A woman who is serious about losing weight and getting a toned body might purchase membership at a gym where she can benefit from using the full range of exercise equipment. She might jump on a treadmill, straddle a stationary bicycle or elliptical machine for an hour, then go straight home, thinking that her workout day is done. But this routine is considered a cardio workout, which will only get her so far when it comes to building a lean body. The secret to real toning and strength is to incorporate a weightlifting session into your workouts – the results will surprise and probably delight you!
But before heading to the dumbbell zone, make sure you know what you’re doing. Performing weight lifting moves incorrectly can cost you more than time and energy, or even a few aches and pains. It can lead to major injury. So it really pays to do a bit of research and do a few sessions under the watchful eyes of an expert. This will help you reach your goal faster and safely. But for some basic pointers, here are a few weightlifting mistakes you should try not to make.
Not having a plan
Doing a weightlifting session without having an actual plan and goal in mind could mean you’re wasting precious time. If you don’t do your homework and plan your schedule, you’ll be aimlessly lifting the dumbbells without knowing your limit or the effects on your body and muscle groups. You may cast your eyes around and observe other gym members’ routines, of course, but their routines are not tailored for you. You’re never going to get the results you want if you just pick up weights and lift them at random. You need a plan for what you want to achieve in terms of strength and toning.
Only doing lifts you love
It’s normal to follow a routine that you know best. But when you only focus on doing the weights and reps you enjoy, or which seem easier, you’re merely reinforcing muscles that are already strong, and ignoring other parts that require your attention. When you do certain lifts, ask yourself whether it’s a challenge or not. If you need to put in a lot of effort, then those are the moves you need to start doing more of. Get better at them, and your whole weight lifting workout will improve.
Lifting too little or too much weight
You need to make weightlifting a challenge for your body, otherwise it’s never going to be as toned or as strong as you desire. Small three-pound dumbbells aren’t going to help you much in muscle building, fat burning, or strength building. Likewise, a whopping 20-pound weight just isn’t going to do much good if you can barely lift it. Finding the perfect weight for you takes time and practice. When you find the right match, however, you’ll be on the fast track to promising results. Our advice is to start with small weights, and slowly work your way up, increasing a few pounds at a time. Follow your weightlifting plans – if you can maintain the same lifting tempo throughout the session, and the last repetition feels nearly impossible, then you’re doing it right.
Resting between sets for too long
Taking breaks for too long during a weightlifting session not only wastes your precious gym time – it also lessens your results. When you give your muscles more rest time than they require, they will treat every set like a warm up rather than a legitimate workout. You will normally need no more than 30 seconds of rest after ten or more reps, before moving on to your next set.
So, the next time you hit the gym, don’t steer clear of the weight room. Instead, enjoy the added workout and know that your weightlifting efforts will produce great results for your body.
Feeling the need to add some weight to your daily routine? Unsure of what to do in the gym? Give us a call today and we can help create your very own workout schedule.