Good weight training basics are essential. If you don’t get the basics right, no amount of supplements or secret potions or advanced training programs will help you.
Fortunately, weight training to build muscle is not that complicated. It’s a lot simpler than most people will tell you, or than most articles online make it out to be.
So, here are the weight training basics that will allow you to make great progress!
Good Exercise Form
Good exercise form is essential. Not just for making progress and getting stronger, but so that you don’t hurt yourself. An injury can really set back your training.
Whatever exercise you’re doing, make sure you’re doing it right. This will also serve to stress the muscles you’re trying to stress in your exercises – rather than straining other muscles, or your connective tissue.
Free Weights or Machines?
This is a big question, and a quagmire really. For experienced people, I think that free weights are better – they challenge your balance, and I personally just like heaving around big chunks of metal!
But if you’re just starting out, refine your weight training basics with machines. Weight machines are much more controlled, and can help you train good form. And it’s harder (though not impossible) to hurt yourself using machines rather than with free weights.
So, start with machines. But once you’ve got the hang of it, move on to free weights.
Yes, get sore. If you’re going to the gym to workout, then really workout. Don’t lie to yourself and just go through the motions of exercising – really push yourself.
Now, pushing yourself is different for everybody. But one of the most important weight training basics is the principle of ‘progressive overload’ – you must work harder each and every time you go to the gym.
More repetitions with that weight, or simply lifting a heavier weight. If you just keep lifting the save weight that you were lifting last week or last month, you’re not getting any stronger.
Muscles don’t grow out of nothing. You need to give yourself the energy to build that muscle!
Now, you can only grow so much muscle in a week. If you’re just starting out, one pound of muscle a week is great! But after a few months it’ll probably drop to half a pound per week. But this muscle only grows if you’re eating enough to build it.
When you eat too much and don’t workout, you grow more fat tissue. When you workout and eat a little too much, you put on muscle tissue. And if you workout and eat a ton, then you put on muscle and fat.
Some people try to stay really lean and muscular looking while putting on more muscle weight. This can work, but it requires really exact calorie counting and it puts a strain on your muscles – since they grow best in an environment with lots of extra energy.
In the beginning, my advice would be to not stunt your muscle growth. Eat a lot, don’t’ worry about a little fat gain, but make sure you’re giving yourself enough energy to put on that extra muscle.
Now that you’re familiar with the weight training basics, you’re ready to hit the gym. If you want simple, effective workout routines and some more info about weight training to build muscle, check out the links below.