Weight training, also known as strength or resistance training, is a method of conditioning which stimulates physical changes within the body in a safe and effective way. In order to weight train, you must use external resistance to gradually increase your ability to exert of resist force in order to promote the growth of strong, healthy bones and muscles. Weight training results in stronger bones and muscles and a healthier and more attractive body composition. But before plunging in, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
You Need to Use Proper Form
Stepping into a gym, or even training at home, can be very intimidating. There are so many exercises and crazy machines that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Moreover, you can see some muscle bodies that are extremely confident and seem to own the gym. But honestly, don’t worry! No one is watching you and most people at the gym just don’t care about you. And if they do, well, forget them! However, it really is important to be empowered with some knowledge before you step in to do a workout. Not because of what people will think, but because you need to stay safe. Learning about proper form is of most importance. Be sure to ask a friend, hire a trainer for a few sessions, or look up proper form for different exercises online. Some important things to remember: Never lock your knees, your elbows, or your shoulders, because it’s the fastest way to get injured. Watch your back and use proper posture and finally, remember to breathe!
Don’t Forget the Warm Up or the Cool Down
Make sure that you take the time to get your blood flowing and to stretch and warm your muscles to prevent injury. It’s a good idea to do some light aerobic exercises like jogging, cycling or using the elliptical machine for 5 to 10 minutes. Not only will you prevent injury, but you will active your fat-burning mechanism. Once you are done with your strength training, it’s important to stretch and cool down. This will release the build-up of lactic acid, which can cause muscle soreness. Flexibility is also an important part of your health and wellness, so be sure to not skip out on this step.
You don’t have to spend hours upon hours at the gym in order to get results. Focus on exercises that involve as many muscles as possible, so that you can put all of your energy into these exercises. Squats, push-ups, and other whole body exercises will give you the best results. Choosing to do barbells as opposed to dumbbells is another efficient way to work out more muscles at once. Some yoga exercises can also help you burn calories.
Nutrition is Really Important
You will not see results if your nutrition is not on point! You can’t out-workout a bad diet. When you work out, it’s important to have a light meal consisting of foods that can be easily digested about an hour before starting to train. After you work out, your recovering body requires protein and carbohydrates to replace the energy you used up and to help rebuild your muscles. Make sure that your diet is high in lean protein, complex carbs, and a lot of veggies.
When Weight Training, You Can’t Forget to Hydrate
Staying hydrated is essential for everyone, but when you work out you have an even greater need to drink and replace all of the fluids lost during exercise. Water is important for regulating temperature, lubricating joints and transporting nutrients and waste throughout your body. Plus, if you don’t stay hydrated, your performance will be hindered during your workouts.
The truth is that you will not see the results of your hard work over night. It’s important to keep in mind that the journey will take a while, but you will begin to feel the results of your workout very quickly. You will be more energized, more motivated and you will feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin. Just keep the above tips in mind to stay safe and make the most of your time.