now easier for you to do.
You can also choose to focus on working out certain muscle groups on certain days. See the weekly weight training schedule below as an example:
Target Area: Shoulders, chest, and triceps.
- Dumbbells shoulder press;
- Dumbbell chest press;
- Dumbbell triceps extension.
Target Area: Back and Biceps
- Bicep curl
- Resistance band pull apart;
- Dumbbell single-arm rows.
Target Area: Legs
- Calf raises;
As you get more and more comfortable with your weight training program, you can opt to mix or combine your exercises for each muscle group. Moreover, don’t forget to add more sets and weights as you learn to build up your strength.
In starting a weight training activity, it is best to focus on safety. Always pay close attention to your body during exercises. Also, it would be good not to push yourself too quickly. Because if you do, you might hurt yourself and might even result in a health problem.
In order to stay safe during your weight training sessions, here are some tips you should follow:
- Do your exercises slowly with the correct form;
- Use a spotter in helping you with heavier lifts;
- Always stay hydrated;
- Inhale before lifting weights and exhale during the lift;
- When working out weights, don’t hold your breath;
- If you feel any pain during a workout, stop what you are doing. If the pain is still there after taking a little rest, seek medical help immediately.
If you currently have any health condition, it might help if you communicate with your health provider first before you start weight training. This is to ensure that it is okay for you to do this kind of exercise routine.
Whether you want to achieve a more toned and fitter body or you want to build muscle mass, weight training can be the tool to help you achieve your body goals. Even if you have never done this activity before, it is never too late for you to start. Moreover, weight training is great for both men and women, and it can be started at any fitness level or age.
When it comes to weight training, you don’t need to be a fitness buff. In fact, you are not required to go to the gym for this type of activity. Instead, you can simply use free weights, resistance bands, body weights, and other home fitness equipment to help reach your goals.