This week for Workout Wednesday I want to answer some frequently asked questions or even concerns when it comes to weight lifting. Weight lifting is very good for your body and you should never be afraid to pick up those weights.
Weight Lifting FAQ
1. Will I get bulky?
– If you are a female, No. Women do not and cannot, naturally produce as much testosterone as males do, it is impossible for a woman to gain huge amounts of muscle mass by merely touching some weights. Unfortunately, the image that comes to mind is most often that of a bodybuilders and bodybuilders push their bodies by working out several hours a day and eating heaps amount of food which is not what you will be doing by lifting weight a few times a week.
2. When do I add more weight?
– There are a few clues that can help you know when to add more weight. First, the last set that you do shouldn’t be easy. Second, increasing the weight by a few pounds every week or so will give you great results! Use your judgement, not all exercises will be upped every time. If you complete your sets and reps with ease, add weight next time.
3. How many reps do I do?
– Switch it up! Sometimes, do 5 sets of 5 reps, other times 3 sets of 10-12 reps. For the purpose of general exercise reaching max reps is not necessary.
4. I’m intimidated by the weight room, what can I do?
– First, I can assure you that everyone starts somewhere and everyone as had this weight room induced anxiety! My #1 tip for this would be to go in prepared, write down your workout, take your phone with you because if you don’t know how to do an exercise you can easily look it up on your phone. (that’s what I do) Don’t be afraid to ask for help, the workers are there for a reason. If you are intimidated because you feel like you’re not lifting “heavy” enough, again, everyone starts somewhere and no one is judging you for lifting 5 pounds, it’s quite the opposite, people are proud of you for putting in the work! You’re doing it to better yourself, make yourself stronger and happier so just go for it! Next time you’re at the gym, I want you to walk in the weight room like you know exactly what you’re doing and then come tell me how it went!
5. Beginner Tips
– See #4.
6. What are the Different Weight Lifting Methods?
Bodybuilding – Bodybuilders train in a specific manner to achieve a specific goal — bigger muscles. They tend to lift in the 8 to 12 rep range and only train one muscle group per day, per week. This type of training is the best for making your muscles larger but not necessarily stronger. I’m not saying that bodybuilders aren’t strong but they usually train for aesthetics more than strength.
Power Lifting – Power lifting is the best type of training for maximal strength. A power lifter’s goal isn’t appearance, it’s strength. Power lifters focus on lifting an extremely heavy amount of weight for only a few repetitions.
Circuit Training – Circuit training is when you do a number of exercises in quick succession, usually lifting a light amount of weight for a high number of reps. This type of training is ideal for burning fat, increasing endurance and making some gains in strength. Example: 25 squats, 20 bench press and 20 shoulder presses with little or no breaks in between.
Isometric – Isometric weight training is when you hold a weight up in one position for a given amount of time without going through a range of motion. This gives you greater stamina and strength in the muscles that you’re working. This kind of weight training is great for rock climbers or gymnasts. Example: hold a straight dumbbell in front of you for 30 seconds.
High-Volume Training – Similar to bodybuilding in the sense that you work on muscle group at a time, a week. Not only does it make your muscles larger, it also makes them better at keeping up a certain amount of resistance for a long period of time. It is done is by performing one exercise at a time, lifting the same amount of weight 10 times for 10 sets and each week upping your weights a little.
7. Should I wear shoes when weight lifting? If so, what kind are the best?
This articles explains this quite well: Weight Lifing Shoes.
8. Will I lose all gains if I don’t eat within 30 minutes of my gym session?
– If you’re a pro athlete you should eat something like a bar or shake after your gym session to quick start the recovery process and help maximize healing. If you are someone who goes to the gym for yourself, health and fitness then it’s not necessary to eat right after the gym if you’re going to go home for lunch or dinner within an hour. Downing these “snacks” just an hour or so before eating a regular dinner, can mean giving your body far more than it needs for recovery, which results in feeding your fat cells, rather than shrinking them. If it’s a little longer than an hour, have something like almonds which have protein, good fats and nutrients to tie you over.
9. How often should I lift?
– You can lift everyday, if that’s what you want. So long as you don’t work the same muscle group 2 consecutive days in a row. Also, I recommend 1-2 days off a week to recover. Always listen to your body, it will let you know what it needs!
10. What’s the difference between free weights & machines?
– It’s been established that machines allow movement only in a predetermined plane or movement path so that balancing the resistance in all directions is not necessary. However, free-weight exercises require balancing the weight in all directions, which makes learning exercise technique for them more difficult than for machine exercises. There are advantages to both, machines that allow movement in only one plane and direction, thus isolating a muscle group, are useful when the training goal is to increase strength/power or local muscular endurance. Free-weight exercises are a good choice if the training goal is to strengthen total-body movements and improve coordination between various muscle groups.
I hope that I was able to answer these questions in a helpful manner! If you have anymore questions, leave a comment below and I will make another post like this one!
PS. If you want to lift weights do it! The only person stand in your way is YOU!