I was a personal trainer many years ago, and I am happy to report that many of the same principles still apply. The difference is, now we are muddled up with the new trends that might be doing us more harm than good. So...ladies and gentlemen let's begin.
Some common myths
- "I will get too bulky if I lift weights." Not true, unless you are taking steroids. If you are a woman you must remember that women's bodies are different when it comes to muscle. We can increase tone, and shape by lifting.
- "The muscles turn to fat later on." Only if you abandon good eating habits. We lose muscle mass as we get older, but you can slow the effects by training the muscles.
- "You should go to the gym everyday." Not a good idea. You shouldn't got to the gym more than 4 times a week. Muscles need rest to grow.
- "Working harder, builds more muscles." Muscle overload has a diminishing return. Working too hard can slow down progress, just as under-training can.
Benefits of weight training
Increase in strength, good for all areas of your life, and lessens your chance of injury.
Helps prevent chronic disease just as other types of exercise.
Prevents obesity, especially in the aging adult. Having muscles mass increases fat burning potential;You can actually eat more without putting on extra fat.
You should notice an increase in overall energy.
Experts think weight training may improve bone density.
Gaining power, strength and agility can go a long way to reduce age related changes, says studies from Harvard. Check out www.health.harvard.edu.
What types of exercise should you include?
Pick ones that use multiple muscle groups, rather than specific isolation exercises.This means, instead of working just one group of muscles, focus on exercises that include more than one muscle group. Things like squats, bench press, dead lifts and leg presses...even push-ups and chin ups (if you can do them). Start slow. Using free weights, instead of machines yields better results.
** To get the best results, you must gradually increase the weight. If you use the same weight each time, you will not progress. This is why we see people who go to the gym and always look the same. Strength and muscle tone come from a principle called "progressive overload." Most competitive athletes also use this principle. Of course, we have to start at a low weight. You should be able to do at least 10 reps, if not start lower. Doing more than 10 reps will likely just exhaust the muscles.
Eating properly is a must for muscles to grow. Nutrition Weight and Wellness considers healthy eating as eating a balance of real foods, no processed food. Check out their podcasts at www.weightandwellness.com.
People of all ages have been weight training for years with great results. You can help prevent bone loss.You only have to go 2-3 times per week to achieve benefits.You can choose alternative days for either cardio or rest. Most importantly, enjoy your workouts.
Guest post by Debbie L Belair