Weight training is a hobby for some, a passion for others, and a way of staying fit for still others. This is an aspect of fitness that is somehow overlooked, but it can burn calories like nothing else. Many people turn to it as a way of getting their bodies toned and sculpting their problem areas. No matter what your reason for turning to weight training, you want to be sure that you are going about it the right way. It’s important to approach each exercise safely and to carry it through the right way for the best possible results. This is a fitness craze that has caught on and is here to stay because people are recognizing just how effective it can be.
It can feel overwhelming when it comes to which type of weight training to begin with and stick with. Much of this depends upon your goals and your objectives in your fitness and health. Some people start off with a simple type of training and build their way up. Some people find that they don’t really want to bulk up as much as maintain some tone, and therefore they stick with something a bit more focused on sculpting. Men often have different goals than women, and body type and stamina can also have a lot to do with the type of weight training you engage in. Perhaps it will help to break down the different types of weight training to understand how they stack up and what they help an individual accomplish.
First there are isolation exercises, which perhaps is what most of us think of with weight training. When you think of what it takes to work out in the gym, your mind often goes to these types of exercises because it focuses on and actually moves only one joint or body part at a time. This is known as sot training by some and can be quite effective in working one part or muscle group at each workout. This is recommended by some personal trainers because it can ensure that you work out and exhaust one muscle group at a time. So you may go into the gym and work out just the arms one day, then let them rest as you go back the next day and work the legs.
Recent recommendations tend to focus on compound exercises for the most effective workout. This is because they work more than one muscle group at a time and can therefore give you more bang for your buck. These exercises can be a bit gentler on the body because they work in the way that the body is meant to move through something like pushing or pulling. Compound exercises are good to go deep into an entire muscle group and work well at toning up. These two exercises are often used in conjunction for the very best results.
Free weights are something accessible for anybody to do anytime, and that’s what makes them so popular. As you saw in the history of weight training, it all started with primitive versions of free weights and these have been a constant in the fitness world. The nice part about these is that you can get them in the appropriate weight for your level and you can use them anytime, anywhere. You control the movements as opposed to fixed weight machines and that can be to your advantage, particularly if you are just starting out or working through an injury. There are great aspects to free weights and this is usually where most people start when they begin weight training. Some people tend to stick with them for that extra something in their workout routine. Free weights include dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, sandbells, and kettlebells.
As you have seen, there are many different types of weight training exercises and therefore there are many different types of equipment to go with each of them. If you go to a gym, then you will likely find a good mix of all types of equipment. Some people like to mix it up and incorporate some of the equipment at home and some at the gym. Whatever combination you utilize in your workout regimen, it’s important to know what type of equipment is out there.
Free weights are so common that you can find them at just about any store. Though you only used to be able to find free weights at a sports equipment store, they are sold at megastores or even a super grocery store. They come in different weight denominations ranging from 2 pounds to over 20 pounds. It can be helpful to try them out in the store to see which works best for you and what feels comfortable to start with. Within free weights, there are dumbbells, barbells, and all sorts of other derivations.
It can be wise to start with a lower weight and one that challenges you a bit without causing any potential injury. You can pay as low as $10 or less for a pair of free weights depending on where you get them. This is a great purchase because it’s something you can keep for life and you can utilize for various sculpting and toning, even after you build up your capabilities. Consider checking them out first at a store like Target so you can try out different weight levels and get the best value. Then build up as you see fit and as you gain strength.
There are a number of weight machines out there that you can choose to purchase as well. Though this is not as common, there are stores that sell them if you are really into weight training and want this piece of equipment for your use at anytime. One of the most common weight machines is the weight bench. You can find these in sports equipment stores and even online. If you find a great sale you can snag one of these for your use at just under $200, but it helps to shop around. As there are so many weight machines out there, you can find everything from a resistance chair to a vertical leg press and even a machine built just for squats. Some people find that they can handle some of these weight training exercises without the machines. Others find that it’s more valuable to purchase a gym membership to utilize their machines whenever they want. You can purchase them for the home, but you are bound to pay more for this comprehensive type of machine.
There are plenty of accessories that fall into equipment one may need for weight training. If you are planning to do some heavy lifting, then you may find that weight straps are an essential item. These types of straps for the wrist or the ankle help to transfer the weight appropriately and ensure that no injury is sustained. These can be purchased anywhere and have a minimal cost. They tend to be the most helpful for those who will be lifting heavier weights and who perform weight training on a daily basis. There are also weight lifting belts which you see serious weight lifters wearing quite often. These are meant to protect the back and provide a bit of extra support. Though there is still some discussion around the fact that they may work or not, they can work as a helpful piece of equipment if you have rather lofty weight training goals.
How and Where to Learn
For some people, weight training may feel a bit intimidating. Watching people lift heavy weights at the gym can scare them away from what should be a very helpful activity towards their fitness goals. The good news is that there is really nothing to fear because it’s easy to learn and just takes a bit of direction. It can be quite helpful to partner up with a fitness professional or trainer to learn how to work each weight machine and which types of free weights to use for the best possible results.
There are plenty of videos out there that provide instruction on how to get involved in weight training. These can take a bit of the uncertainty out of the equation because you can learn in the comfort of your own home. It’s important to follow closely with the instructions given by the fitness expert on the video. Start slowly and don’t try to skip ahead because it can result in injury. These videos are great because they can provide a good workout as you learn what it means to lift weights. You will learn proper techniques and this will get you the results that you want and ensure that you stay clear of any injury.
Many people find however that the best way to learn how to properly handle weight training is to sign up with a personal trainer. Even if it’s for a session or two they can help with instruction and customization. This normally happens at a gym or some type of fitness facility because it is centered on the weights and weight machines that are located there. The trainer will often ask you what your goals are and why you want to start including weight training as part of your workout. This is great because you can then work on the machines that best fit your needs and workout the muscle groups that you want to tone up. The trainer will not only help you to create a customized weigh workout, but they will show you firsthand the right movements. They will show you how each machine works and what settings are appropriate for your skill level. This will keep you safe and free of injury, and that’s an important aspect of weight training.
Whether you learn at a gym, in a fitness class, or through an instructor led video, there are some great ways to go about attacking weight training. You will find that just a bit of instruction can provide you with some important confidence and that it keeps you free from injury, both of which are important in this type of exercise. You can learn at a local gym with a personal trainer, through videos that you can purchase or rent, or even sign up for a class that focuses on beginning weight training techniques offered at a local community center.
Tips and Tricks
If you want to maintain the very best workout, you want to ensure that you perform your weight training exercises with precision and safety always in mind. There are a few tips that can keep you free of injury, safe at all times, and of course get you that lean toned body that you are after.
- Maintain Proper Form
- Stretch and Warm Up
- Control your Breathing
- Stop if you are feeling pain
- Another important aspect is to always stay hydrated to ensure that you don’t get fatigued. It’s best to drink plenty of water throughout your workout and then after to refresh properly. This is not only important to avoid hydration, but it also ensures that the muscles get what they need to avoid injury and to work properly after extensive use. Always keep a water bottle with you throughout your workout and take the time to drink in between reps. Drink plenty of water after your workout and you will find that you feel more energy and never risk injury, fatigue, or dehydration.
There are some fantastic benefits to weight training and we have gone through them. We have seen how history has played a role in shaping what weight training is today. We have also seen that this can be an extremely effective type of exercise if you want to tone up, get a lean body, and sculpt certain muscles. So long as you get proper instruction and learn the right and wrong ways to weight train, you will have great results. This is an important part of an exercise regimen because it can be the most effective at weight loss as well as toning. There are many different machines, pieces of equipment, and types of weight training to consider. Start slowly and build up your endurance and customize a weight training workout that gives you results and helps you to feel healthy and strong.