Should you even lift?

Should you even lift?

The Commonwealth Games Glasgow kick off on 23rd July and there are plenty of sports for us all to feast on. The weightlifting event is always impressive, and also one of the easiest events to include in your gym workout - finding a place to pole vault is not quite so simple.

Follow the inspiration of the Commonwealth weightlifting champions by adding weights to your training plan. 

What’s so great about weights?

There are many benefits to working out with free weights, whether you’re a professional or not. Free weights force you to use more of your body’s muscles to stabilise and balance the weights you’re lifting. It helps you build and strengthen a wider range of muscles and train a wide range of major muscles across the body.

Free weight exercises can also help you burn more calories and research has shown that an exercise such as the free weight squat can burn up to 50% more calories than exercises carried out on machines such as the leg press.

I have no idea what I’m doing

Planning your weights workout can be difficult for beginners, but there are many ways to learn the right technique. Personal training is a great way to get started with free weights, as your trainer can help you to correct your form every step of the way. Another great way to get started is in a weights-based fitness class like Body Pump. Once you’ve got the hang of the moves in the class, you can easily bring them out of the studio and into the free weights area.

I don’t want to get ‘bulky’

Building muscle will tone and strengthen your body, but that doesn’t have to mean bulging biceps. With low weights and high reps, your muscle density will increase, rather than size. An added benefit of this type of low weight, high rep training is that the risk of injury is lower. Regularly lifting lighter weights can also help build u muscular endurance and the calorie burn can be increased because of the elongated length of the exercise.

I want massive muscles

Alternatively opting for heavier weights and low reps can instil a sense of achievement and it is often the choice of more experienced lifters. It can be dangerous for beginners to try this kind of training. However if you are an experienced weight trainer, carrying out this type of activity until muscles reach the height of fatigue can help increase and build thick muscle very quickly.

Whether you’re planning to reach the heights of the professionals or simply want to add some weight training to your workouts, then free weights are a quick and easy way to start your training. 

Comments

gurjit s.
31 July 2014

gurjit s.

its just like doing a sculpture - going in chipping away with your chisel - takes time good to mix with cardio

Matthew C.
24 July 2014

Matthew C.

When I was younger I did weights to look great. now I do them for health reasons so I am still able to lift grandchildren up in the future!

Olivia C.
24 July 2014

Olivia C.

I always worry about getting those Madonna style over-toned biceps. It's good to hear Olga saying you don't have to get too bulky from lifting - maybe I'll try it out a bit more now!

Olga N.
24 July 2014

Olga N.

I've got friends who won't believe I lift because I'm not bulky - they don't seem to understand you can lift without turning into a body builder.

Pete R.
23 July 2014

Pete R.

This is a really good post for starting out on weights. Thank you.

Sarah L.
23 July 2014

Sarah L.

great 'back to basics' - I've been baffled by some of the weights talk but didn't dare ask. I agree that it doesn't make for a spectator sport!

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