Unlike aerobic exercise, weight lifting generally does not appear suitable for everyone. Most people assume that it’s the type of workout more suitable for men’s fitness rather than women’s fitness. But as any fitness trainer offering personal training is likely to tell you, weight lifting is an integral part of anyone’s workout program and regardless of what their weight objectives may be.
Define your goals
There are various types of weight lifting programs, and you should take the time to determine which one is most suitable in your case. Women lift weights for more defined and toned muscles while some men prefer to pump iron to bulk up and have bulging muscles to flaunt. And you may find this hard to believe but weight lifting may also be good for weight loss.
Start light and start right
You can literally end up injuring yourself – in very severe ways, too – if you force yourself to start by lifting 100-pound barbells on your first day. Start light and start right by lifting weights that you can readily handle. You can gradually increase your weights from there. Also, for those who are only into weight lifting for toning, increased repetitions – and not heavier weights – are the key to success.
Progress is inevitable and necessary
Progress here refers to the gradual and necessary increase in the weights you are using in your workout. It’s the only way to ensure that your muscles stay toned rather than suffering from stunted growth because they have gotten used to the weights you are lifting. Most experts recommend an increase of 10 pounds per month for those who want to bulk up, but obviously the figures would vary depending on the type of weight lifting program you are following.
Variation is essential
Firstly, educate yourself about the different muscle groups your body consists of. There’s the lower body – which consists of your thighs, calves, hamstrings, and abs – and then there’s your upper body, which consists of your back and shoulder muscles. Lastly, there’s your mid-body muscle group and which includes your chest, triceps, and biceps. Make sure that you do not target the same muscle group consecutively as this could lead to overworked muscles, workout plateaus, and imbalanced results.
Also, be wary of the “chicken legs” syndrome that’s common with bodybuilders. A lot of heavy weight lifters end up with bulging arms and scrawny legs simply because they’ve forgotten that their legs require the same amount of workout as well as their arms.
The tips above can give you a good start to weight lifting, but you will need more essential and specific advice as you progress. With a personal trainer, you can at least ensure you are performing all weight lifting exercises correctly, safely, and effectively.
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