Weight training is the best form of exercise to build muscle mass and burn excess fat. You can do it at a local gym, or at home with your own equipment (or just using your body weight).
A complete weight training program should include 6 to 10 compound moves that work all the major muscle groups, performed at least 3 times per week. It’s best to allow your body at least one day of rest after a heavy workout.
For best results, you want to combine 3 types of weight training exercises:
- Using free weights (barbells and dumbbells);
- Using resistance training machines (weights attached to cables and pulleys, or machines that use compressed air to create resistance);
- Or using your own body weight (calisthenics programs).
Weight Training Tips
Before jumping into the weight training program, here are some tips to help you get the most out of it:
1. Get Professional Help
The best start in any kind of fitness journey is with professional instruction from a local gym, a nearby fitness club, or an experienced professional trainer.
2. Get Individual Help
Tell your trainer or instructor what you want to achieve with your weight training. For instance, you want to compete in bodybuilding, tone and shape some body areas, or improve performance in a certain sport.
3. Quality Over Quantity
When working out focus on the quality of the exercise, the quality of execution. The proper form ensures that you get the most out of each exercise and helps prevent injuries. A good trainer will teach you about proper form.
4. Be Patient
Allow at least 2 weeks for your muscles and connective tissues to adjust to the new stresses and strains of weight training.
Start by lifting weights that are lighter than you can manage. This helps you tell the difference between the normal aches and pains of weight training and the pains of overuse or real damage.
5. Lift Slowly
Lift the weights slowly, and move your muscles through their full range of motion. Fewer repetitions that are done slowly, using the entire length of the muscle, are more effective than many repetitions that are done quickly with only a short part of the muscle.
6. Breath Accordingly
Learn how to breathe properly when working with weights. Exhale when pushing against the weight. Don’t hold your breath at any point. Inhale when there is little or no resistance.
When your current workout feels kind of easy, ask yourself this: How can you improve your weight training? How often to increase sets and repetitions? When to increase the weight?
In general, you’ll start with 1 or 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. Older adults and people who are frail can do 10 to 15 repetitions with less weight.
Start with a weight you can lift 8 to 12 times but it gets hard to lift by the last repetition. When it gets easier, add a little weight and go down to 8 repetitions, then gradually build up to 12 repetitions again.
8. Add Variety
Vary your weight training program to keep your interest up and injuries down. You can do it by alternating between:
- Upper body exercises and lower body exercises.
- Free weights and machines.
- Heavier weights with fewer repetitions and lighter weights with more repetitions.
Weight Training Program
This weight training program is designed to help you improve your overall fitness, and is intended for beginners. Here are the moves:
1. Leg Press
2. Lying Leg Curls
3. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
5. Triceps Pushdown
6. Cable Bicep Curl
7. Military Press
8. Hanging Leg Raises
9. Air Bike
By starting slowly and using the right technique, you may find that weight training is an enjoyable and effective way to build strength.