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Strength Training for Beginners

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If you have never trained with weights and you are starting for the first time there are a few attitude adjustments that would greatly help your progress. The first is your objective which in this case is to get stronger and increase your strength.

Where you specifically want to achieve fat-loss, increase your lean muscle or just plain overall fitness, you will get this from training with weights on a regular basis. If you train more than twice a week you will get a general increase in the size of your muscle fibre generally plus and increase in your muscle contractile strength.

This in turn will increase your tendon and ligament strength, the result will be that when this starts to happen your resistance will increase and your body will start to clean itself correctly. Compared to cardio and diet adjustments when you start training with weights you get quantifiable results that you can measure, plus you feel good.

If you are starting to train at a gym you should always remember to take a towel as it is just gym etiquette, just like replacing your weights when you are done. Be very careful of using a weight that is too heavy, as you will discover 48 hours later that it is better to go too light than too heavy when starting out.

You should know before you start that swinging the weight or using momentum in any way is bad form and will cause an injury. Ideally the increase in your weight should only be at 5% each time so that you can progressively adapt to the weight and not injure yourself.

Just as squeezing your reps out fast will not produce any benefit the opposite is true because of Time Under tension (TUT) which is why a muscle grows stronger. A big muscle is a strong muscle so your objective is to lift the heaviest weight you can using perfect form.

If you can lift your weights with a slow controlled movement of 2 seconds up and 3 seconds down, you will be able to activate both the slow switch muscle fibres and the fast twitch muscle fibres. The result will be faster results that you can see and measure because all your muscle fibres are activated.

It is important to always remember as a beginner your joints will only be as strong as the muscles that run across the joint so you need take this into consideration. To improve your overall strength and fitness you should rest between 30 and 90 seconds between sets.

It is a good idea to use machines when you first start training with weights because your joints have less integrity, this means that you have less core stability that is required when training with free weights. Your objective should always be to train with free weights but just to get started and get a bit stronger, machines offer the best choice.

The machine is able to isolate a muscle group and can supply some kind of support for the weaker areas before moving onto free weights. You should train only twice a week when you first start and do 8 to 12 repetitions in each set that you do. Start with the basic machines like bench-press, squat machines or leg press and seated rows or a T-bar machine. If you do 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps with only these three movements in your first week you will have made a good start to your weight training career that can often last a lifetime.


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