Starting a workout routine for the first time can be very challenging and confusing. There is a lot of information and protocols to follow. Most people get overwhelmed and so choose to start with something that they know; cardio.
It’s a common occurrence in most gyms: someone signs up for a gym membership with great intentions of getting in better shape and taking responsibility for their health. They decide to start slow and stick with cardio. Three months down the road, they have lost a little weight (though still less than they thought they would have by now) but they struggle to keep it off. They get frustrated and are on the verge of quitting.
Little did they know, all of this pain and wasted effort could’ve been avoided. And, quite frankly, they could’ve gotten better results in much less time. How, you ask?
The Benefits of Weight Training
Increased Muscle Definition and Tone
If you want to be more toned, then you need to build muscle. Fat doesn’t tone. If you’re not happy with your ‘tone’, then it will be necessary to build muscle in order to solve that problem. What’s the best way to tone or, better put, build muscle? Weight training.
Increased Overall Strength
Being stronger in general will benefit you in all walks of life. You won’t ache as you bend down to get the morning paper because you’ve mastered the technique of the dead lift. You won’t find it difficult to get in and out of your car because you’ve increased your flexibility by practicing the full range of motion in the squat.
How to get Started Weight Training, Safely
Seeing a fitness professional, preferably a Corrective Exercise Specialist, would be greatly beneficial. It’s critical that you learn the proper movement patterns and correct the improper movement patterns you may have developed. The old saying that practice makes perfect is not quite true.
Perfect practice makes perfect. You’re not doing yourself any favors if you program your body to move incorrectly. Before you jump under a loaded barbell, you must be able demonstrate proper movements with your own body weight first.
Weight Training: Building Up to “Lifting Heavy”
While building strength is a priority in a successful weight training routine, it’s important to understand a few concepts. There’s a lot of talk about “lifting heavy.”
It’s important to realize that heavy is a relative term. What’s heavy for you may not be heavy for the next person. The only competition you should focus on is the one with the person you see in the mirror. Push yourself just outside your comfort zone. Building strength is a gradual process. It requires patience and consistent effort.
Muscle is a bi-product of strength. So, if it is your desire to tone or build muscle, it’s important to focus on gaining strength. To gain strength, you must overload your muscles. A basic business term can help explain the process.
Supply and Demand
The demand is created in the gym. You work your muscles to the point that they break down; the demand has been created. Then, you must supply your muscles with what they need to adapt and grow (i.e. food and nutrients). In business, the market determines the demand and it’s out of the business’s control, for the most part. When it comes to the human body, the demand is dependent on you.
You’ll be very satisfied with the results of implementing a weight lifting routine. You’ll see faster and better changes in your body with weight training as compared to cardio. Cardio can serve its place and shouldn’t be neglected. However, weight training should be a priority for all of the reasons mentioned above and countless more.