Weight training is a vital component of a balanced fitness routine. Many people make the mistake of focusing solely on cardiovascular exercise, but there are countless benefits associated with strength training as well. Some of those key benefits include strengthening your bones and connective tissue, increasing your overall strength, improving your posture and boosting your basal metabolism. Combined, all these benefits can help you maintain your weight while at the same time giving you the necessary strength and stamina to take part in a variety of activities in your day to day life.
Many people, especially women, balk at the idea of lifting weights because they are afraid they will bulk up. In actuality, it takes a great deal of effort to add bulk whether you are a man or a woman. Unless you are really making an effort by dramatically increasing your caloric intake and lifting extremely heavy weights, you don’t have to worry about looking like a professional body builder. Instead, what will happen is you will develop lean muscle that help your body burn fat and gives you a toned, well-defined physique.
Another common misconception about weight training is that it takes a lot of specialized equipment. The truth is, you can get a great workout without spending thousands of dollars on bulky weight machines. Instead, all you need is a set of hand weights or resistance bands. You can exercise every single part of your body using these simple, inexpensive tools. If you need to find a set of hand weights, try searching your local classified ads for a great discount on a used set.
When designing your weight lifting routine, you should aim for lifting weights three to four days per week. Try to rotate muscle groups so that your muscles have plenty of time to recover between workouts. For example, you could work your legs on Monday, your back and chest on Wednesday and your arms on Friday. Allowing adequate recovery time between workouts is one of the key components to building muscle. Take care not to overdo it no matter how quickly you want to see results.
Finally, be sure that you are lifting enough weight. It is important to choose weights that are heavy enough to cause muscular fatigue. If your weights are too light, you will increase your endurance, but you won’t get the same muscle-building benefits of lifting heavier weights. Use weights that allow you to do between 10 and 15 repetitions before your muscles fatigue. Lift the weights slowly to avoid relying on momentum to move the weight. When you slow down your repetitions, your muscles have to work harder to combat the effects of gravity. As a result, you will build muscle more quickly.
Adding strength training to your exercise routine can provide a tremendous boost to your overall fitness level. Not only that, but it can dramatically increase your metabolism, helping you reach your weight loss goals more quickly and easily. If you already do cardiovascular exercises, consider adding strength training to see even faster results.