Weight training is a form of exercise that is proven to help reduce stress and increase cardiovascular output. Weight training is a way to achieve different targets such as gaining muscle, increasing cardiovascular performance and helping lose weight. However, for someone new to the exercise, this can be a minefield.
Make sure you have a full understanding of the workout, the stages of your workout and the aims. If you use machines at a gym, familiarise yourself with the instructions to avoid any injuries.
Make sure you always warm up well, warmups are the least intense part of your workout. Studies have shown that while stretching doesn’t help with performance, warmups stimulate and engage the muscles in preparation for exercise.
Lift heavy, but don’t compromise form. Always focus on form during your workout, especially during heavier weights. Focus on each repetition (reps) until your set is complete. Rest for a few minutes between sets to recover and then go again.
Compound exercises require more energy. Exercises that require several body parts will require more energy, hence it is difficult to do more repetitions, especially on heavier weights.
Remember to breathe whilst lifting. Inhale deeply before the movement, tightening all the hip and torso muscles to steady and tense the abdomen. ‘Hiss’ to force air out between your clenched teeth and use the remaining air on the return until the weight stack comes to rest. Take 2 normal breaths while resting the weight stack, then start the next cycle.
Try to increase your recovery time along with your muscle gain. You will need fewer gym sessions once you are getting either bigger and stronger. Muscle mass can increase 100% before reaching a genetic ceiling, while your recovering abilities might only improve 20–30%.
Never train to the point of tiredness, it is important not to overtrain. You should feel stronger after your lifting session rather than worn out. If this isn’t the case, try to reduce the workload and see if that makes a difference.
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