It never ceases to irk you whenever you stand in front of your mirror and wonder what to do with that unsightly gut. You wish you could summon courage and willpower to haul yourself to sign up at your nearest local gym. What you really need is a workout program that is not only effective in reducing your body fat, but one that gives you a strong and agile body. While cardio work is good, strength training is much more effective and efficient. Strength training is a workout routine that incorporates weight lifting and flexibility exercises.
Tips for beginners
As a beginner, there are some basic things you need to know before you start the strength exercise regimen.
To fully benefit from this workout, you need to commit your time and try to stay motivated. If you don’t have the passion and commitment, it will be hard to achieve your goal. Irregular exercise only leads to sagging and unsightly skin due to the irregular expansion and contraction of the skin associated with rapidly gaining and losing weight respectively. This sagged skin is a sure recipe for premature wrinkling.
A Complete Workout
To begin, your workout schedule should incorporate all muscle groups. Since you are just starting out, going for one to three days work out a week is advised. Don’t try to overwork yourself at this point, as your body is not yet used to the stress and exertion.
Never ever start lifting weights before conduction a warm-up sessions with some light exercises. Just do so light cardio work or a few resistance sets using light weights.
If you exercise continuously for a week and then skip the following two, then you are wasting your time. Once you stop exercising, all the gains you had made, such the few pounds you have shed, will slowly creep back.
In everything you do, always set feasible end goals. What are your reasons for strength training? How much weight do you want to lose? Apart from the end goals, it is important to set regular performance targets as well, i.e. how many press ups do you want to do daily or the size of weights you intend to lift.
Don’t be Cowed by Pros
If you are working out in a gym, chances are that there are a people with toned stomachs and burgeoning biceps. Don’t be intimidated, concentrate on your workout. Actually, view this as a motivation for what you want to achieve.
Take Time Off to Rest
You must have heard of the cliché that goes like this; ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. No matter how much you want that six-pack, take a day off and rest. Continuous exercise without enough rest will strain your muscles, leading to injuries that can be easily avoided. Get enough rest and be rejuvenated before you start your exercise all over again.
Look for a trainer who will guide you on how the workout should be done correctly. An excellent trainer will not only guide you on the best approach to use, but he will recommend the best diet that helps you complement your training. He will also guide you through the science of exercise, which ensures you won’t lose your enthusiasm if you don’t see any results within the first few weeks. Still, anyone who wants to get the best results out of a workout should try to learn about the science of exercises. If you can afford it, enroll in a gym and workout under the hawk-eyed supervision of a trained fitness instructor. Furthermore; the weights may at times overwhelm you, and if there is no one close to assist you; you might end up getting hurt.
Types of Strength Training
There are a number of strength training techniques, which can be classified into three groups. These are weight lifting, use of machines and body-weight exercises.
Lifting weight easily burns excess calories, fat and replaces fatty tissue with muscle in a short span of time. The secret to weight lifting is starting with light weights, using the right method and increasing the intensity as time goes on. Note that I am not recommending adding more and more weights in your routine. The key thing here is the technique, not the size of the weights. Squatting, bench-pressing and dead-lifting are some of the exercises involved in weight lifting. All of them are accompanied by weights, so you can do them without the weights. However, doing so won’t benefit you an inch; it will only make you tire for nothing.
Your body’s weight alone is enough for you. By adopting the right technique, you can use your body to provide great resistance. Take pull-ups dips and push-ups for example. For starters, this can be difficult if you are heavy, since your muscles may initially be too weak to haul the body mass.
Now, this is the safest method of strength training. Machines make the workout easier for you. This method is not as effective as weight lifting or body-weight exercises because here the work load is easier and machines reduce the intensity. Still, it is the safest because machines are already programmed to force your body into fixed movements. However, prior training before using machines can help prevent potentially fatal mistakes.
Benefits of Strength Training
Burns that Excess Fat Fast
The intensity of strength training speeds up your body’s metabolic rate. This helps burn excess fat and calories. As your muscle tissue builds up, fatty tissue gradually shrinks, making this training regimen a sure recipe for not only shedding those unsightly love handles, but also for getting the leaner body you have always wanted.
Control your Body Fat Content
Losing fat is one thing, maintaining the ideal body fat content is another whole issue. Research shows that failure to replace lean muscle in your body as you age causes body fat to accumulate. Therefore, strength exercises go a long way toward boosting your lean muscle content and maintain your body fat at the healthy range.
Building Muscle and Increasing your Stamina
The harder you exercise the more muscles you build and thus the stronger you become.
Better Health and Stronger Bones
Placing stress to your bones makes them stronger, increases their density and checks the risk of osteoporosis. It also boosts your endurance, lowers cholesterol levels and strengthens your joints. This also lowers the chances of developing arthritis, back pain, diabetes and heart attack.
Strength training calls for commitment, consistency, self-sacrifice and self control which enhance your character.
Myths Regarding Strength Training
Women mostly keep of strength training due to various misconceptions, some which include;
It is common knowledge that women prefer to stay slim. Hence, most of them perceive weight lifting as sure recipe for bulky bodies, making them completely shun it. The truth is that when you lift weights, your muscles get stronger, not necessarily bigger. Actually, bigger muscles are just a by-product of strength training.
It is Only For Young Women
Many old women believe that only young and more energetic women should do strength training. This is a wrong assumption; it is never too late for someone to exercise. Exercise is about keeping fit. The benefits that come with a fit body are far too numerous for women of all ages.
Strength training will make their muscles stiff, especially if you don’t exercise the recommended way. However, if you perform a complete routine, the flexibility of your muscles will actually increase. For the best results, it is highly recommended for a person to gain some basic familiarity of strength training, and the right nutrition to incorporate.
Bigger Chest Size
The size of your breasts will never enlarge with strength training. Unlike men whose chest is made of muscles, female breasts consist of fatty tissue; hence it is impossible for their size to increase. Therefore, the only way you can enlarge your breasts is by adding fat or getting under the knife for implants.