Lifting weights is a fantastic activity for many reasons. When done correctly and with consistency it can help you to build stronger muscles and to develop your muscular endurance. This can be useful and desirable for an extensive range of reasons, and can be especially useful for those looking to enhance their health and physical appearance.
Weight Lifting for Strength
Muscular strength is important because it can make several everyday tasks much easier. For example, if you need to lift a heavy object, or carry items from one place to another, then being physically strong will make this much easier. Not only does it make it easier, but can also help to protect against injury, as your body will be much more prepared for any intense activity that it engages in.
If it is your aim to build big muscles and bulk up, then lifting very heavy weights for a low number of repetitions is said to be the best way to do this.
You may try going as low as even just one or two repeptitions of a weight that you wouldn't be able to lift much more of! However, if you prefer, you could still achieve the same results by going slightly lighter and aiming for up to five repetitions. Always try to aim for between three and five sets when you are lifting in this way.
Weight Lifting for Stamina
Muscle stamina is important because it makes it much easier to be consistently active. It means that you are less likely to get worn out quickly, and this can help you to maintain your energy throughout each day. If your job is physically demanding then increasing your muscle stamina is a great way to make your working day feel easier.
If you play sports, whether by yourself or in a team, then a better level of muscular endurance is likely to improve your sporting ability.
If you wish to develop your stamina and muscular endurance, then lifting light weights for a high number of repetitions is suggested as the best way to achieve this. Aiming for between ten and 15 repetitions at a weight that you find to be manageable but still challenging, is the best way to achieve this fitness goal. When lifting at this intensity, two to three sets of each exercise will be adequate.
Strength or Stamina
Although different people have different aims when it comes to their health and fitness, the two most popular aims are generally to build strength or to enhance stamina.
The truth is that even though it is of course okay to have a particular aim in mind, that working to develop both strength and stamina is best for optimum health. Working towards overall health and fitness, as opposed to focusing on just one or two specific areas, is better for your body in the long-term.
Not only will building your muscle be great for your strength and your stamina, but it can also help you to lose weight or to maintain your current weight with greater ease. Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does, so the more of it you gain, the easier it is to keep your weight under control.
Intensity and Frequency
You may think that going to the gym for a long period of time is going to be the best way to reach your muscle goals. However, it is incredibly important that you give your body ample time to rest in between workouts. If you don't do this then your muscles aren't going to be able to repair and grow in a healthy and sustainable way.
It is generally advised that you leave between 24 and 48 hours between workouts that focus on the same muscle group. It is, however, fine to exercise different muscle groups without allowing for this rest time. If for example you were to do a leg workout on one day, then you shouldn't focus on your legs again until at least two days later. During these two days that you are not doing a leg workout, you can focus on a different muscle group instead, such as your shoulders or biceps. And so the cycle continues!
Additionally, make sure you are giving yourself one or two full days of rest from exercise a week so that your body can truly recover. If you find it difficult to not exercise during these days then you may try having active rest days instead. An active rest day might include gentle activities, such as swimming, yoga, walking, or simply some deep stretching.
Starting a new exercise regime can be difficult, especially if you are not familiar with certain exercises or pieces of gym equipment. If you are unfortunate enough to injure yourself exercising, or whilst playing sports, then it is important that you seek the very best care immediately. In these instances, an orthopedic specialist for sports injuries may be required.
This is a service we are able to offer to the highest standard at Onto Orthopedics, so don't hesitate to get in touch if you have experienced this kind of injury!