What is Weight Training?
As the name suggests, weight training is
simply "exercising with weights". It is often referred to as
strength training or resistance
training. It includes exercises that lift your own body weight, such
as push-ups or chin-ups. The aim of weight-training is to raise strength
levels in order to improve general physical fitness. Don't confuse weight-training
with weight-lifting, or bodybuilding.
Types of Weight Training
A type of resistance training where the resistance does not change throughout
the range of motion. Most gym weight-machines are isotonic, as are freeweights.
For example, a dumbbell provides the same resistance throughout the motion
of a biceps curl.
This type of weight or strength-training exercises are a type of exercise
in which a force is applied to a resistant object, (as in, say, arm wrestling)
causing muscle contractions during which the length of the muscle doesn't
alter. Although there is a build up of tension in the muscles there is
no actual movement. Isometric exercises are included in fitness programs
for muscle strengthening.
Weight Training Exercises
In addition to lifting weights or using gym
apparatus, weight-training may also include exercises which involve lifting
the body against the resistance of gravity. Examples of such exercises
include: squat-thrusts, chin-ups, push-ups, ab-crunches and so on. Weight
training simply means adding resistance/load to the muscles natural movements,
to make them work harder and thus grow stronger.
Advice About the Best Weight Training Program
First, decide on your fitness goals. For example: Do you simply want better
muscle-tone and better cardiovascular fitness? Or is muscle-strength or
muscle-endurance more important? Or do you wish to strengthen specific
muscles or muscle-groups? And so on.
Improved Muscle Tone
If you want to improve muscle tone and cardiovascular performance, try
circuit-training. This involves performing a wide variety of very short
exercises to benefit all-round body strength, and muscle-tone.
Improved Muscle Strength
On the other hand, if you want to increase muscle strength, design your
weight-training workout around a smaller variety of gym weight-machines
that target the main muscle groups. Alternate this with strength-building
cardio routines, like cycling, stepping and elliptical training.
Personal Weight Training Program
For a personalised weight-training program that offers the best possible
fitness results, consult a professional, like a certified fitness trainer,
or a strength and conditioning coach at your local gym.
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