Weight training is a technique of building muscle and burning calories that relies on gravity to provide the resistance needed. Weight training is sometimes called strength training and the terms can be used interchangeably. For those wishing to embark on a weight training routine, there are a number of important things to keep in mind.
The most critical element when it comes to this type of exercise program is the weight training equipment. For the most part, the design is relatively simple. Free weights, such as barbells, can be used and lifting these weights will build muscle and burn calories over time. Machine weights are another option. Machines will keep the weights nicely stacked, allowing the user to focus all energy on the actual lifting.
While machine weights may be more expensive, many consider them safer. If they are dropped, they simply fall back into place. They do not run the risk of being dropped on the person lifting them or anyone else. Further, most weight machines have electronic monitors to help users maintain the proper form and some even keep track of goals. In some ways, it can be like having a virtual personal trainer.
When people look at starting an exercise program, weight training often takes a back seat to cardiovascular training for a number of reasons. However, most personal trainers recommend using both in conjunction with each other to achieve the best results possible. Using one solely at the expense of the other will achieve fewer results.
The key to effective weight training lies in the number of repetitions that are done. In order to build muscle mass, the weight training routine should include a heavier load than your muscles are used to dealing with. This will allow them to gain increased muscle mass over time. In general, the rule of thumb is to make the weights heavy enough that you can barely complete the desired number of repetitions while still maintaining good form.
As with any new exercise program, weight training will take some time to start showing results. Those who are new to the program should not try to do too much at first. This could cause too much stress on the body and result in injury. Having steady goals and gradually setting off on a pace to meet those goals is the best strategy. Also, to avoid injury, it is recommended you are stretched and warmed up before beginning.