Resistance training with weights is a fantastic way to build your muscular strength and endurance, build a lean, fit body, and improve many facets of your health. Resistance training doesn’t have to be complicated, so do not hesitate to try out some exercises! In addition, many find that working with weights is super fun, a great way to burn off the stress of the day, and the release of feel-good endorphins is always a plus!
If you are unsure where to begin, it is always a safe bet to meet with your doctor first; they will assess your health before giving you the all-clear to start resistance training workouts. Consulting your doctor first is especially important if you have any known health conditions, are obese, or are over the age of forty. However, for most of us, adding resistance training at some level is a positive step toward a healthier lifestyle.
Next, if you plan to work out at a local gym, check in with the staff; many gyms offer private or group weight room orientations. They will demonstrate the various pieces of resistance training equipment and how to use them safely and effectively.
Many gyms also employ personal trainers, or you may find an exercise specialist in your community; these fitness gurus will guide you through the various resistance training methods.
Resistance training requires a thorough warm-up before the workout. So, before lifting, take five to ten minutes to do a bit of low-intensity cardiovascular exercises such as using the elliptical, exercise bike, or the treadmill.
By warming up, you allow for your limbs to enjoy a full range of motion, and you lower your risk of injury. Further, warming up allows for your body temperature to rise, which will better prepare your body for the workout to come.
Go slow. Do not rush. If you ask most people, they could barely move after their first weight training session. While a small amount of muscle soreness lets you know that you have done your body some good, too much soreness lets you know that you overdid it.
By beginning slowly, you allow your body to adjust correctly to the new activity. Start with just two resistance training workouts a week, giving your body a complete rest between these workouts. Once this routine is embedded in your lifestyle, try for an additional day but maintain that rest day between your activities.
Effective weight training requires that attention be given to its five basic and essential principles. These principles include specificity, individualization, progressive overload, variation, and reversibility. In addition to these principles, you need to ensure that your technique is spot-on; poor form can lead to injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, and worse.
It’s always safest to start with light weights rather than heavy ones; focus on your technique and breathing before adding weight. Your starting weight should allow for twelve to fifteen comfortable repetitions of each exercise. Proper breathing is also essential; avoid holding your breath when lifting. Instead, breath out as you lift the weight on each activity and breath in as you let the weight down.
Knowing how hard and how long you need to weight train can seem complicated, so a fitness expert can help guide you to the correct levels. You will want to consider this acronym: FITT. FITT stands for frequency, intensity, time, and type. This acronym will allow you to plan how often, how intense, how long, and what exercises you should do to meet your goals.
Just with technique, it’s also crucial to focus on your balance; an unsteady position may result in an accident. By consulting the experts and being thoughtful about your resistance training workout, you can enjoy the many health benefits of resistance training!