Basic Weight Training Information for
If you want to lose fat or change your body, one of the most important things
you can do is lift weights. Diet and cardio are equally important, but when it
comes to changing how your body looks, weight training wins hands down. If
you've hesitated to start a strength training program, it may motivate you to
know that lifting weights can:
Getting started with strength training can be confusing--what exercises should
you do? How many sets and reps? How much weight? The routine you choose will be
based on your fitness goals as well as the equipment you have available and the
time you have for workouts.
- Help raise your metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the
more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn all day long.
- Strengthen bones, especially important for women
- Make you stronger and increase muscular endurance
- Help you avoid injuries
- Increase your confidence and self-esteem
- Improve coordination and balance
If you're setting up your own training program, you'll need to know some
basic strength training principles. These principles will teach you how to make
sure you're using enough weight, determine your sets and reps and insure you're
always progressing in your workouts.
- Overload: If you want to get stronger, you need to use more resistance
than your muscles are used to. This is important because the more you do,
the more your body is capable of doing, so you should increase your workload
to avoid adaptation. In plain language, this means you should be lifting enough
weight that you can ONLY complete the desired number of reps. You should
be able to finish your last rep with difficulty but also with good form.
- Progression. In order to avoid plateaus (or adaptation), you need to
increase your intensity. With strength training, you can do this by
increasing the amount of weight lifted, increasing the sets/reps, increasing
or changing the exercises you're doing and/or change the rest intervals
between sets. You can also change the order of your exercises. This means
increasing your intensity every week.
- Specificity. This principle states that the way your body adapts to
exercise depends on the type of exercise you're doing. That means, if you
want to increase your strength, your program should be designed around that
goal. To gain strength and mass, you want to train with heavier weights
closer to your 1 RM (1 rep max). If you want to build endurance and
strength, you'll want to stick with lighter weights and a rep range of 8-12.
- Rest and Recovery. Rest days are just as important as workout days. It is
during these rest periods that your muscles grow and change, so make sure
you're not working the same muscle groups 2 days in a row.
Before you get started on setting up your training routine, keep a few key points in
- Always warm up before you start lifting weights. This helps get
your muscles warm and prevent injury. You can warm up with light cardio or
by doing a light set of each exercise before going to heavier weights.
- Lift and lower your weights slowly. Don't use momentum to lift the
weight. If you have to swing to get the weight up, chances are you're using
too much weight.
- Breathe. Don't hold your breath and make sure you're using full range
of motion throughout the movement.
- Stand up straight! If your mother could see you now, she'd probably
slap a book on your head. Pay attention to your posture and keep everything
straight. Engage your abs in every movement you're doing to keep your
balance and protect your spine.
The Pumping Station is committed to providing those interested in
Bodybuilding with the most effective methods,
supplements and equipment available. Many programs fall way short of the mass
increase, strength improvement, weight loss, body toning, and muscle definition
that they promised. They may have taken hours of your precious time with minimum
results. They may have left you too exhausted to perform your important daily
activities. We are committed to teaching you training for fat loss, muscle gain
and nutrition the natural way. No matter what your experience level, you'll find
something here to teach you more about your weight training, answer questions
about your sticking points, or inspire you to new strength training and
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