Strength Training 101 – How To Get Started.
To get you started, here are some general guidelines when it comes to strength training:
1. Start with body weight exercises only such as a lunges, push ups and squats. You want to work to lift your bodyweight with correct form and range of motion before you start actually lifting weights. Also as you lose weight it will become easier and you will need to add weights.
2. Work your full body each workout.
As long as you are allowing recovery time this will give you the most strength training benefit and will burn the most calories. It is not necessary to isolate specific muscles when your goal is overall fat loss and a lean physique. The bodybuilding type programs of isolating each body part and doing legs on day one and chest on day two are out dated.
You will see much better results if you train movement patterns and aim to work your entire body rather then isolating.
3. Use a circuit type routine, keeping your rest periods short. Pair upper body exercises with lower body exercises and go back and forth between the two keeping your rest periods 30-60 seconds each with each set lasting 40-60 seconds.
4. Use no more then 24 sets total per workout. This could be 12 exercises for 2 sets each or 8 exercises for 3 sets each. The first time you workout you should do one set only of each exercise. This should be enough stimulus for your body at first, then gradually increase to 3-4 sets.
5. Your strength training workout should be under an hour in length. Beyond an hour you will start to have diminishing returns.
6. When choosing your exercises pick something for each movement pattern so you will have a fairly balanced routine.
If you know you are excessively weak in one area you may want to include more then one exercise for that area.
The movement patterns you need to include are:
Horizontal Pushing Examples:Push Ups, Bench Press
Horizontal Pulling Examples:Rows, Reverse Flys
Vertical Pushing Examples:Shoulder Press,
Vertical Pulling Examples:Pull Down, Chin Ups
Quadricep Dominant Examples:Squats, Lunges
Hip Dominant Examples:Deadlifts, Glute/ Ham Raise
Rotational Examples:Oblique Twist
Stability Examples:Planks, forward ball roll
Upper Abdominals Examples:Crunches
Lower Abdominals Examples:Rev crunches, hang leg lifts
7. Include compound exercises such as deadlifts, squats, lunges. These burn the most calories and you will hit all of your muscles with less exercises.
8. Don’t get stuck doing the same routine for months and months.
You have to change it up once every 4-6 weeks. In order to keep your body changing you have to continue to change your routine, as your body adapts, make a change.
9. Take at least one day off a week. You don’t get results from your workouts, you get results from your recovery. Let your body rest at least one day a week.