Lifting weights isn't just for bodybuilders -- so why do so many people leave it out of their fitness routine?
With multiple benefits when done properly, weight training should be a part of the equation for everyone to strengthen their body and feel their best.
Why Train With Weights?
Using weights can help you reach your health and fitness goals more quickly when added to your fitness routine. Weight training helps you burn fat and build lean muscle mass instead -- muscle also burns calories while at rest to help you lose weight. You'll also gain greater strength for whatever life throws at you and improve your bone density, which is crucial as you get older.
No matter your age, gender, size or what look or fitness level you're trying to reach, everyone can benefit from training with weights at least a couple of times a week.
10 Rules of Proper Weight Training
If you're ready to hit the weights, there are some things to remember to avoid injury and get the results you want. Here the important guidelines to keep in mind when using weights as well as suggestions to take your workout to the next level:
Breathe with each move. To keep your blood pressure in check and keep yourself from getting lightheaded, exhale as you lift or push the weight and inhale on the return.
Pick the right shoes. Wear shoes that will provide support and keep you firmly in place with good traction.
Form is crucial. Never do more reps that you can while maintaining proper form. If you're going for quantity instead of quality, you're setting yourself up for injury. If it hurts, stop. Slow and steady wins the race.
Always warm up first. Don't hurt yourself by cutting corners. Allow yourself adequate time to get your muscles loose with some cardio and dynamic stretching.
Start light. You should be able to get through one set of repetitions (the average is 12) with good form but feel tired at the end. When that gets easy, add more reps or weight.
Bigger weights mean bigger muscles. As you get more advanced, your body will adjust to the weight you're using. If you want to increase muscle mass, you need to lift heavier. Simple as that.
Plan ahead. Know what muscles you're going to work and how before you get up for a morning workout at home or head to the gym. Your workout will be more efficient and effective.
Mix up your routine. Maybe you like to do each muscle group once, twice or three times a week. Try breaking things up if you want to spend more time on a particular area or do full-body workouts with rest days in between.
Add compound moves to burn more calories. If you're looking to maximize efficiency or burn more fat, try compound moves like bicep curls with forward lunges. Just make sure you can perform each component of the move with proper form.
Give your body time to rest. There is no law saying you cannot take a moment to breathe and get water between sets and exercises. You should also work days off into your schedule. Listen to your body.
It also important to ask for help when you need it. If you're just getting started, working with a personal trainer can help you perfect your form and set realistic goals. Keep all of these things in mind when weight training to get the most out of your workout and get the strength and look you want faster. Now, it's time to talk about food.
Proper Nutrition for Weight Training
Before any strength training session, it's important to have some protein for amino acids, which helps the muscle grow and repair itself. You also need carbohydrates, which will fuel the body. Aim to eat one hour before your workout. In the first two hours after your workout, it's crucial for muscle recovery to provide your body with protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats to repair the muscle, encourage growth and prevent soreness the next day.
There are many premade options that can make training easier, such as pre and post-workout shakes and bars. Look for those that are low in sugar and processed ingredients. Make sure to stay properly hydrated before, during and after your workout with plenty of good ol' H2O.
Follow these suggestions and you'll be on your way to a toned, stronger body in no time. Get everything you need at eVitamins and stick with it!
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.