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Weight Training

All of us in our lives have looked at the beautiful bodies in 'Bay watch' and felt a pang of jealousy. Do you think that those six pack stomach. Those well contoured backside. Those lean muscular arms. Came as a present from GOD. I didn't think so.

Well this is where weight training comes in. People from the old school of thought generally associate weight training with Mr. Universe or likely even WWF! (World wrestling federation) Recently people's perspective of weight training has changed drastically, weight training has nothing to do with building shoulders the size of basketballs. The truth being- very few men and even fewer women have the genetic potential to build super huge muscles. You also require huge amounts of dedication and perseverance along with lots of free time. The older we get, the more weight training has to offer. Starting in our mid-twenties, we begin to lose muscle mass, resulting in a staggering 30 to 40 percent decline in strength by age 65. Bone density is next. When we hit 35, we begin to lose bone mass at the rate of 1/2 to 1 percent per year. Our bones become brittle, and as we get older, the more likely we are to suffer bone fractures. Getting started Dumbbells, which are, used for single arm exercises and barbells used for both arm exercises are easily available at all sports shops.

For men it's advisable to buy barbells because they can add more weight as they go along. Dumbbells are well suited to women. Most beginners start with pairs of 2.5-, 5- and 10-pound weights for dumbbells, and maybe a couple 25-pounders for the barbell. (You might want to buy a few extra pairs of the 5- and 10-pounders - you'll need them in no time.) What does "rep" stand for? Rep is short for repetition - the execution of a single movement. The example of a rep would be when you do one bicep curl, for instance, you begin with your hand lowered to your side, raise it to your shoulder and then lower it back to the starting position. A set is simply a group of repetitions. If your goal is two sets of 10 reps, you do 10 consecutive reps, rest for a moment, then follow up with another 10 reps. How many reps should you do.

The number of reps you do strongly influences how weight training will affect your body. To develop maximum strength and large muscles, use a weight that takes your muscles to exhaustion in fewer than eight reps. To define your muscles and develop the strength you need for everyday life, use enough weight to allow eight to 15 repetitions. How do I know when it's time to increase the weight. When you can easily do the maximum number of reps you're aiming for, increase the weight by a small amount. If you have trouble pumping out the same number or reps, drop your reps by two or three. Be careful not to increase the weight to more than you can handle. Don't lift too much because you are likely to injure yourself. Does pace matter in weight training? Yes. Your goal is a controlled movement without any jerking. Otherwise, you'll be relying on momentum instead of muscle. As a general rule (and there are many variations in training techniques), each rep should last four seconds - two seconds to lift the weight and two seconds to ease it back into the starting position. Going slow yields far better results. Do I have to pay attention to my breathing.

The number of reps you do strongly influences how weight training will affect your body. To develop maximum strength and large muscles, use a weight that takes your muscles to exhaustion in fewer than eight reps. To define your muscles and develop the strength you need for everyday life, use enough weight to allow eight to 15 repetitions. How do I know when it's time to increase the weight? When you can easily do the maximum number of reps you\'re aiming for, increase the weight by a small amount. If you have trouble pumping out the same number or reps, drop your reps by two or three. Be careful not to increase the weight to more than you can handle. Don't lift too much because you are likely to injure yourself. Does pace matter in weight training? Yes. Your goal is a controlled movement without any jerking. Otherwise, you'll be relying on momentum instead of muscle. As a general rule (and there are many variations in training techniques), each rep should last four seconds - two seconds to lift the weight and two seconds to ease it back into the starting position. Going slow yields far better results. Do I have to pay attention to my breathing?

Yes. Many people make the mistake of holding their breath as if they're underwater or something. In general, you want to exhale through your mouth as you lift the weight and inhale deeply through your nose as you lower it. Proper lifting technique? There are three important lifting techniques to observe when weight training: gripping the bar, starting from a stable stance, and lifting the bar with your legs, not your back. Gripping the bar. Depending on the exercise, you will grip the bar using an underhand (supinated) or overhand (pronated) grip. In the underhand grip, your palms face upward or toward you, while the thumbs face away from each other. If you're using an overhand grip, your palms are face down, and it's crucial that the thumbs wrap around the bar so that the bar doesn't roll out of your hands onto your face or feet, causing injury. Starting from a stable stance. If you're lifting a barbell from a standing position, stand near the bar so that your shins are almost touching it. This keeps the weight closer to the body during the lifting/pulling action, enabling you to exert an effective force with your legs and helping you to prevent back strain. Make sure you start with your feet flat on the floor, the toes pointing slightly outward and the feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider.

This wide stance provides greater stability and a more balanced lifting position. Keep your pelvis "tucked" so that your back does not arch during the lift. Beginning with a stable position is especially important when performing overhead exercises with dumbbells or barbells. Lifting the bar. When lifting barbells or dumbbells from the floor, always lift with your legs, not your back. Bend at the knees and grab the weight. While keeping your back straight, push up to a standing position, keeping all motion below your torso. Some exercises, such as the deadlift, require a motion that seems to conflict with this advice. Those exercises should be attempted only after you''ve been shown proper technique by a qualified professional. What does a typical weight-training workout involve? A good routine takes about 30 minutes, working all your muscle groups for a few minutes apiece. Begin with a 5- to 10-minute warm-up activity, such as walking, jogging, or cycling; that gets the blood pumping to both your upper and lower body. Do a few light stretches as well. Exercising all 10 major muscles of your body would be a good work out. Abdominals :

  • Back

  • Biceps

  • Butt

  • Calves

  • Chest

  • Hamstrings

  • Quadriceps

  • Shoulders

Triceps What's the best weight-lifting technique? It depends on your goals, but the key word for a safe and beneficial weight-training program is moderation. The most common mistake that beginners make is trying to lift too much too soon. Beginners should start by lifting less weight for 10 to 15 repetitions, then progress to lifting more weight for 8 to 12 reps. Don\'t hold the weight aloft for more than a few seconds. A good rule of thumb is to hold the weight in position for two counts, then slowly lower it for three to four counts. For most exercises, exhale when you lift, and inhale while you lower the weight. Generally, you'll want to do three sets of repetitions for each muscle group. Work larger muscle groups, such as the back and chest, before moving on to smaller groups such as biceps.
 

Smaller groups support larger ones and will fatigue earlier if they are exercised first, not giving the larger groups an effective workout. It\'s smarter to work muscle groups first before performing any muscle-isolating exercises (do leg presses before you do specific hamstring exercises). Before each workout, select 5-8 types of warm up exercises and perform them until you break into a light sweat. Stretch all the muscles you will use in the routine as much as possible (but without forcing them), especially the legs, arms and back. Then rest for a few minutes before proceeding. Rest for a minute or two between each exercise, long enough to catch your breath and feel strong enough to carry on. Three or four minutes is an average time for older people but remember to stand or lean when resting and never to lie flat. You can also use this time to stretch if you feel your muscles are tight or you want to safeguard against tightness in the future. Perform the same warm up exercises you used at the beginning to round off your routine and stretch the muscles again.
 

This will alleviate any tension you may be feeling and help muscle recovery. Sleep at least 8 hours per night and rest during the day if possible. Wait for 48 to 72 hours after each workout before you undertake your next one. Remember to avoid exercising if you feel sore or have painful injuries - it may make you better, or make you worse. At the end of a month it is time to assess your progress. You now know if you need to increase your weight, change exercises or take a longer rest. A Logbook is useful here as you can easily see the progress you are making and can easily adjust the goals you set for yourself. What should the training conditions be like? Environment is what I am talking about, an ideal condition for weight training. Before you begin the exercises you have set your self, you must make sure you are in the optimum environment for the job. Your workout room must be warm, but not hot or too cold. The window is best left open to ventilate the room and to help breathing during your exercises. Give yourself enough space to train successfully. Locations to consider are the patio, the lawn or the kitchen. At the end of the day, the thumb rule is to choose a location, which you feel most comfortable in, where you can concentrate fully and with enough space to successfully train and use exercise machines if you have any.
 

Your Workout You can list which exercises you have chosen, which order you wish to use them in, what weight and how many reps you intend to perform in the logbook. If you don't use a log, it may still be a good idea to note down the order of your exercises as you can easily forget once you start your routine. Now you are ready to begin, there are a number of pointers that you can follow to keep you on the right track. Make sure the order of the exercises is right for you. Don't work on your upper and lower body if you don't need to.  Avoid whole body workouts if you are unsure of your capabilities.  Make sure you know which exercises will train which muscles so you can judge their effectiveness.

Some training programs specify particular exercises per muscle group e.g. crunches for the abs, so make sure you try a different exercise every few workouts until you find the ones right for you. If the training type you choose is fairly 'open book' as to the order of each exercise, it may be helpful to make sure that the larger muscles get worked first e.g. biceps before grip work. This is known to increase your strength better than using a less specific order. Confused whether to workout on an empty stomach or a full stomach? The answer is neither - instead consume a moderate meal an hour or two before you intend to exercise. This will give your body enough 'fuel' to help it though a draining session.

 

Don't go overboard on food at this stage as you can eat a bigger meal after your routine. Also avoid exercising if you feel full from your meal. Make sure you eat a variety of meals throughout the next day as this will also help rebuild the body. Three very large or five fairly large meals should be consumed during the day. You must wear a pair of shoes because they protect your feet, incase you were to drop your weights, they help in circulating breathing, and also keep you from becoming flat footed. When you lift weights you exert pressure on your heels and if you don't wear shoes then you are likely to become flat footed.