I hear it all the time “I don’t want big muscles” & “ I don’t want to get all huge like a bodybuilder” The truth is if you aren’t hitting the weights 6 days a week and eating like a… well, bodybuilder then it’s very unlikely you will get ‘massive’. So incorporating weights into your sessions really is a viable option, in fact it’s probably the best option and time to stop being afraid of the weights.
Let’s start with some Benefits of lifting weights:
- Increases bone density, meaning stronger bones and joints.
- Carefully planned sessions and training programs are a great way to overcome injury and work towards rehabilitation.
- It burns calories, during and after your session.
- It makes you lean and tones those buggy points like arms, stomach and give a firm butt which pleases both men and women.
- It’s releases endorphins a stress reliever and ‘natural high’
- It releases testosterone, great for the libido – also Low levels of testosterone may contribute to heart disease
- Weight bearing exercise is the only way to slow the onset of age-related muscle loss.
Weight training is not the same as cardio (well duh) it’s not something you should do every day, it needs to be part of a planned program and you should be recording your progress. Most gyms will offer free programs or an induction to get you started. These are great for teaching you how to use the machines but you will quickly find yourself bored without a structured plan. Hire a PT to write you a program and get it updated every 6-8 weeks if you don’t want to spend the money on one every week.
As with any training session, work hard or don’t bother there is no point in giving a session half effort. This is why a good PT is worth the money, they motivate you make you train harder and keep your program tailored to you.
Don’t lift light to tone, lifting to tone is pointless. This basically results in lifting light weights comfortably for a longer period. At the end of the session you’ll feel like you had a lovely session in the gym. No session should be like that – EVER. You should feel the burn, you should be sweating, high reps or low reps either way it shouldn’t be easy.
So make sure weights are in your program from now on if you don’t know what you are doing then get some qualified instruction. As the hair ad goes – ‘you’re worth it’ so spend the money on yourself.
So remember these rules.
- Work hard every time, push your limits.
- Record everything, what you did, how long for and what weight you lifted – that way you can see progress.
- Don’t just randomise – make training specific, have a plan. You wouldn’t cook a meal without all the ingredients so don’t hit the gym without a plan.
- Focus on progress, gym work is about progress, not being an overnight success too much too soon will increase the chance of injury.