Weightlifting Routines 101 – Learn the Main Components of a Weightlifting Routine
Weightlifting, or strength training as it is commonly known, is a great way to gain muscles and increase strength. Proper weightlifting routines will provide benefits such as strength building, weight loss and improve your well-being and overall health.
Lifting weights will also increase your muscle, bone, joint and ligament strength, and improve your metabolism rate and cardiac functions. Other more obvious advantages include getting your body in shape and looking fit and healthy.
Weightlifting regularly involves training different muscles and muscle groups by progressively increasing the amount of weight to be lifted. Many types of exercises involving different pieces of weightlifting equipment are used to perform any number of weightlifting routines.
The major muscle groups you ideally want to target are legs, shoulders, chest, back and arms. A worthy weightlifting routine will aim to target every muscle group to gain maximum benefits.
Main Components of Weightlifting Routines
Weightlifting routines can be broken down into three main components: repetitions, sets and exercises.
A repetition is a single movement of one particular exercise; a set is a number of repetitions performed one after another; a number of sets constitute one particular exercise in a routine.
If the weightlifting routine involves performing 3 sets of Squats with 5 repetitions in each set, then it is denoted as ‘3×5 Squats’. Similarly, ‘2×5 Bench Press’ means 2 sets of Bench Press of 5 repetitions in each set.
Once you’ve decided to take up a weightlifting program, it is time to decide the routine you will be following.
For example there are weightlifting routines for women, weightlifting routines for men, weightlifting routines to lose weight and countless others depending on your intended goals: weight loss, lean muscle gain, strength or just overall fitness.
Weightlifting routines are flexible and can be easily adapted to meet your personal fitness goals.
Depending on your current fitness level and desired goals, you can choose from a variety of weightlifting routines to suit your needs. A typical weight routine consists of the following parts:
- Warm Up – Warm up is an essential part of every weightlifting routine. It gets the blood flowing through your body and activates the muscles for action. A quick session of cardio along with some warm up exercises should be sufficient to get the action started. Always remember to not exhaust yourself during warm up; it is just a start to your main exercise routine.
- Adaptation Sets – Before you start with a specific exercise, it is always recommended you acclimatize your body and nervous system by performing the exercise at low weights. It will get you the much-needed adjustment and practice to perform your lifts in an efficient and safe manner. You will also be able to correct your form in case you need to make adjustments to it prior to sets with higher weights. Again, this isn’t the main set; be sure not to tire yourself out.
- Main Sets – These are the working sets where you put in all your effort. Make sure you are well versed with the amount of weight you can lift. If you cannot lift it more than 5 times in repetition, then it is recommended you reduce the weight.Make sure that you take rests in between sets and keep yourself hydrated by sipping water or electrolytes. You can also progressively increase the weight or even decrease them between each set; depending on what the routine demands. Proper technique of all exercises is critical to insure you get the maximum benefit from the exercise and to protect yourself from an injury that could drastically set back your progress. Be sure to get qualified training if you are not sure of the proper technique.
- Cool Down – Every weightlifting routine has a cool down period where you relax all your muscles and restore your blood flow to normal. This helps in recovery and aiding strength gain. Most cool down activities involve doing cardio for 5 to 10 minutes or performing stretching exercises. It is recommended you take some time to cool down after a workout.
- Rest and Recovery – As strange as it may sound, a weightlifting routine’s impact also depends on the activities performed outside the gym. Proper rest and nutrition are vital to get substantial gains from weightlifting. Avoid overtraining and choose to rest well instead. Concentrate on the quality of workouts rather than the quantity.
Popular Weightlifting Routines
There are many weightlifting routines you can follow depending on your experience, but the majority all follow the same pattern detailed above.
The Mark Rippetoe 3×5 workout is one of the best weightlifting routines for beginners; split routine workouts are also followed by many beginners where one or two muscle groups are targeted specifically on each day.
StrongLifts 5×5 is a weightlifting routine suggested for intermediate to advanced lifters, whereas experienced lifters combine and personalize the routines according to their own needs and goals.
Once you’ve started with your ideal weightlifting routine, you will get stronger, look better and feel more energetic.
Never give up on an established routine and be consistent with it for a few months; you’ll start seeing the results soon enough. Make sure to mix and match different exercises to keep the routine fun and interesting.
Once you’ve got a grip on how weightlifting routines work, the transformation is easy to achieve.
Check back often for more in depth information on weightlifting routines.
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