If you have been hitting the gym for regular workouts and watching your nutrition, but you still struggle to lose weight, it may be time to add some weights to your routine. There is a misconception that adding weights to your workout will make you “bulk up”, but the opposite is actually true. Incorporating weight training builds lean muscle making you look slimmer.
There are many workouts you can do with weights, but it’s important to understand the basics. First and foremost, figure out what size weights you should be using. If you are new to exercise, start with about 5-8 lbs. You can gradually work your way up to heavier weights, but to avoid injury, you must master the proper technique and build up your muscle mass.
Performing exercises with the proper technique will not only allow you to avoid injury, it will also work the proper muscle groups meant to be emphasized with each move. Knowing what muscles you are using in each exercise will ensure you don’t over work certain muscles while ignoring others. Some examples of different techniques are:
• Isometric – Isometric exercises refer to exercises where you are holding a position rather than moving, such as a plank or wall sit
• Single-joint – Single-joint exercises isolate one muscle, such as bicep curls, so your bicep is doing all the work
• Multi-joint – Multi-joint exercises work bigger muscle groups, such as rows working the back and arms, where more than one muscle is taking the brunt of the weight
• Eccentric vs Concentric – Concentric is when the weight is lifted, eccentric is lowering the weight back down. Each of these moves works different areas of the muscle, although the eccentric portion is more damaging to the muscle
Consult a trainer to help ensure you are performing your exercises correctly. Not sure where to start? Bootique Fitness has several experienced, knowledgeable personal trainers in San Diego that can help you meet your fitness goals.
Recovery time is also essential to any weight training regime. Experts recommend 24-48 hours of rest between your weight training sessions to give muscles a chance to recover and rebuild. Lifting weights creates small tears in the muscles which your body must repair. This is why recovery time is so essential, when your body is rebuilding the tears, your muscles are becoming stronger. Resuming lifting too quickly without giving your body a chance to repair the muscle tears can lead to injury and setbacks.
As with any workout, proper nutrition is essential to your healthy lifestyle. What you eat after your workout can affect the amount of time your body takes to recover. Eating a balanced diet of whole food and including lean protein will help your body recover more quickly and have you ready for your next sweat session.
Question: What is your favorite exercise that incorporates weights?