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Training Tips

Weight Training Fundamentals

Weight Training Fundamentals

A balanced nutrition program is not a guarantee for fat and weight loss. Dieting without weight training invariably leads to muscle loss. Muscle loss leads to a lower resting metabolic rate which means your body burns fewer calories and fats. Following are the fundamentals you have to be familiar with in performing your weight raining exercises.

Find time and make time for your aerobics and weight training schedule. You don’t have to join a fitness or health club to do weight training. It’s probably better to train at home since it saves time and is very convenient. Basic free weights are all you need to get started. When you progress from the beginner level to intermediate to advanced, you can either then add the following equipments a bench and barbell set, a cable-pulley machine and an adjustable squat rack.

Perform stretching exercises to loosen up your joints and muscles and maintain flexibility.

Do not train for more than 60 minutes. The total optimal workout duration including aerobics should be between 45 ≤ 60 minutes. Long workouts exhaust the body’s nervous and endocrine systems, decreases the body’s growth and testosterone levels and increases cortisol levels (a hormone that breaks down muscles).

If you have the time, you can split up your aerobics and weight training sessions if you do them on the same day. You could do 30-45 minutes of aerobics before breakfast and 30-45 minutes of weight training in the late morning or afternoon.

Do not engage in weight training two days in a row. You will become prone to overtraining and injury. To maximize the benefits of weight training, the goal is to let the muscles rest after an intense workout. You have to give your muscles the time to rest, recover and get toned!

- Beginner Level: 3 full body workouts weekly on nonconsecutive days

- Intermediate Level: 4 2-day split routine workouts weekly (half the body one day, half the next)

- Advanced Level: 4 or 5 days weekly (3 or 4-day split routines)

1 Set vs. 3 Sets of exercises. For beginners, 1 set of exercises weekly is the recommended starting point. After the initial 1 set week, it should be increased to 2 sets per week and then 3 sets on the third week. The 3 sets weekly full-body workout should be the baseline. The number of repetitions you use on your weight training depends on your goals, muscle development and fat loss. Use the following guidelines in establishing the number of reps/exercise you will use. The logic is to use a range of repetition instead of a fixed number of repetition. Doing a range of repetitions helps condition and prepare the muscles for progressive resistance.

- 1 – 5 reps for Strength and Power

- 6 – 12 reps for Bulk and Strength

- 12 – 20 reps for Endurance

- 10 – 25 reps for Abdominals and Calves

At the Beginner’s Level, start with just one exercise. Go up to the Intermediate and Advanced levels only when the body and muscles have adjusted to progressive resistance.

- Beginner Level: 1 Exercise/Muscle Group (full body workout)

- Intermediate Level: 2 Exercises/Muscle Group (2-day split)

- Advanced Level: 3 Exercises/Muscle Group (3-day split)

Normally, you should take approximately a 1-minute rest in between sets. However, since your goal is fat and weight loss, gradually reduce your rest intervals to as little as 30-45 seconds between sets to induce an aerobic effect to your weight workouts and increase growth hormone release.

You should always perform your repetitions slowly and under control: 2-3 seconds to raise the weight and 3-4 to lower the weight. Avoid fast, bouncing or uncontrolled movements. Raising or lowering weights quickly uses up energy and takes the stress off the muscle group you are trying to develop and increases the possibility of injury.

- 2-3 second to lift weight
 pause at the top

- 3-4 second eccentric (lowering the weight)
 pause at the bottom

Do not be impatient when doing your weight exercises. Add weights and increase the duration of exercises only when you are positive your system can handle it. Do not go up to intermediate and training levels unless your weekly progress record warrants it. When you increase the weights, make sure they are in small increments to avoid burnout. Achieving fitness and a healthy lifestyle can not be fast tracked!

As a beginner, it is best to start training your entire body in one session. Performing full body workouts 3 days weekly should be your target. Only after 3 or 4 months (minimum) should you consider going up to the next level. When you advance, it is better to split your routines in order to be able to add more exercises to your regimen and avoid overtraining.

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