Weight training refers to exercises that build the size and strength of skeletal muscle. Weight training uses the force of gravity to resist the contraction of muscles. Specialized equipment is used in weight training to work groups of muscles in a number of ways. Weight training differs from bodybuilding, weightlifting, power lifting and strongman, all of which are sports rather than kinds of exercises. Weight training, on the other hand, is often part of the athlete’s training regimen.
Weight training revolves around the same principles as other forms of strength training. It relies primarily on making different combinations of reps, sets, exercise types and weights moved to increase the body’s strength, endurance, size and shape.
Weight training has many benefits, commonly among which are;
1. Increase in the body’s rate of metabolism
2. It strengthens the body’s bone mass
3. Increase in the muscle strength
4. Help in avoiding injuries
5. Increase in the person’s confidence level and self-esteem
6. Improvement in the body’s coordination and balance
The Basic Principles of Weight Training:
1. Overload: to build muscle and strength, your body needs to lift more weight, resistance, then it’s used to. The more you call on your body to do, the greater it will perform and increase its stamina and strength. You shouldn’t lift weights that are so light that you can do more than the required reps. Nor should you lift weights that are too heavy to even go half way. You should be able to finish your last rep with difficulty but also with good form. Never sacrifice form for lifting a heavier weight.
2. Progression: To avoid ‘getting used to it’ or adaptation, you need to increase the intensity of your workout regularly. This is possible in a number of ways including increasing the number of reps, changing the sets, changing the exercise, lifting heavier weights, etc. these changes should be gradually incremental, not sudden or abrupt. But they should be continuous and I n progressive.
3. Be Specific: This principle is all about focusing attention towards a goal and achieving it. Don’t just weight train at random. Be specific in what position or state you want to achieve with each muscle type and then strive with all your attention to achieve that goal.
4. Rest and Sleep: Resting is just as important as working out. While you rest your muscles heal and grow. The growth is both in size and in strength. Make sure you rest for at least one day between workouts and also arrange to get a minimum of 8 to 10 hours of sleep regularly.
Some precautions that you should take during weight training:
1. Trainer: when weight training it’s best to have a trainer supervise your routine. The best weight training exercises involve free weights and these can be dangerous if your training on your own.
2. Warm ups are essential: always warm up properly before weight training or exercise of any kind. Your body can’t go from room temperature to sudden activity as it will react to the change in a destructive manner.
3. Slow lift and pick up: lift your weights slowly and also lower them slowly as well while you weight train. Hurrying may cause muscle sprains.