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Introduction to Weight Training

A component of bodybuilding and weight lifting, weight training is a technique for developing muscle strength by progressively lifting increasing amount of weights. However unlike bodybuilding and weight lifting, weight training is not a sport. It is more a type of training method.

Weight training follows some simple principles;

  • Overload Principle
  • Progressive Resistance and
  • Principle of Specificity

Overload principle – states that muscles size, strength and endurance will only improve if the stress (the actual exercise activity) is greater than that normally encountered.

Progressive principle – states that as muscle, strength and endurance increases the resistance (heavier weights) must be periodically increased if further gains are desired.

For effective weight training you should lift a little more load/resistance each time you workout. This will enable you to eventually lift a lot more weights than what you originally started with. As you reach a plateau this principle can be reused.

Principle of specificity – shows that the development of muscular fitness is specific to the muscles trained. This means that if you were doing weight training for a sport, then weight training will be most beneficial if the exercise resembles the action of the sport.

Why do weight training?

For a beginner, entering a gym full of hard bodies for the first time can be somewhat daunting. There are so many different muscles to learn about and so many different exercises to accommodate these muscles and also the sophisticated machines there out there. The idea is to get to know your body, get to know your strengths and limitations, and get comfortable with the feel of actually moving the weights correctly.

Individuals do weight training for many reasons. Here are some good reasons why weight training should be incorporated into your exercise regimes.

  • Increase strength
  • Improve appearance
  • Helps to control your weight
  • Strengthen bones
  • Boost your energy, fitness, endurance levels

Increase strength – although not all individuals do weight training to win an Olympic medal, doing weight training can help you with many things you do everyday. This is advantageous to have for both men and women.

Strengthen bones – Weight training exercises places stress on the bone and when bones are stressed it allows them to become stronger. Hence weight training can be a powerful tool against osteoporosis.

Helps to control your weight – Weight training can help in your fight to lose weight. Including weight training in your weight loss regime will help increase your resting metabolic rate because of the increase in your overall muscle mass. This will allow you to burn more calories throughout the day. You will feel better, look leaner and your clothes will fit better!

 
 

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