You’ve probably heard or read about the numerous benefits of weight training and have decided to give it a shot. You visit a gym and see dozens of gym-goers sweating it out using various machines and weights and start thinking that you’re going to be just like them with all those big muscles. Just so you know that many have thought the same way but most of them weren’t able to achieve what they wanted. Why? For starters, they don’t have a clear plan on what they’re going to do.
If you want to get the most out of your weight training, here are a few tips worth keeping in mind.
- Have a Goal. What do you want to achieve with weight training? Do you want to lose weight, sculpt your muscles, or increase strength? Identifying your goals as early as possible will help you set your sights on achieving them.
- Keep a Journal. This may be a bit difficult to maintain but if you are really interested in learning your progress, keeping a weight training journal is worth it. Here you get to jot down the exercises you’ve done, including the weights you’re using, number of repetitions and sets you’ve accomplished. By reviewing your journal, you will know when it is time to increase the number of reps or lift heavier weights.
- Do Big Movements. If you really want to work out most of your muscle groups go for exercises such as bench press, squats, chin ups, sit ups, dips, and curls just to name a few. Although there is nothing wrong with single joint movements, working out different muscle groups at the same time is more effective in stimulating your muscles.
- Know Your Limitations. Weightlifters all had to start somewhere and so do you. Starting with weights that you are comfortable with is much better because you’ll be able to do the required number of repetitions.
- Increase the Weight. Just because you’re starting with lighter weights, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to stick with it forever. There should be progress when weight training which means that you need to increase your weights as you work out.
- Rest in Between Sets. It’s important that you rest in between sets to gain energy to do some more. The amount of rest time depends on the intensity of your lifts. If you’re doing higher reps you should rest for 45 to 75 seconds. For lower reps, your rest time should be around 2 to 3 minutes because of the heavy weight.
- Do Variations. Avoid working out the same muscle groups twice in a row to avoid overworking them.
- Don’t Forget Your Legs. Most people focus on sculpting their upper body that they forget to work on their legs. You shouldn’t. Working out your legs is as valuable as exercising your upper extremities because you’ll get additional power for your lifts from them.
- Grip Work. In weight training, your wrist, arms, and hands play a significant role hence you need to work in strengthening them too. Strong wrists and forearms will enable you to lift weights better.
- Follow Proper Nutrition. Proper nutrition is essential in weight training since the food you eat can help with the healing process of your muscles as well as provide you with energy. Consuming whey protein shake after you work out can help you build more muscle mass.