Strength training is a popular way to work out for many people. As well as helping you build muscle, it can also burn fat. People who do strength training often come to love it and do it every day. Whether or not you already do some training, there are bound to be some things you don’t know about it. It’s important to educate yourself so that you can make sure your workouts are safer and more effective. Whether you want to be strong and lean or look like a bodybuilder, there’s a lot to learn about lifting weights. Educate yourself with the facts below to make sure you get it right.
You Don’t Have to Be a Gym Bunny
Many people picture strength training as the realm of bodybuilders. They picture huge muscles as the end result and might think it’s not for them. But there are many ways to work out with weights of all sizes and shapes. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up or build large amounts of muscle, you can create a regime that helps you meet your goals. Strength training isn’t only for people who want to be huge, and neither are gyms. You can find your place in a strength training community if you want to or just work toward your goals on your own.
You Should Combine Strength Training with Cardio
People often compare strength training to cardio exercise. However, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. In fact, it’s best to combine the two types of exercise if you want to get the best results. You’ll be able to work on different muscle groups. You can keep your cardiovascular system healthy and improve your stamina. The two types of discipline complement each other, so you should try to do both. However, it’s important that you get the balance right. Too much cardio could impact your weight training and make it harder to build muscle.
You Need the Right Shoes
Not everyone gives a lot of thought to the gear they need for lifting weights. They think as long as they dress comfortably, they’re ready to go. But you might be surprised to learn that your shoes could make a lot more difference than you think. Getting a steady grip on the floor when standing or sitting or on a machine when working your legs is important. You can even find specialist weight lifting shoes to help give you an edge. You can use them for everyday training, but they’re especially good for competing. Alternatively, you might just want to look at any decent sports shoes.
Free Weights Are More Effective Than Machines
If you’re trying to find the best ways to work out when strength training, free weights are best. While weight machines have their merits, free weights can provide more benefits. You have to use more muscles to pick them up and use them. You don’t have anything holding them in place or assisting them. It’s entirely up to you to hold them in the correct position. You’ll be using more muscle and strength to keep stable. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t use machines. But starting with free weights is a good idea.
Bench Press is More Dangerous Than You Might Think
There’s always the potential to do damage to yourself when you’re working out. However, most of the time the injury could be to a muscle or perhaps a tendon. But some accidents could be fatal. When you do bench presses, it’s essential to pay attention to safety. There are several deaths a year due to people dropping a weight they cannot hold. You could end up with the bar on your neck or even a weight dropping on your chest. When performing a bench press, you should have someone spot you or use a bench with safety bars. It’s also important to be aware of your limits and hold the bar correctly.
Nutrition Is Essential
Many people underestimate the importance of diet when they start working out. It’s essential to pay attention to what you eat if you want to start strength training. Some people don’t start paying attention to their diet until they get really serious about their training. But you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to adjust your diet for better weight lifting results. If you want to gain muscle, make sure that you’re eating more than your body needs to get through the day. However, it’s also important not to eat too much so you can avoid putting on fat instead of muscle.
It’s Not All About the Arms
It’s easy to think of strength training as being all about your arms. However, working out your legs and the rest of your body is just as important. Don’t forget to have a leg day, where you get to give your arms a break at the same time. This is also another bonus of doing cardio and other disciplines. You can make sure you get a full body workout, and you’re not focusing too much on one area. Of course, there might be one thing you want to work on, in particular. However, you don’t want to focus on it so much that you become unbalanced.
People Are Judging You Less Than You Think
The world of bodybuilding and strength training is often seen as a judgmental one. However, you can find that people are thinking about what you’re doing much less than you believe they are. Everyone is at the gym to achieve their own goals, and most are too busy working on themselves to worry about you. Of course, there will always be some people who care a bit too much about what others are doing. But it shouldn’t matter what others think. Everyone has to learn a new skill, and it can take a while for you to feel confident.
There are often misconceptions about strength training. If you think it’s not for you, don’t dismiss the idea of it too quickly.