If you are eating healthy and smashing the cardio like there is no tomorrow and still not seeing the results you desire, there may be something missing. That something is weight training. Weight training is not just for bodybuilders and gymrats, anyone can benefit! Here are just some of the reasons why you should start:
- More effective fat loss
- Greater calorie expenditure from more muscle
- Improved body composition
- Increased energy
- Increased strength and reduction in back pain, arthritis pain, etc
- Improved posture
- Improved sleep quality
- Improved mood and stress relief
- Improved heart health
- Improved bone health
RULES FOR BEGINNERS
1. ENSURE YOU WORK ALL MUSCLE GROUPS
Working all the major muscle groups, including the chest, back, shoulders, quads, glutes, hamstrings, biceps and triceps, as well as the abs and calves, will help you build a symmetrical physique. This will also prevent muscular imbalances that can occur when you favour specific body parts. Muscular imbalances can lead to serious injuries.
2. FOCUS ON FORM
It is important to understand and practice the basic movements before using more challenging weights. If you find that your coordination is challenged, keep practicing the movement pattern with a light weight until you feel comfortable moving to a heavier weight.
3. PERFORM EACH REP WITH CONTROL
Inhale and hold your breath as you lift the weight in a controlled manner, exhaling only at the top portion of the movement. Then lower the weight under control as you breathe in, returning to the starting position. Repeat for the desired amount of reps. Ensure you aren’t bouncing the weight at the bottom of the movement.
4. REST BETWEEN YOUR SETS
Your muscles will become fatigued during a set due to the build up of lactic acid and changes in the pH. This depends of the size of the muscle and usually takes between 30-120 seconds. A good guide to use is when you catch your breath from your last set, you are ready to start a new set.
5. AIM FOR PROGRESSION WITH EACH WORKOUT
Your progress can stall when your body adapts to its current training stimulus. Therefore, you cannot continue to perform the exact same workout again and again. Aim to do more reps with a given weight or increase the weight from one workout to the next, even by the smallest increment —that way you can continue to build muscle and make improvements in strength.
6. ALLOW YOUR BODY TO RECOVER
This is an essential part to success with any training program, and is often overlooked. The stress caused to the body by lifting heavy weights at the gym initiates a chain of events that causes the muscle to repair itself and become stronger for the next time you hit the weights. This needs a combination of time, nutrients and rest. If these things are not taken seriously, your muscle gains will suffer as a result.