Strength training is an important part of a balanced exercise routine.
The usual aerobic exercise – also an essential part of a balanced exercise routine – like running, makes the muscles utilize oxygen more efficiently. It also strengthens the heart and lungs.
Strength training, on the other hand, makes use of weights. When you train with weights, the muscles are used to work against the additional weight. When the muscles are made to work harder than they usual,it strengthens and increases the amount of muscle mass in the body.
People two kinds of weights when strength training: free weights which include: barbells and dumbells; and weight machines, which are designed to single out and work on specific muscles.
If you have already gone through puberty, your body already has the hormones that help build muscles during weight training. If you haven’t reached puberty yet, you can train, and grow stronger, but you won’t see any bulging muscles yet.
Before you start training, visit your doctor for a medical check up to know if it’s okay for you to lift weights.
Consult with a coach or trainer to know how often your should work out, what kinds of warm-up and cool-down activities you should do before and after you train to avoid injury and pain. Make sure you ask a certified fitness expert.
Once you’ve started lifting weights, make sure someone is nearby to supervise and encourage you, as well as correct an exercise you are doing incorrectly. Having someone nearby is also important because there are cases when a person just can’t make the final rep. This is okay if you can just drop the weight on the floor. But if you are doing bench presses, you can easily get trapped under the weight.
Check if your school l offers weight training units in gym class. Sign up and learn all about it.
If you’re just starting out, experts suggest you start by training three times a week, ranging from 20 minutes to 1 hour (including warm-up and cool-down periods). Here are a few other guidelines:
Begin with body weight exercises such s push-ups, etc., for a few weeks before using weights.
Work with weights 3 times a week, with one day off between sessions.
Warm up for 5-10 minutes before you start.
Workout for no more than 40 minutes per session to avoid fatigue.
Avoid maximum lifts. Work with more reps.
Make sure you use proper technique all the time. Incorrect techniques may result in serious injuries.
Cool down for 5-10 minutes after each session by doing some stretching
Strength training dangers
It’s common to strain or even permanently damage muscles, bones, joints, and tendons when lifting weights. When you feel pain, or here a pop, stop right there and then. Have it checked immediately.
Another danger when strength training is the use of anabolic steroids that supposedly help muscles develop. Steroids and performance enhancing drugs are banned by all sports organizations because of their unknown long-term effects. These drugs are also linked to health problems like cancer, heart disease, and sterility.