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Weight training that works

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DumbbellEndurance training, strength training, weight training, body conditioning Ahhh! You would have heard one of them at least and wondered what it meant. Later figured out that it must be something to do with exercising, which only sports freaks did and didn’t trouble yourself much pondering over it. Or you probably thought it wasn’t your cup of tea.

Well, these are just different names given to weight training and weight training is nothing but exercising using weights-resistance either external weights or our own body weight. And well everybody needs it in different doses. Let’s find out more.

Weight training or resistance training is one of the three main components of a well balanced fitness routine. Rate how fit a person is if he/she can just jog miles together and not even lift a bag of grocery. I would call a person fit enough only if he/she goes about doing the daily chores - the every day functional activities like running to catch a bus, climbing a six-storied building when the lift fails and pushing a table, lifting heavier bags, and many more like these with a lot of ease.

So, cardio training would take care of the running and the climbing parts, but what about the lifting and the pushing parts. This is where weight training comes into the picture. Weight training benefits all young and old alike. It improves posture, increases muscular endurance, enhances flexibility, strengthens joints, increases bone density and thus can avert osteoporosis, which is more common among women.

So hey girl! next time some body gives you a pair of dumbbells give them a sweet smile, they only mean good for you coz we women can’t build muscles easily because of genetics and the type of hormones. We don’t have the hormone testosterone responsible for muscle building when compared to men, and that’s why men have nine times better chances of building muscles.

However, weight training can work wonders; you can start it at any age. The best is to start it in the twenties when the linear growth is complete and the muscles are ready for some action.

Muscles unlike fat are active cells that will require energy even while resting meaning burning up calories even otherwise. And weight training helps in building up stronger muscles, as muscles gets attached to bones through the tendons-stronger tendons and thus stronger bones. Stronger bones don’t break that easily it also fortifies and improves elasticity of the ligaments. For example a weak knee can be rectified by strengthening up the muscles around the joints, like the quadriceps in the front of the thighs and the hamstrings at the back of the thighs.

Now let’s get practical. There are two types or two approaches to weight training one focusing to build the muscle mass like what the hulks do in the gym, and the other trying logically to strengthen the muscles that improves fitness. We are definitely concerned only about the second type.

What type of exercises to do? Any exercise using resistance like the gym machines [for ex: chest press machine], using dumbbells or even using our own body’s weight as resistance for example pushups.

The weight training program should include exercise for all parts of your body. The routine should be balanced like the ab crunches that strengthens the abdominals should be followed by the back extension exercises that would strengthen the back also, or else just stronger abs would pull the trunk forward, affect the posture and cause back pain.

So it should be a complete body workout, starting to workout from the larger muscle groups and ending it with the smaller ones.

How frequent should one do? Two to three times a week is ideal, but if you’re splitting your routine to alternate days of lower body training and the other days of upper body is also fine, but just remember the muscle needs 24-48 hours of rest in between workouts.

The intensity of your training is one great deal to focus, you should start with weights you think you can do 15 counts/reps in one set [rep-repetition is for example in bicep curls, the arm movement of curling up and finishing down where you started is one rep and 15 such reps put together make a set]. You should gradually increase the reps up to 25 and then can increase the set to two sets and later go on to increase the weight. But what is important is to add only one variation at a time.
The entire weight training routine should not take more than an hour. You should also give sufficient rest between sets for about a min, and as you progress you can reduce the rest time. You probably can alternate exercises for example a set of shoulder press can follow a set of leg extensions.

So when you are actually working on your shoulders your legs get sufficient rest and vice versa and you can also save a lot of time. The muscle strength and the bone density you gain by doing weight training during your twenties and thirties naturally slows down the process of ageing.

You know it doesn’t mean you got to workout to benefit only when you are old but the changes brought by weight training will make you feel good about yourself. And every morning you can look into the mirror like a narcissist and kiss yourself a good day, jump and carry on with your day with a lot of self confidence and of course a lot of stamina.

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