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Getting Started: Beginners Strength Training

Dec 3, 2009

There are certain concepts to understand in beginners strength training. First is your safety. Make sure you are not attempting to lift more than you can handle. You can seriously strain, hurt or injure yourself by doing this. If you are lifting heavy weight, such as on the bench press, make sure you have a spotter to ensure your safety. A spotter will also allow you to push yourself and do things you would not be able to without their help. Don’t forget to stretch. You should warm up your muscles and stretch them out before every work out in order to avoid stained muscles.

Creating a Schedule

You may want to construct your schedule. Muscles need adequate time to rest and repair after being worked. This is why you should not work the same muscles group every day. They need at least a day in-between to recuperate. For this reason, you should work out a muscle group every other day. Depending on your schedule, you may want to work out all the muscle groups in your body three times a week--Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for example. Or, if you desire to work out every day, you can do your upper body strength training Monday Wednesday, Friday, then do your lower body strength training on the other days--Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. However you make your schedule, make sure that each muscle group has a day to rest. Your abdominals are the only muscle group that can be worked every day, so go ahead and add that in at any point.

Within a week of strength training, make sure you give your body a chance to rest completely for at least one day. Whether that be Sunday or not, you should only be strength training six out of the seven days of the week at most.

Lifting

When working with weights, remember that free weights such as dumbbells are better for training than machines. Find a weight that is appropriate for you and lift weights that isolate a muscle group, such as your shoulders. Lifting a weight is called a rep. There are multiple reps in a set. For example, to work your shoulders, you may want to lift two dumbbells above your head 10 times. Those 10 reps create a set. Take a moment to rest, and then do another set. For each exercise, you want to do 2-3 sets and each set should have 8-12 reps in it.

Repairing Your Muscles

When you lift weights, in many ways, you are tearing your muscles. Your body then repairs the tissue with even more mass and makes it stronger. This is why you not only need to give your body adequate time to rest, but you also need to give it the proper fuel. Protein is essential to strength training. Make sure you have a good helping of carbohydrates (bread, wheat products) and protein (meats, milk, cheeses) in your system. This will give you the necessary energy to do the work you need. Also, after your workout, it is important to give your body the resources to repair itself.

If you wish to increase your muscles mass, make sure to eat a solid amount of protein within 45 minutes of your work out. When beginning weight training, take it slow, be careful, and make sure to change up your exercises, as this will prevent your muscles from adapting to your routine.

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