There’s an overwhelming amount of information out there on weight training. At Womens Fitness Clubs of Canada in Pickering, we want to save you time sifting through the media and cutting through the hype.
Weight training doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Following a few principles (or avoiding a few harmful practices) will help you start out right with your training at our Pickering gym.
- Have a plan. Winging it when you go to work out leads to ineffective workouts. There are lots of great plans out there. Find one that sounds simple and manageable, then follow it consistently.
- Stick to the basics. There are lots of fancy machines and techniques out there, but simple body weight and free weight exercises will never let you down.
- Keep it functional. Unless you’re into body sculpting competitions, focus on exercises that move the way the body was intended to bear weight. That means a lot of exercises that utilize major muscle groups rather than isolating minor, supporting muscles. This will boost your strength gains, burn more calories, decrease the likelihood of injuries, and translate to better performance in your day to day activities outside the gym.
- Increase workout density. Rather than a leisurely strength workout with lots of rest, try programs like circuit training that cycle through sets exercising various muscle groups during times you would otherwise be resting. This increases the intensity of your workout for greater strength and fat burning results in less time.
- Create variety. Be consistent with your workouts, but be sure to sprinkle in some variety by doing slightly different exercises from time to time, doing different workouts on different days, or warming up (or capping off) your workout with different activities. This will help keep you from getting bored and keep muscles from getting too efficient at any one exercise, which reduces gains from your workout.
- Rest and recover! This is by far the most neglected healthy practice that needs to be part of every fitness program. Muscles don’t grow during workouts – they grow after while you’re resting, especially when sleeping. Make sure you are sufficiently recovered to get the most of your next workout and avoid injury.
- Don’t forget to warm up/ramp up. Properly introducing your muscles to movement when they’ve been at rest increases their capacity while working out, meaning greater gains; it also helps prevent injury.
- Don’t overcomplicate your workout. The most effective workouts are the ones you do. Keep the plan simple and you’re more likely to follow through.
- Don’t overdo any one thing. More isn’t always better. Focusing on just one muscle group for an entire workout just exhausts your muscles, makes recovery take longer, and leads to injury or burnout. Instead, work every major muscle group with every workout – like you would in functional training — the way the human body was designed to do when performing laborious activities.
- Don’t replace food with supplements. Supplements were designed to supplement wholesome diets. Eat high quality foods dense with protein, fat, and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and top that off with supplements only if you need a little something extra you aren’t getting in your diet.
- Don’t ignore warning signs. Pay attention to when you’re tired, aching, hurt, moody, etc. Abnormalities such as these are the precursors to injury, overtraining, and burnout – all of which take longer to fix than to avoid in the first place. Sometimes it’s better just to take a day off.
Keeping these tips in mind, see if results from your strength training program here at our gym in Pickering don’t improve!