Strength training challenges the muscles’ strength capacity to make them stronger, bigger, and/or more toned. Professionals recommend performing strength training exercises at least twice a week and that work all major muscle groups – shoulders, arms, chest, back, abdomen, hips, and legs.
Read on to learn about strength training tips that will help you maximize benefits.
- Take 5 to 10 minutes to warm up.
- During the first week, do at least 8 or 12 reps per set and at least one set per movement.
- Make sure you have the correct form – that your body is aligned correctly when performing each movement. Incorrect or poor form often results in injury.
- Start with very light weight while you’re getting used to the proper form and executing the movements smoothly and correctly.
- Find the right tempo that lets you have good control of your movements. Do not focus on the speed of your reps. It’s more important that you properly isolate the target muscle group for a particular exercise to be effective.
- Pay attention to your breathing. Exhale as you work against the resistance (when you lift the weight, for example), and inhale when you release.
- Gradually increase the number of reps and sets, and the weight/resistance to keep challenging your muscles.
- You should be able to perform your repetitions while maintaining good form; the targeted muscles should feel the strain by the last two reps.
- Stick to your routine.
- Give your muscles time to recover. Allow at least 48 hours in between strength training workouts.
If you experience pain or injury, it may mean that you have poor form or you’re overdoing it. Your muscles will need a longer time to recover. You should also consider going to a doctor, especially if the pain does not go away after a few days or gets worse when you’re performing normal tasks.