Don't Fear Dumbbells - Resistance Training
To Build Muscle & Burn Fat
"No pain, no gain" seems to be the mantra of resistance
training, or weight training. The only way you'll get anywhere is if you push
your body beyond sane limits for three hours a day every day, right?
not necessarily. "No discomfort, no gain" is more realistic.
you want to get a physique on par with a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, then yes,
you'll be going through some serious physical pain to get there. However, if you
just want to look good and feel healthy and energetic, then resistance training
is nothing to fear.
Resistance training works by stressing a muscle or muscle
group by pushing or pulling a weighted object, like a barbell, dumbbell, cable
apparatus, etc. The body will synthesize new tissue to accommodate the demands
placed on it by resistance training.
Resistance training differs from cardio
in that cardio work is relatively long, and the degree of effort is low to moderate.
With resistance training, the duration is very short, but the effort is much higher.
key to weight training is communicating correctly with your body. Resistance training
must reach a level that induces the body to change, which means you must tire
your muscles out. As muscles fatigue, lactic acid builds up in them, which causes
that familiar burning sensation. That burning is your body's way of saying, "OK,
I got the message!"
If you feel nothing, that's exactly what's happening
to your body. If you see no changes from your efforts, then your body is telling
you the exercises aren't working and you should try something else. The body adapts
very quickly, so you must be even quicker. Your routines should change every three
to four weeks.
There are three types of resistance training: heavy, with
the heaviest weights and only four to six reps per set; moderate, with lighter
weights and eight to ten reps; and light, with the lightest weights and 20 reps
per set. By switching the type of training every few weeks, you stress your body
in different ways and force it to adapt.
To gauge how much weight you should
be lifting, take your moderate weight, ten-rep cycle. If you can complete the
last rep on the last set of each exercise without any difficulty, add more weight.
Adjust your heavy and light cycles accordingly.
For most beginning and intermediate
exercisers, training each body part (chest, back, shoulders, arms, legs, abs)
by doing two or three exercises, with three or four sets per exercise, is plenty.
Two to three weight training sessions and two to three cardio sessions per week
will bring you excellent results.
The secret is to focus and train hard.
Most likely, you should only work two body parts per workout. The exception would
be legs, which are the toughest to work because they're the strongest muscles
you have. Legs are usually worked by themselves.
Don't be afraid of resistance
training. Once you find what works for you and your body, you'll see a whole new
world of results.