Are you someone who wants broad shoulders instead of a broad waistline? Do you want to gain muscle and build muscles so that you can look better and more toned? Do you want to increase your stamina so that you can keep your heart healthy? Do you want to get a slimmer, well-toned body? If yes, you must consider weight training. It is one of the most common types of muscle building exercises that helps you increase your stamina, your strength, as well as your skeletal muscles. It also helps you get a well-toned body.
Getting started with weight training can be difficult. This article aims at helping you understand the basics well, so that you CAN achieve your goals without going off the course. But have a good basic understanding of how to build muscle in the first place is essential. Otherwise you may waste your time and get poor results.
First things first
Weight training is easier said than done. You will not see any immediate results. You may suffer from muscle cramps. You may find it difficult to stick to the routine. You will have to work really hard to get high level of results. But the shorcut to getting there faster is having the right program and the right plan in the first place.
Three factors matter the most in weight training:
The accuracy and dedication with which you do your exercises
The quality of your diet
The amount of rest you give your body to recover
Are you ready to get started?
To build muscles, you will have to lift weights. However, it is not as simple as that. If you don’t do it the right way, you may end up hurting yourself badly. You must, therefore, do weight training under the supervision of an experienced instructor. The first thing that you need to do is to find a gym that has a well-equipped free-weight section.
Weight training isn’t just about lifting weights
In weight training, you will have to do compound exercises, which will help you do full-body workouts. Compound exercises such as barbell squats are highly effective for promoting a solid growth of multiple muscle groups. During weight lifting, only a specific group of your muscles work. The rest are inactive. You can counter this inactivity by doing compound exercises that involve mostof your muscle groups. By exercising every muscle in your body, you will be able to stay strong and avoid injuries.
Here is a sample workout plan
Based on your fitness level and goals, your instructor will be able to design a highly effective workout routine for you. However, here is a sample routine that beginners and even experts may try.
For an entire body workout, you have to involve four varieties of weight training exercises in your routine; leg exercises, push exercises, pull exercises, and core exercises.
Popular leg exercises for beginners are squats, deadlifts, and lunges.
Some push exercises that you may try under supervision are bench press, overhead press, and dips.
Inverted rows, pull ups, and chin ups are amazing pull exercises for beginners.
Some core exercises that are worth considering are reverse crunches, hanging knee raises, and planks.
Weight training requires some time and effort. You won’t get immediate results. Therefore, do not push your body suddenly to do something beyond its limit expecting that this will give you better results. Instead, start with a weight that you can comfortably handle and then, add more weights in regular intervals. For example, start with 2 sets of 5 squats of 100 pounds in the first week. Add 5-10 pounds the next week. The following week, do 3 sets instead of 2 and then, add more weight in coming week. This way, you will give sufficient time to your body to adjust itself to the change.
Follow these tips in order to avoid injuries
Warm up before exercising. A short warm-up session gears your body for the intense workout that is going to start soon. This way, you will help your body balance itself during the rigorous workouts, thereby avoiding any unnecessary injury.
Do your workout correctly or else you may end up injuring yourself badly. Remember, you are having weights on your body and even a slight fall can cause severe injury. Your instructor will help you understand the basics of each exercise. However, if you have any query, do not hesitate in seeking his help.
Don’t feel scared or shameful to see heavy muscular men around you in the gym. Understand that you are just a beginner and you must not compete with them in any way. Do not hesitate starting with a very lightweight or may be only the bar. You can always add more weight once your body adjusts to this. If you compete with others, you may end up breaking your bones.
More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to weight lifting. Your body is new to all these and if you suddenly push it to do more beyond its threshold limit, it may not be able to adjust to the change. Gradually increase your workout intensity.
Follow your instructor’s advice. He knows what is right for you. He can help you stay safe during workout.
Focus on your diet too
Your diet has a very high effect on your results. The better your diet is, the better results you will achieve. But, how would you define a ‘better diet’ or a ‘high quality diet’? The definition and composition will depend on your current physical condition, your weight, and your desired weight.
If you are a skinny person who wants to put on weight, you have to add surplus calories to your diet. Don’t worry; you won’t increase your waistline. Instead, the surplus calorie will help you add more muscles that, in turn, will help you gain weight without looking bulky. If you have been trying hard to increase your body weight, weight training will help.
If you are an obese person who is looking to lose weight, you should continue with your existing diet until you have gained some muscles. Weight training will help melt the fat and retain the musclesthat you have. By continuing your workouts, you will gain more muscles. Then, scale back your calories gradually until you have achieved the weight that you desire.
The bottom line is that if you are eating 4000 calories but require only 3000 calories to gainmuscles; you will put on some weight. If you require 4000 calories, but are consuming only 2000 calories, you won’t see any improvement in your body condition. However, if you provide the exact calories that your body requires to grow the muscles, you will get the results that you want.Controlling this calorie intake is difficult, but your instructor will help you achieve this smoothly.
Please note: Avoid doing exercises that burn a lot of calories such as cardio. Such exercises are helpful for losing weight but not for building muscles. To build muscles, you must eat surplus calories and cardio can be your enemy.
Last but not least
If you are lifting heavy weights, your body will get tired soon. Make sure you take sufficient rest, probably 8 to 9 hours of sound sleep every night. You may also take afternoon naps, if possible.Make sleep your priority or else your body will not cooperate with you.