For the past several months, you’ve devotedly completed multiple cardio sessions each week at the gym. While you’ve noticed some positive results, you feel you’ll never reach your goal weight or sculpt the body of your dreams. If you can relate to this common scenario, you need to introduce weight training into your weekly gym routines. And, you can optimize your new strength training sessions by adhering to the following four tips.
Establish Concrete Goals
If you don’t establish concrete weight training goals, you won’t be able to accurately measure your success. You might also end up aimlessly lifting free weights and working out on weight machines at the gym. To help you set realistic objectives, seek guidance from an experienced personal trainer. This individual can assess your current fitness levels, desired future results, and exercise interests in order to develop a customized strength training program for you. Whenever you reach a goal, no matter how small, celebrate your accomplishment. For instance, when you hit a bench press goal, you could:
- Buy yourself a new pair of yoga pants
- Invest in some new free weights
- Get a massage
- Indulge in a soothing, warm bath
- Read a book
Planning celebrations for achieving future objectives will help power you on whenever you become tired or frustrated at the gym.
Always Complete a Warm-Up
Cold muscles are prone to pulls and tears. To prevent injuries when weight training, you should always complete a warm-up. Like a cool-down, a warm-up needs to consist of five to ten minutes of light aerobic exercise. Some examples of effective warm-up routines include:
- Jumping rope
- Jumping jacks
- Marching in place
Choose the Perfect Size of Weights
To make the most of your strength training workouts, you must utilize the perfect size of weights. If you lift weights that are too heavy for you, you increase your odds of sustaining painful injuries. However lifting weights that are too light will preclude you from challenging your muscles effectively. To determine the correct sizes of weights for you to lift, consult with a staff member or personal trainer at your gym. As a general rule, you shouldn’t be able to lift a weight more than eight times using the proper form and technique. If you can correctly lift a weight thirty times in a row, it’s likely too light for you.
Ensure Proper Nutrition
Regardless of whether you’re engaging in cardio or resistance training, getting the proper nutrition will help you achieve your desired results faster. With strength training in particular, eating adequate amounts of post workout protein is vital. Protein plays an important part in muscle health by aiding to restore the muscle tissues you strain during strength training workouts. Instead of relying on supplements, concentrate on deriving most of your post workout protein intake from healthy foods such as:
- Steak stir-fry
- Two hard boiled eggs
- Hummus and whole grain pita chips
- A turkey sandwich on whole grain bread
- A grilled chicken salad
To maximize your gym experience, you need to incorporate both cardio and weight training into your fitness program. While cardio will help you burn calories, strength training will help you develop long, lean muscles. To improve the chances that your new resistance training program will be successful, consider following the aforementioned four tips.