Tag Archives: weight training
If you're a female trying to lose weight, then you're probably familiar with dieting and cardio exercise. Though have you considered weight training to assist you in losing weight? Lifting weights can help weight loss considerably.
When you are in the gym and lifting weights, you want to get the most bang for your buck right? After all, you don't want to be spending a few hours a week wasting your time away whilst obtaining minimal results!
Prior to initiating a weight training regime, it is extremely important that you seek the doctor's okay and the guidance of a personal trainer. This is to ensure that your weight training is both safe, suitable and effective for you and your goals.
So, let's get down to it! Here are three of the most common area's that are very important for an effective weight training workout.
Weight Training Exercise Tip 1: Obtain a Full Range of Motion (ROM)
The basic premise behind standardised weight training is to exercise a particular muscle (or a particular group of muscles) from a stretch to a full contraction. This is only possible to accomplish by following a full range of motion, or ROM.
A full ROM is straight forward - you are simply performing the movement from one extreme to the other. Here are a few examples:
- Bicep Curls - Lower the weight all the way down so your arm is straight and bring the weight up to minimise the angle at the elbow.
- Bench Press - Bring the bar right down to the chest and then press right up for a full extension.
- Pullups - Extend your arms all the way down so you are practically hanging and then pull up so your chin is higher than your hands.
Of course, this is a very general rule and there are many exceptions. For example, it is wise not to perform a full range of motion on squats as going too deep can increase the likelihood of injury to your knee (although highly effective for quadriceps development). Speak to a fitness professional for specific advice.
Weight Training Exercise Tip 2: Keep the Tempo Controlled
As a general rule, you do not want to race through the set by completing each rep as quickly as possible. Sure, there are specific uses for this style of training, however, for the beginner, this is certainly not appropriate.
By performing repetitions too quickly, you are generating far too much momentum and thus taking the load off the targeted muscles. If you are looking to develop your strength and muscle size, you need to exhibit a degree of control throughout each rep.
A general guideline is 3 seconds on the eccentric phase and 2 seconds on the concentric phase. The concentric phase is the tougher portion of the repetition. For example:
Push-ups: Pushing up
Lat-Pulldown: Pulling the bar down
Leg Press: Pushing forward
Crunches: Crunching up
Weight Training Exercise Tip 3: Breathe Properly
It is very common to hold your breath, or breath incorrectly when exercising. By not breathing correctly, you will deplete your body of oxygen (and thus inhibit your results) and also raise your blood pressure up unnecessarily high (which can have severe implications). So it is vital that you learn to breathe properly when performing weight training exercises.
As a general rule, you should be breathing out on the concentric phase and in on the eccentric phase. In other words, breath out as you are exerting the most effort. This may be hard to get your head around initially, but it is by far the most effective way to breathe.
You'll notice in this post I have made "general" recommendations. There are always exceptions to these rules, so it is important that you do seek the specific advice from your personal trainer if you are unsure as to how to apply these tips to your weight training exercise regime.
Four weeks ago, following the conclusion of FILEX, I blogged on The Best Muscle Building Workout. Whilst I didn't provide specifics on the ultimate workout that would guarantee results for everyone without exception (if I could, I would be a multi-millionaire!), I did note that I was trialling a brand new method of training. The protocols are as follows:
2 week mesocycles, progressing from 3-5 reps (I changed this from 4-6), to 6-8, to 8-10 and finally to 10-12. Rest periods are inversely related to total reps, decreasing from 180 seconds, to 120 seconds, to 90 seconds and finally to 60 seconds in the final two weeks. All sets to failure. Exercises change every 2 weeks also. High intensity cardio is being performed twice a week.
I'm at the half way point this week and have just begun the 8-10 rep range cycle. Here are some observations from this program so far:
- DOMS is far more prevalent than with a standard 4 week mesocycle of training (in any rep range).
- I am seeing significant progress (weights/reps) in the second week of each mesocycle.
- The first week of each new mesocycle is quite difficult as I feel quite weak with the new rep range/rest time parameters.
I guess, all of this is to be expected with such constant variations in exercises, rest times and reps to vailure. Week 1 I am conditioned for a lower rep range, which makes it difficult for my muscles to perform effectively in a higher rep range. Week 2, following a week of conditioning, would quite obviously result in significant increases in performances.
So far, no big surprises. I have gained body mass, fat and muscle, however the exact ratio I am unsure of at this point. I am also consuming more calories than previously. What I will be looking to do is, upon completion of this 8 week macrocycle, take a week of rest and then repeat the exact same progression. I will then be able to see how my strength has been affected by this training progression.
Do you want to reveal a killer 6-pack without melting away your muscle mass? Take your condition to the next level!