Weight training is also referred to as strength training and resistant training. It basically involves using resistance to muscular contraction to develop the anaerobic endurance, size, and strength of skeletal muscles.
This type of training follows the principle that body muscles will work to gain mastery over a resistance force whenever this is required. Additionally, when strength training is carried out consistently and repeatedly, your muscles will become stronger.
A comprehensive fitness program must include resistance training to boost bone density, joint function and ligament, tendon and muscle strength. In addition, your fitness program should include aerobic exercise to enhance lung and heart fitness and balance and flexibility exercises. Experts recommend that adults should do muscle-strengthening activities a minimum of two days per week.
Basic Principles of Weight Training
There are a number of components that make up weight training. Included among the basic principles are:
The overall fitness program is made up of many different types of exercise like balance exercises, strength training, flexibility training, and aerobic training.
This is a specific movement; for instance, calf raises are intended to strengthen a specific muscle or muscle group.
This involves the use of different types of resistance. For example, a dumbbell, rubber band, body weight or fixed weight will be used when carrying out different exercises during the training session.
This is a group of reps performed without resting; for instance, three sets of squats by 15 reps means you perform 15 squats, rest your muscles and then do another 15 squats and then another.
• Repetitions (Reps)
This is used in reference to the number of times each exercise in a set is continuously repeated.
This involves switching up your exercise routine like introducing new exercises on a regular basis, pushes your muscles to their limit and forces them to adjust and strengthen.
Rest is very important in between sets. These periods of rest vary based on the intensity of the workout is performed.
• Progressive Overload Principle
In order to keep on gaining benefits, weight training activities must be performed to the point where it becomes for you to complete another rep. The objective is to use an appropriate resistant force or weight that will be challenging while keeping good technique.
Additionally, training variables should be adjusted regularly like the duration, frequency, sets and repetitions, exercises for each muscle group, number of and exercises that target the different muscle group. This will assist in ensuring progress.
Your muscles need time to recover after exercise. Ideally, you should rest your muscle groups for as long as 48 hours before exercising the same group of muscles again.
Your progressive strength training program should vary every six to eight weeks to sustain development. Variables that can impact on your results include:
• Exercises are undertaken
• Frequency of sessions
• The intensity of the weights used
• Rest in between sets
Varying your resistance training program with different types of exercises will help to maintain the strength gains you have made.
Examples of Weight Training
The different types of weight training include:
• Free weights, which include classic weight training tools like kettlebells, barbells, and dumbbells.
• Sandbags or medicine balls
• Resistance bands are essentially giant rubber bands used to provide resistance when stretched. They can be adapted to many workout routines. They deliver continuous resistance during a movement.
• Weight machines with adjustable seats with handles that are attached to either hydraulics or weights
• Suspension equipment that uses gravity and the body weight of the user to complete a number of exercises
• Your Body Weight
This technique can be used for chin-ups, push-ups, and squats. This is convenient, particularly when at work or traveling.
Health Benefits of Weight Training
There are a number of mental and physical benefits that can be derived from weight training. These include:
• Improved muscle tone and strength to safeguard your joints against injury
• Weight management and better muscle-to-fat ratio; this means you will gain muscle and your body will burn more kilojoules while at rest
• Maintaining balance and flexibility, which can assist you in remaining independent as you get older
• Increased stamina that prevents you from tiring easily
• May assist in reducing or preventing cognitive decline in seniors
• Pain management
• Control or prevention of chronic conditions like obesity, arthritis, heart disease, depression, back pain, and diabetes
• Improved posture
• Improved balance and mobility
• Decreased risk of injury
• Enhanced performance of daily tasks
• Increased strength and bone density and lowered risk of osteoporosis
• Improved sense of well-being
• Boosted self-esteem
• Improved sleep and escaping insomnia
Weight training can also improve your body image, boost your self-confidence and heighten your mood.