How long should you workout in the weight room? The answer is to workout smarter, which doesn’t necessarily require a set amount of time. Find out what we mean below:
When you’re at the gym, it’s common to see 1 of 2 types of weight and resistance trainers. The first type is the person who seems to be tossing and heaving their weights around as if there is nothing to it and doing it at the quickest speed that their bodies will allow. Those same people are also the ones who normally bang and clank the weight-plates on the machines. They have to be pretty strong for all that, right? On the other hand, the second type of person can normally be seen making a conscious effort to watch their breathing patterns, focusing on a slower lifting pace and keeping an eye on their form and posture.
So, who’s got it right? Do you think you can pick which one of these types is the more beneficial of the two? Is it the fast-paced lifters or those with the slow and steady moves?
Well, if you said the second type, congratulations! You nailed it. If you’re confused and thinking, “Wait a minute. I always thought that the faster you work out and the more repetitions you can get in during a set time is the best way to get results?” Hey! It’s O.K.! You obviously aren’t the only one out there who has been thinking this is the way to go. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having this discussion! Continue reading below to find out what the pros are of slow, steady and concentrated training and the cons of aggressive, speedy training.
How can slower and more controlled training benefit you?
Whether you are working your triceps (backs of your arms) by using a dumbbell for an overhead extension or your pectorals (chest) by using a fly machine, you are causing microscopic tears in your muscles. Wait! Before you panic, this is ABSOLUTELY 100% o.k. In fact, it is supposed to happen!
These little tears are caused by the actions you are performing when going through the full motion of your exercises – slowly and steadily. These minor tears will fuse back together and will be even stronger than they were before! Like I have said in previous articles, you want to give your muscles a good 24-48 hour rest period before working them again. This is so they can go through that recovery process and grow back together to be even better! The straining and slight tearing is what slowly but surely builds up strength in our muscles and gives us that nice toned definition we are all looking for.
TIP: When doing your exercise, inhale during your movement and count slowly to two. Pause when you feel your contraction, then slowly exhale and release by the same two count.
So, why is the first type of training that involves speedier, jerking motions, not as beneficial?
You saw above where I told you that you would build a leaner looking, more sculpted figure by keeping your movements to a slower pace, right? Well, there is your answer! By using faster motions instead of more concentrated, isolated moves, your muscles aren’t being given the opportunity to develop those micro tears. Without those little tears, there is a lesser chance of strength and definition development.
Quick, bursting movements aren’t meant for weight and resistance training when it comes to toning up your muscles. Those types of moves are for HIIT workouts, advanced circuit training and, of course, for those “power lifting” fanatics. The risk of you becoming seriously injured or permanently damaging a part of your body increases dramatically when you practice your weight and resistance training in such vigorous ways. Not to mention, I don’t know about you, but I get pretty agitated whenever I am in the middle of my workout and the person next to me is either throwing their weights down on the floor or clanking the plates loudly on whatever machine they are on. It’s not going to be as effective as they are hoping for and, well, it’s just plain rude!
If you didn’t already know before, you do now! Just like the story of the Tortoise and the Hare – slow and steady is the way to weight and resistance training success! Speed isn’t always going to get you a victory! In fact, if you are new to the gym or just feel like you might need a little bit of guidance on how some basic machines work, look no further! We have a GREAT 11 Minute Circuit! One of our qualified Circuit Trainers would LOVE to take you through and answer ANY questions you may have.