If you’re struggling with seeing results, whether it’s losing weight or building muscle, adding in weight training to your routine can give you that extra spice you’re looking for.
While many people avoid weight training or strength training, either because they are intimidated by the weight room or they don’t want to get “bulky,” it’s the most effective way to increase strength, change the body’s composition, and drop body fat. Weight training in addition to cardio outshines any diet product, pill, nutrition bar, or infomercial product. Weight training is exactly as it sounds… it is the lifting of weights with the intent of conditioning muscles.
Benefits of Weight Training
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Increases HDL (good cholesterol) and decreases LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Reduces estrogen levels, which lowers the risk of breast cancer
- Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers the risk of osteoporosis by increasing osteoblasts growth, which builds bone mass
- Reduces PMS symptoms
Additional Health Benefits:
Resting Metabolic Rate: Weight training increases the body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is the number of calories the body burns at rest, not including any daily or physical activity.
Strength: Weight training increases muscle size, strength, power, and endurance. Making improvements in strength make everyday tasks such as carrying groceries, getting in and out of the car or the bath, and even playing with the kids or grandkids so much easier.
Flexibility: When strength training and weight training you’re working the muscles through a full range of motion, the body’s flexibility is increased and improved.
Injury Prevention: Increased bone density makes for stronger bones, which lessens the probability of breaks and fractures in the event of a fall.
Muscle Tone: Muscle conditioning leads to a greater appearance of firm and tight skin — something everyone wants to achieve!
Posture: Stronger muscles can help with the body’s alignment, which lends to the ability to sit up straighter, taller, and longer with less fatigue.
Sleep: The added workout from weight training can help aid deeper, longer sleep, with the ability to fall asleep more quickly.
Attitude: Consistent exercise, including weight training, can help people feel happier and more confident, and manage stress better.
Basic Principles of Weight Training
Having a goal in place is the first step since it gives you something to work towards.
Type: For example, if the goal is to tighten your glutes, determine the particular exercises that target that muscle group (such as weighted squats and deadlifts).
Intensity: Intensity refers to the amount of effort that goes into the workout. Questions to ask to determine the appropriate level of intensity to aim for include:
- How heavy is the weight (lift) going to be?
- How long is the resting period?
A note on intensity: If the goal is strength and hypertrophy, an ideal lift is 80% of 1RM (80% of the maximum weight you are able to lift once) for six to eight reps with 3-minute rests in between sets, for a total of four to six sets.
Volume: The length and frequency of the weight training workouts will determine the volume.
Variety: Switching up any workout program helps to keep the muscles from adapting to the workload and getting too “comfortable” with the moves. If the body is hitting a plateau, it’s time to either change the type of the exercises, the frequency, or the rep/set pattern to keep the muscles challenged.
Progressive Overload: Safely and gradually increasing the weights to overload the muscle is called a “progressive overload.” This overload creates tiny microscopic tears in the muscle tissues, which then requires the body to repair the issues.
Rest: The amount of time spent resting in between sets is very individualized. For someone with a strength or hypertrophy goal, a longer amount of rest (90 seconds to four minutes) in between sets is suggested
Recovery: Recovery days are just as important as workout days because this is where the magic happens. During this time, the body repairs itself, rebuilds, gets stronger, and grows.
While it’s perfectly normal to feel little shy or intimidated before joining a new class, don’t let that be the reason not to try! After all, remember that at some point in life, everyone has been “new” to weight training. Ready to give it a try? Sign up for a complimentary VIP Trial Membership and explore all the Village has to offer.