You’re ready. You’ve been working hard and now you’re on the cusp of kicking your weight lifting routine up a notch. You’re ready to train heavy!
A laudable place to be but you’re full of questions and rightly so. This is a whole new world of fitness.
Just for you, I’ve compiled these common weight lifting questions for beginners who are ready to train heavy.
First things first
This is a frequently asked question and an important one. Which comes first – cardio or weights?
For my money, you’re better of starting with weights, after a brief stretch and warm up. Do your cardio first if you must, but you’ll sacrifice strength and form you’ll need to train heavy if you do things that way.
And sacrificing form can get you injured.
What about machines?
The traditional cable stack machine, while losing currency in a world of CrossFit and other examples of functional fitness, still have a place.
These tools provide stability, especially when you’re just starting out training heavy. Functional fitness demands focused attention on form, which you’ll develop over time, but the machines are a great way to get started.
If you’re training heavy to build strength, then give your muscles a good rest between sets. This can be as long as 3 minutes to allow your muscles to recover. Heavier weights with fewer repetitions (between 5 and 8) demand this.
Resting between sets also gives you a moment to refocus, prepare mentally and rehydrate (super-important).
Building up weight
People entering the world of training heavy often have plenty of enthusiasm but, as the venerable Larry David counsels, curb your enthusiasm. Too much soon will cost you.
If you can do all reps in the set with the correct form, then you’re ready to move up. But every now and again, it serves to take a step back and re-evaluate your training. That’s especially true if you find your form suffering.
Giving yourself a rest from weight training every month or two allows your body to recover thoroughly. Two weeks does the trick.
What about my abs?
Ah the mystical quest for the six pack. Most of us have been on that quest at least once in our lives.
But you need to know that working your abs every day doesn’t get you there. Like every other muscle group in your body, your abs and need rest.
So instead of crunching like a maniac every time you work out, try ab-centric exercises like planks or bicycles. These target abs, while working other muscle groups. The focus may be “whole body” but your abs are getting some love too.
Back & Body NJ
Whether you’re starting out with heavy weight training or you’re a professional athlete, you’ve found a partner in Back & Body.
With chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy and sports medicine all under one roof, athletes of all kinds find professional support with us. We create personalized plans that keep you functioning optimally.
Find out more. Contact us.