Top 10 Weight Training Tips
How to properly start a weight training regimen?
These are not strict guidelines, each person is different, but they are great ways many people have used to maximize their results!
#1: Make a Plan, Set Reasonable Goals
Trying to lose weight? Pump up your physique? It's important to determine what you want to get out of your weight lifting experience. Write it down - the amount of weight you might want to lose, the target weight you would like to be able to lift, and any other goals you may have.
#2: Keep a Journal
Write down your goals as a constant reminder. It is important to make an entry each day that you workout. You can record what you did (type of weight lifting, on a machine or free weights), the number of repetitions, the weight amount, and how long you spent lifting. This is helpful to compare your progress as time goes by and can help you to stay motivated as you begin to see improvement.
#3: Be Sure to Stretch
Your car won't run at its best when you hop in it on a cold day and just take off. The same goes for our bodies. The worst thing a person can do to their muscles is to not stretch before any type of physical activity. You need to prepare it before you jump into your workout or you'll risk injury and cramping can result in lack of stretching or warming up.
#4: Start Slowly
Start slow whether you are in shape or not. If you haven't been working with weights in quite a while, it's best to work your way up gradually. If you start too heavily, you can injure yourself and prevent more weight lifting in the future.
#5: Rest Between Sets
This is especially important for beginners. You do not want your muscles to get burnt out because you were trying to hurry and get as many weight lifting exercises done in the smallest amount of time. It may seem like you are unstoppable at the time, but the next morning you will feel the pain.
#6: Get Plenty of Sleep
It is difficult to push yourself to exercise when you are already tired. Exercise can contribute to fatigue, so it's best to not be tired when you start, otherwise the results you hoped for will not be there.
#7: Eating Right
Do not skip meals after working out because that is when your body is most hungry. It will not help weight loss or muscle building, it will only have negative effects on your body. The other negative effects will also come from eating the wrong types of foods after completing your weight training. Fatty foods will also take their toll on your body. (For ideas, check out "Post-Workout: 7 Healthy Meals to Maximize Your Efforts")
#8: Try an Intensity Change
Once you are accustomed to your weight training, try increasing your repetitions or weight. But do so gradually, that way you are still not at risk for injury.
#9: Take Some Time Off
Every once in a while, take one week off from weight training. It is a good idea to give your muscles some rest. Be sure that you continue to get another form of exercise in the meantime. Run, walk, play sports, do something to keep your muscles conditioned without lifting!
#10: Keep It Up!
In order to see the best results, you must be diligent. If you take more than one week off at a time or if you are not consistently keeping up with your plan it may take longer to reach your goal and will be more difficult too. If you do not continue to use the muscles that you conditioned, they will go right back to the way they were before you began.