Getting Started with Weight Training

You see your friends are going to the local gym and getting results from their hard work — improved physique and muscle tone. You’d like to start a program to replicate the results, but do not know if you have the time or where to start. It’s not as hard as you think!

What is Weight Training?

Weight training is a type of strength training that uses weights for resistance. Weight training provides a stress to the muscles that causes them to adapt and get stronger, similar to the way aerobic conditioning makes you more fit.

Weight training can be performed with free weights, such as barbell and dumbbells, or by using weight machines. You can also increase your strength through other types of resistance exercises, such as by using your body weight or resistance bands.

When it comes to Weight Training, how much is enough?

You do not have to be in the weightroom for 2 hours a day to see results. For most people, short weight training sessions a couple times a week are more practical than extended daily workouts. Chances are, if you are at the gym for more than an hour you are making friends and not working out!

You can see significant improvement in strength with just two or three 30 minute weight training sessions a week. This frequency also meets activity recommendations for healthy adults.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends incorporating strength training exercises of all the major muscle groups into a fitness routine at least two times a week.

Weight Training is all about technique?

Weight training offers important health benefits when done properly. But it can lead to injuries, such as sprains, strains and fractures if it is not done correctly.

For best results, consider these basic weight training principles:

  • Learn proper technique: If you are new to weight training, work with a trainer to learn correct form and technique. However, even advanced athletes can benefit from an occasional brush up on their form.
  • Warm up: Cold muscles are more prone to injury than are warm muscles. Try a moderate aerobic activity such as riding on a stationary bike or elliptical for 5 minutes prior to engaging in a weight training routine. Other equally effective warm-ups consist of dynamic stretching or simply doing a few light weight sets of a giving exercise to get the body primed to use a heavier weight.
  • Looking at repetitions: Theories on the best way to approach weight training abound, including countless repetitions and hours at the gym. But research shows that novice weight trainees can benefit from 2-3 sets of 12 repetitions.
  • Use the proper weight: The proper weight to lift will be heavy enough to tire your muscles within those 10 repetitions. If you get to rep 12 and feel like you can do another 5 reps, the weight is too light! You should be exerting a high level of effort to get up that last rep.
  • Start slowly: If you’re a beginner, you may find that you’re able to lift only a few pounds. That is okay, we all need to start somewhere. Once your muscles, tendons and ligaments get used to weight training exercises, you may be surprised at how quickly you progress. Once you can easily do 12 repetitions with a particular weight, you are ready to gradually increase the weight.
  • Take time to rest: To give your muscles enough time to rest, take one full day between exercising each specific muscle group.

What are the rewards of weight training?

Lean muscle mass naturally decreases with age. If you don’t do anything to replace the muscle loss, it’ll be replaced with fat. But Stay Strong is here to help you reverse the trend, no matter your age.

As your muscle mass increases, you’ll be able to lift weight more easily and for longer periods of time. You’ll also help to maintain your bone density, better manage your weight, and improve your body’s metabolism. So don’t wait. Get started today!

Stay Strong | Strength & Conditioning 
21690 Red Rum Drive Suite 117
Ashburn, Virginia 20147