Start with resistance training to begin seeking that New Year's resolution you forgot to start on—here's why one trainer says it's perfect.
Here’s the question many of us are already asking ourselves:
Where did this 2016 go and why didn’t that happen?
It’s already March and you haven’t started your New Year’s resolution yet, so you’re feeling like you might have missed that window. Is it too late to start now? No!
Resistance training to build muscle is the most productive form of exercise
Resistance training to build muscle is the most productive form of exercise because it takes the least amount of physical time in the gym, while still garnering the most amount of benefit for your body. Building muscle will strengthen your bones and improve your overall strength, increase your fitness endurance, boost your metabolism, help control body fat, improve posture (and your skin too!), slow the effects of aging and increase resistance to injury.
There are different types of weightlifting for achieving differing results. I recommend building up to heavier weights and ten or less reps at three to five sets. Right now, a lot of fitness classes are in the high-rep, low-weight category. Lifting lighter weights for a high number of repetitions builds muscle endurance, but not necessarily strength. And if you’re interested in increasing tone, it gives you very limited improvement, if any at all.
Tips for weightlifting beginners
When you’re first starting out, it is more important to be sure that you have proper technique and movement rather than loading up the weights. Here are some beginner tips:
- If you can easily do 30 reps in one set right off the bat, you can probably to increase the amount of weight. A good rule of thumb is to choose a weight you can only lift 8 to 10 times at a time.
- As you get comfortable and continue to work on your form, you should be able to lift until failure, which means you are literally unable to do any more reps with proper form.
- Never compromise form for weight—don’t finish those last four reps in a set using bad form because you might hurt yourself.
- Choose a different body part each day, like back, legs, chest and arms, and then focus on that area.
- Work with a trainer to learn about proper form and how to build your own weight regimen that suits your schedule.
Amy Chisholm, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Author of “Six Months to Sexy Legs” and “Think Gorgeous Thoughts” on Trainerize.me – the first matchmaking service for clients and trainers.