We all can use a little help in our attempt to sculpt our bodies and get healthy. In this post, I am going to share with you my best tips, both do’s and don’ts, that will make your weight lifting be as successful as possible.
Strength Training Do's
Do use proper form. Learn to do each exercise correctly. The better your form, the better your results — and the less likely you are to hurt yourself. If you’re unable to maintain good form, decrease the weight or the number of repetitions. Remember that proper form matters even when you pick up and replace your weights on the weight racks. If you’re not sure whether you’re doing a particular exercise correctly, ask a personal trainer or other fitness professional for help.
Do seek balance. Work all of your major muscles — abdominals, legs, chest, back, shoulders and arms. Strengthen the opposing muscles in a balanced way, such as the front of the shoulder and the back of the shoulder.
Do breathe. You might be tempted to hold your breath while you’re lifting weights. Don’t. Holding your breath can lead to dangerous increases in blood pressure. Instead, breathe out as you lift the weight and breathe in as you lower the weight.
Do rest. Avoid exercising the same muscles two days in a row. You might work all of your major muscle groups at a single session two or three times a week, or plan daily sessions for specific muscle groups. For example, on Monday work your arms and shoulders, on Tuesday work your legs, and so on.
Do lift an appropriate amount of weight. Start with a weight you can lift comfortably 12 to 15 times. For most people, a single set of 12 repetitions with the proper weight can build strength just as efficiently as can three sets of the same exercise. As you get stronger, gradually increase the amount of weight.
Strength Training Don'ts
Don’t skip your warm-up. Cold muscles are more prone to injury than are warm muscles. Before you lift weights, warm up with five to 10 minutes of a dynamic warm up or other aerobic activity.
Don’t rush. Move the weight in an unhurried, controlled fashion. Taking it slow helps you isolate the muscles you want to work and keeps you from relying on momentum to lift the weight. This also helps you avoid injuries.
Don’t work through the pain. If an exercise causes pain, stop. Try it again in a few days or try it with less weight.
Don’t overdo it. For most people, completing one set of exercises to the point of fatigue is typically enough. Additional sets may only eat up your time and contribute to overload injury.
Don’t forget your shoes. Shoes with good traction can keep you from slipping while you’re lifting weights.
Remember, the more you concentrate on proper weight training technique, the more you’ll get from your weight training program.