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5 Tips to Maximize your Weight Training

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The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends regular strength training for quality of life and health. Weight training can be an arduous process with different challenges for each person. However, there are excellent physical and personal benefits. For example, it can increase your muscle tone, overall health and self-confidence. Here are five tips to maximizing your weight training.

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Plan and Document

If you fail to have a long-term weight lifting plan with goals, you most likely will not be successful. The practice of weightlifting requires measurable goals, constant diligence and detailed documentation Consider keeping a workout journal that allows you to track numbers, measure goals and evaluate progress. This is especially important if you consistently alter your workout sets and choices. Be sure to plan reduced workout phases that will prevent over-training and potential injuries. All of this requires proper knowledge about nutrition, the body and weight lifting.

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Separate Fact from Myth

When it comes to weight lifting, there is a lot of conflicting information from books, the Internet and personal trainers. Lifting weights, without an increase in caloric intake, will not increase body mass. Another common myth is that the best way of increasing muscle mass is through only lifting heavy weights. However, lifting light weights to the point of fatigue is equally effective. Many experts have always said that it is best to work out a different muscle group every day. However, interval and circuit training is actually better for muscles in the long run. A combined approach will burn more calories while improving aerobic capacity.

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Ask an Expert

Anyone can educate themselves about weight training through books, magazines and the Internet. However, it is equally important to learn from established experts and trained professionals. Consider joining a gym or at least attending a few classes to work with an experienced trainer. This is important because proper lifting technique will accelerate your muscle-building and reduce potential injuries. A personal trainer is especially important for beginners because they will receive individualized instruction, motivational coaching and helpful safety tips.

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Variation

Avoid obsessing on a certain muscle group or workout. Create your own weekly or monthly workout routines and then consistently alter them. This will avoid muscle burnout and force continual muscle growth. Change the intensity, frequency and duration of both your cardio workout and weight lifting sets. For example, focus on short repetition, heavy lifts one month and multiple repetition, lighter lifts the next month. Alternate between free weights, stretch bands and the weight machine. Be sure to engage in 10 to 15 minutes of cardio before every exercise. Be sure to separate full cardio workouts and weight training days by a few days.

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Nutrition

Unless you follow the right diet, your hours spent at the gym may actually be wasted. Proper nutrition is key to effective weight training success. Be sure to consume a lot of carbs and moderate amount of protein before every workout. Carbs will give you the energy and protein will build muscle, increase fat loss and decrease hunger. Excellent sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish and nuts. Pre-workout and post-workout consumption of protein has been shown to increase energy and muscle-building. Drink plenty of water after the workout is complete. Avoid sports drinks because they are full of sugar and empty calories. Consuming whey protein after a workout is one of the best ways to build muscle. Try to keep things as natural and high quality as possible, for instance the best pre workout supplements are generally the ones with plenty of nutrients, I personally stay away from the ones that promise over 200 mg of caffeine. Daily vitamins and supplements are very beneficial for muscle growth and overall health.

To summarize, weight lifting has excellent social, physical and emotional benefits. Planning and documenting your goals and routines will help you progress. Be sure to distinguish between weight training facts and fiction. Working with a trainer or other professionals will expand your knowledge and expertise. Workout variation will increase your overall workout effectiveness. Finally, proper nutrition is critical to building muscles.

About the Author

Ryan Blair is a freelance writer who has spent 12 years in the fitness industry doing just about everything including personal training for 6 years.  He now spends his time combining his love of writing with his experience in fitness.  If you want to contact him you can do so at:

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ryan-blair/a5/230/674

If you have any questions or want to make suggestions please feel free to contact us by e-mail


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