If you’re just starting out at the gym and you’re a bit intimidated with the using weights, don’t be! Here’s a nice short article to ease you in.
Regularly training with weights has many benefits and is not just restricted to the body builders, everyone should be using some kind of weights to do exercise from women to men, elderly to the young whether your looking to lose weight or tone up, it is part of a staple diet to getting and more importantly staying fit.
So why is weight training important?
The health benefits of weight training cannot be understated.
Strengthening your muscles gives your body a lot of protection around areas such as your joints and spine.
Working with weights not only builds the muscles that are instantly noticeable such as pecs, biceps, shoulders and thighs, it is more importantly strengthening your core muscles too, which are much less noticeable to the eye but are equally, if not more important.
Strengthening your core muscles will improve your posture, putting less strain on your spine, which in turns reduces the chances of back pain, pulled muscle and also added benefit of tightening your muscles around your abdomen.
Using free weights is becoming more and more popular with gym goers now that more scientific research has discovered that shown that muscle burn more calories.
Research has shown that toned muscles burn up to 15 times more calories than fat tissues, which means that when your sitting in front of a desk or when your just generally walking around, the calories used in your day to day activity will be more, leading to increased fat loss with the same amount of work.
If you’re worried about bulking up, you could speak with a personal trainer who can work with you to a specific plan or generally you can use lighter weights and more reps.
Advice for the starting weight training
If you’re new to doing weights in the gym or feel a bit intimidated by the free weights area, start with the weight machines, or resistance machines, which will allow you to get a good grasp of how to lift weights.
You can build your confidence and also your technique to ensure that you get the most benefit out of weights but also avoid any unnecessary injuries.
As you may not have used your muscles in this way before, expect your muscles to need time to adapt to the strains and once you have start moving up the weights, and your confidence increases, you can move on to free weights.
The are many differences between free weights and weights machine, but the main difference is that free weights requires you to use more muscles as they require you to stablise the weights rather than rely on a machine for one range of motion.
Of course, if you don’t want to move onto free weights, you don’t have to, however moving onto free weights slowly can have great benefits for your body.
If you are nervous at using weight machines or would like advice on using free weights, ask a trainer at the gym to take you through the machines or exercises.
Get a trainer to take you through the machines if you’ve never used them before. In the meantime, here is a brief introduction to some of the more popular weight machines:
When you are weight training, you should carry out your sets until the point of fatigue. It is advisable if you have a friend or training partner to assist you should you struggle on the last rep, and depending on your goals, you should be looking to reach between 10 to 14 reps. Anymore than 14 and you know that you can increase to the next weight.
As you most likely will be new to weight training, always remember to work out each muscle group once or twice a week, with at least 2 days rest period in between.
Allow your body to recover and don’t overdue it at the start. Let your body adapt and get use to the range of motion first before as your form is more important than how heavy you are lifting, especially in the initial stages.