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3 Ways to Get the Most from Your Weight Lifting

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Most of us like to lift weights to build muscle and to improve our strength.

We often forget about WHY we are lifting the weight.    

By lifting weights, we are increasing the intensity of the contraction in our muscles.  By contracting our muscles, we actually make our muscle fibers bigger over time.  (If you want to be really scientific, this is known as hypertrophy.)

Now, you can spend your time moving a dumbbell from Point A to Point B and call it a workout.  But, if you really want to get the most out of your weight training sessions, here are three easy-to-follow tips.


EDUCATE YOURSELF

Before you even start with a weight training regimen, it’s really important to understand what muscles you’re actually working.  

There are some excellent resources out there, such as “The Anatomy for Strength and Fitness Training:  An Illustrated Guide to Your Muscles in Action” by Mark Vella, Nick Walters

A great way to be able to feel which muscles are contracting is to do isometric exercises (a type of strength training in which the joint angle and the muscle length does not change during the contraction/exercise.  In other words, contracting your muscle without movement).  Some examples are wall sits, or just simply tightening your muscles and then releasing them.  

While you may not be building muscle this way, you can actually get quite a workout. You will really be able to feel those muscles contracting and it will help you to understand how your body works.  


FOCUS ON SPECIFIC MUSCLES

In order for strength training to be effective, you need to concentrate on the specific muscle you’re targeting.

The people that are most successful with weight training really focus on what muscle or muscle group they are working, every time they bring that weight up or lower it down.  

Yes, it’s great to lift weights and it feels so good when you’re done, but if you’ve finished and you just whipped the weights around and didn’t really pay attention to those muscles while you’re working them, you’ve lost a huge component of your workout.  


AVOID DISTRACTIONS

Anything you can do to avoid distractions during your workouts will help you pay attention and focus more on what you’re doing.

Hints to avoid distractions during your strength training workouts:

●    Put your cell phone away during your workout
●    Avoid watching TV while working out.
●    Enjoy music, but avoid having earbuds in your ears.



With these three habits in mind, you’ll be on your way to better strength training.  Still feel like you could use some guidance?  Get in touch with me at angela@acaciafitness.com and we’ll work on it together!

Blog posted from Edmonton, AB, Canada View larger map
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Guest Wednesday, 24 May 2017