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Weight Training Advice For Beginners

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If you want to get rid of body fat, one of the best things you can do is to start to lift weights. Changing your diet and doing cardio work are important but training with weights in critical for fat loss and to make your body look good. Muscle burns calories when you are at rest, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. If you follow our tips below, you will be well on your way to implementing a successful weight training regimen.

1. Know Basic Principles

If you are doing your own program, you should be familiar with the basic weightlifting principles. This ensures that you are using the proper amount of weight, the right number of sets and reps. It also will help to ensure that you are always getting stronger in each workout.

First of all, the most important part of weight training is the concept of overload. To increase your muscle mass, you have to use more resistance than your muscles are accustomed to. You need to always remember this. The more weightlifting you do, the more your body will be able to do. You will need to boost the difficulty of your workouts to prevent plateauing. What this means is that you should use enough weight so that you can just barely complete the reps of a set. You should be able to complete the last rep in a set with difficulty, but you should be able to keep decent form.

Next, remember that you need to make your workout progressively more difficult. You can boost the amount of weight, change up your reps and sets, and even change the exercises and resistance. You can do this every week or month in many cases.

Next, you should be training for your specific health goals. If you want to get stronger, you are going to choose a program with lower reps and heavier weights. If you are trying to lose weight, you will want to do lower weights and higher reps.

 

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2. Select Your Strength Training Exercises

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You will want to choose 8 or 10 exercises if you are a beginner. This is about 1 exercise for each group of muscles. Some you might select include:

  • Chest: Bench press, chest press machines, pec machine, push ups.
  • Back: Row machine, seated row, back extensions, lat pulldown machine.
  • Shoulders: Overhead presses, lateral raises, front raises.
  • Biceps: Bicep curl, hammer curl, concentration curl.
  • Triceps: Tricep extension, dips, kick backs.
  • Quads: Squat, lunger, leg extension, leg press
  • Hams: Dead lift, lunge, leg curl

Try to do a minimum of 1 exercise for each of your major muscle groups. The general groups you should work are: chest, shoulders, back, triceps, biceps, quads, hamstrings, calves, abs.

Many experts say that you should start with the large muscle groups and then go to the smaller ones. The toughest exercises are done by the large muscle groups. You need your small muscles to perform these exercises in their best form. But you can do your exercises in any order you  choose. It is a good idea to mix up the order of the weight exercises you do to keep things fresh.

3. Choose Your Sets and Reps

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You will select your sets and reps based upon your training goals. Generally, we recommend 8-12 repetitions if you want muscular strength and 10-15 reps for endurance. We also like to do 1+ sets of every exercise until your muscle group is fatigued.

Generally:

  • To lose fat, you should do 1-3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions. You should have enough weight so that you can just barely finish the reps in good form.
  • To get muscle, try 3 or more sets with 6-8 repetitions until fatigue. You should not do this level at first if you are a beginner. Give yourself a few weeks first.
  • For general health and endurance, you should do 1-3 sets with 12-16 reps. Use enough weight that you can just barely complete the reps in good form.

You will need to rest between your work out sessions. How long you rest also depends on your training goals. If you are doing heavier lifting, you will need to rest longer. Generally, you should weight train 2-3 times per week. For your muscles to repair themselves and grow, you should rest at least 48 hours between each work out.

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