Weight Lifting Guide to Weight Loss and a Healthy Heart
Weight lifting is a type of exercise that has so many benefits that everyone should be practicing it. According to recent studies, you don’t even need to do much lifting in order to become both healthier and slimmer. However, it’s essential to start your strength training the right way to avoid injury.
Benefits of Weight Lifting for Health and Weight Loss
First and foremost, weight lifting is an excellent heart-health booster. As heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the country, this type of exercise is a must for everyone. And a recent study by Iowa State University shows that you get heart-strengthening benefits even if you only do up to an hour of weight lifting a week. That is enough to cut the risk of stroke or heart attack by as much as 40-70%.
Another great reason to start lifting weights is weight loss. This type of exercise is as effective as cardio for burning calories (Journal of Applied Physiology). In fact, according to a Wake Forest University study, older adults will lose more weight and gain more overall health benefits by prioritizing strength training. To achieve maximum results, you’ll need to look up what to eat to lose weight fast. Then combine this diet with an exercise routine that has you lifting weights every other day at the least. But remember to up your protein intake when planning your meals. This is necessary to help your muscles grow.
Other important benefits of strength training include strengthening of your bones and muscles. You also increase your stamina by lifting weights.
How to Start with Weight Lifting: Complete Beginner’s Guide
The most important thing to remember when you are only starting to lift weights is that you shouldn’t overwork yourself. This type of training can do serious damage if you are unprepared.
Tips that will help you stay safe include:
- Start with a weight lower than you think you can handle.
As a complete beginner, start with the absolute minimum. It doesn’t matter if it seems too simple on your first training. You need to work your way up gradually and not skip any steps to ‘feel the strain’.
- Increase weight after 30 simple reps.
The weight becomes too light for you when you can do 30 reps of your exercises without tiring. At this point, you can go to the next level. However, never add more than 5% of weight at a time.
- Rest between sets (but not too much).
Resting is essential for a weight lifting training, so you need to treat it seriously. Don’t try to rush if you feel full of energy. This increases the risk of injury by overworking your muscles and joints. Instead, take a short (30-90 seconds) break between sets of reps. Note that you shouldn’t rest too long either because this will reduce the overall efficiency of the workout.
- Drink plenty of water (possibly with electrolytes).
Staying hydrated is vital for your health by default. However, it’s even more important during a weight lifting workout because the effort will have you losing water at an extremely fast pace. As you’ll be ‘sweating buckets’, you should consider taking an electrolyte drink to make up for the micronutrients you lose along with liquids.
- Don’t rush your reps.
It’s important to not only avoid increasing weight too fast. You also need to focus on every repetition of the exercise. Fast movements have no place in strength training. Instead, you need to complete every motion carefully and make sure your arms/legs are in correct positions at all times. This will reduce the number of reps you can do at first as you’ll have to learn new moves and develop proper muscle memory.