What Are Some Good Practices To Follow When Lifting Weights?
Weight training is essential for both men and women! In men, it helps build muscle and body mass, boost testosterone (which has a plethora of benefits), and more! In women, it particularly helps with bone health, joint stability, connectivity tissues, building muscle, and more! Both men and women benefit greatly from lifting weights mentally — it helps regulate mood, improves cognitive function, and makes you a decision-maker.
Since weight training helps you break resistance, it’s a great overall help in life and generally makes you do better in your day-to-day tasks. So unless you have a medical reason not to, we advise that you make lifting weights a part of your life, for good. Check out the following tips and practices — they’ll help you greatly if you’ve just begun or planned to.
START WITH LESS WEIGHT
A common mistake most newbies, especially boys, make at the gym is that they go for heavy weights too soon. This is because they see other, more muscular people lifting heavier.
Understand that while you may be able to lift heavy weights in your first attempt, perhaps due to an adrenaline rush, you might not be able to do it every time. Well, unless you have the body strength for it.
If your body isn’t trained, you’re only putting yourself in harm’s way. You could possibly injure yourself. Once you’re through with the workout, your muscles will start to get sore and in the next two days, it’ll become impossible for you to move your arms. This is a normal happening with folks who end up lifting too much on their first day.
Instead, start with less weight. Let your body adjust. Don’t overdo it on the first day. Increase your reps gradually and then start increasing your weight.
USE A WEIGHT-LIFTING BELT FOR YOUR BACK
When you’re doing squats or back exercises, that’s when you want to be really careful. Lifting heavy weights without a weight-lifting belt can cause back injuries. We advise taking a professional’s help at first in helping you determine when you need the belt.
BE MINDFUL OF PROPER FORM
The wrong form when lifting weights can cause injuries and even render your whole workout useless. As a general rule of thumb, your shoulders should be straight and back, your core braced and your feet should ideally be apart (for grip) when lifting heavy weights.
AVOID INJURIES: DON’T SKIP THE WARMUP
The warmup is important if you want to avoid muscle injuries and soreness. For instance, your deltoid warm-up should get all three muscles ready to take on weights. If you don’t, they’ll feel sore from the beginning and it’ll be unpleasant for you to work with them.
LIFT SLOWLY: YOU’LL WANT TO FOCUS ON YOUR MUSCLE
When you’re lifting weights, you’ll want to isolate each muscle. Each body part contains a group of muscles. For instance, your shoulders are called deltoids and they’re divided into three parts: frontal, mid, and rear. The key is to understand these muscle groups and learn the exercises for each muscle separately (the exercises for frontal deltoids are different than they are for rear deltoids).
Once you understand where each muscle is and how you can isolate it with a group of exercises, only then must you start to lift the weights. When you’re at it, go slow. Really look at your muscles expanding and contracting. You want to put each muscle in a state of hypertrophy for it to get strained and grow its cells back even stronger and larger.
HOLD THE WEIGHT WHEN YOU’RE NEARING SET COMPLETION
It’s the final two to three reps that make most of the difference, not the first 12. Always take your time to complete the last two reps. Expand and contract your muscle as much as you can and hold your weight to really strain and exhaust it.
MAKE SURE THE EQUIPMENT ISN’T FAULTY
Loose dumbbells and faulty machines can be lethal. Always have somebody nearby when you’re lifting heavy weights. Don’t go near faulty equipment!
LET YOUR MUSCLES HEAL
It’s normally advised that you give a muscle at least 48 to 72 hours to properly heal before working it again. If you don’t, you’ll be constantly walking with sore muscles and no results.
Your sore and hurting muscles are an indication that your muscles need to heal to redevelop.
LASTLY, CONSUME A LOT OF PROTEIN
Your muscles are made up of blocks of proteins — once they are strained enough, they’ll require healing. When you consume a lot of protein, it aids muscle growth and helps your muscles get bigger. No protein in diet equals no gains!