Thursday, July 2, 2009

5-Step Guide to Basic Weight Training

Convinced by the benefits of strength (or weight) training, you've decided to give it a go.

There are several options to work with depending on your individual needs and circumstances. You may decide to join a gym or buy some equipment.

You needn’t go out and spend a small fortune equipping your home gym. If you choose the home option, purchasing some dumbbells, exercise tubing, a mat and a ball is more than enough to get you started.

Here some basic guidelines for resistance training:

1. Never a bad idea to get some help. 
A qualified trainer who is proficient at postural analysis can design a basic program to fit into your goals and needs. If this isn’t an option for you, there are some good websites that provide videos of various exercises. Link.

2. Aim to weight train at least 2 times per week. 
Work all major muscle groups such as; legs, back, chest, shoulders and the core.

3. Perform 1-2 sets of 10-15 repetitions of each exercise to start. 
Perform exercises in either a circuit (perform all exercises and then repeat) or back to back (do one set, rest). There are also options to perform exercises in pairs or triples (do 2/3 exercises, rest, repeat).

Perform repetitions until you feel fatigued. The last 2-3 repetitions should be challenging.

4. Always breathe while training with weights
(always breathe, period!). Try blowing the air out on the exertion phase of the movement.

5. Keep exercises as functional as possible.
Functional exercise entails performing movements in a free, minimally obstructed movement. Functional exercises tend to mimic daily movements and require several muscles and joints to activate harmoniously. Some of the basic movements you can start with are:
-Bent-over dumbbell
-Tabletops (or plank)

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