How to Pick the Weightlifting Routines That Match Your Fitness Goals
Are you looking to lose weight, build strength and achieve an ideal body form? Your resistance training and weight lifting exercises are crucial to attaining your health and fitness goals. In fact, research proves that you can effectively drop more pounds boost metabolism by combining weight training and cardio exercises that burn calories and replace fat with lean muscle. Apart from the weight loss, resistance training also results in higher bone density, better muscle-joint coordination, improved agility and better balance. In athletes, weight lifting routines boost strength while increasing resistance to injury.
One of the issues besetting weightlifting exercise enthusiasts is the limited, confusing and often-intimidating weight training “routines” shown in magazines. Newbies are made to believe these exercises are only for the fully buffed up guys who have embraced marathons as part of daily living.
The most pressing question then, is this: how do you choose the best weightlifting routine for your personal goals?
Here are some common selections that will help you make that informed decision:
Body Split Training
In this training, you are essentially splitting your workouts so that they target different muscle groups. Say, you can plan a 5-day body split training during the week to include exercises for your chest, back and abs; shoulders, biceps and triceps; quads and calves; shoulders and abs; and hamstrings and low back for each day of the week.
A staple in the bodybuilding crowd, Body Split Training allows you to target a specific muscle group. You can perform back-to-back sets, pyramiding up or down, and lifting of weights, as well as pre-fatiguing, super-slow, bouncing, negative, and a host of other trainings. In this routine, you can go as a high as 10 sets per exercise, with repetitions falling anywhere within the range of 8 and 20. You can opt for a short 10-second rest or a long-5-minute break. With proper training and ample rest, this can result in large and well-defined muscles.
Most of us tend to associate weightlifting programs with resistance training. While this is not entirely correct, people have basis for thinking this way. Traditional weightlifting consists of 8 to 10 exercises that work your entire body. Typically, this involves 3 to 4 exercises repeated 10 to12 reps and with 45 to 60 seconds of rest after each set. This kind of routine is usually performed 3 to 4 times each week.
Weightlifting is your direct route to building strength, increasing bone density and adding lean muscle. Because weightlifting entails significant “resting” in between exercises, it neither torches calories nor elicits cardiovascular response as much as other types of lifting do. If you target maximum weight loss, body toning or athletics training, weightlifting programs may not necessarily lead you to that. If your goal is simply to maintain fitness and keep your body strong, you can try this kind of training.
Circuit Style Training
Trying to get the most bang for your buck in your resistance routine? The circuit style training program may be the best option for you. This usually consists of multi- movements combined to target joints and muscular groups. The heart rate and metabolism can get screaming high during a circuit training workout, especially as you increase the intensity of the exercises. In performing these exercises one after another, you are required to take minimal rest in between, making it highly effective in giving you positive results as far as your levels of energy, strength and fitness are concerned.
In performing the Circuit Style Training exercises, the repetitions typically rest in the 10 to 20 range. Many of the exercises are performed with a cardio component, such as 25 ball throws, 250 meter rows or a 2-minute treadmill sprint. Many people who desire weight loss and toning usually get into routines that are similar to circuit style training. For instance, a 20–30 minute core routine is performed every day of the week to melt away fat, literally!
The downside to circuit style training? Since you are allowed short rest period only, you will find that your strength levels get only minimal improvement compared to body split training or traditional weightlifting.
Periodization essentially involves the proper planning an entire year’s worth of training. In this process, you divide the year into “periods” or workout cycles to include a different weightlifting approach for each.
Many fitness enthusiasts divide their training year into these 5 periods: the off-season, the muscular endurance building season, the muscular strength and/or mass building season, the power and strength development season, and the strength maintenance or competition season.
Apparently, this style of training works best for an athlete who is preparing for a competition. It allows an athlete to “peak” or reach maximum physiological preparation prior to the event. It is worth mentioning, however that the periodization weightlifting scheme for someone who is looking to take home the Ironman triathlete title might look different for a basketball or football player. Even so, all the routines are anchored to the underlying objective of taking the body through several different training periods to allow for peak performance. In this regard, no serious athlete should plan a weightlifting routine without periodization.
To be able to design personalized weightlifting routines, you need to be knowledgeable about what each exercise does. It is also crucial to avoid the “training plateau” by constantly changing your workout. More often than not, you will need a personal trainer to do all these for you, especially when your fitness plans are for the purpose of gearing up for a professional sporting event.