Hi! Lee Labrada here! I am often asked by people in the gym for basic tips to help them in their workouts. Here are 3 basic, but important essentials of weight training program:
1. Warming Up
The goal here is to heat up your muscles and tendons with lighter weights to get them elastic and ready for the heavier weights you’ll use in the “productive” heavier sets of your workout. This is important in order to prevent injuries that can stop your progress. Muscles are like rubber bands; warm ones are elastic and will stretch. Cold ones are brittle and will pop!
On cold days, do 10 minutes of cardio prior to lifting to raise your core body temperature.
Stimulate, don’t annihilate. You want to stress the muscle enough to induce a growth response, but not so much that you over train it and break it down more than you can recover from. Think about sun tanning. The right amount will of sun will get you nice and tan. Too much results in a sunburn. Same with muscles! The right amount gives you growth. Too much makes you lose muscle.
The first thing to do is choose the right amount of weight. Select a weight you can lift about 10 times. By the 10th time, it should be difficult to lift.
- This will take a little trial and error but you’ll quickly figure out how much you can handle
- Each repetition, or “rep” should take you about 2 sec to lift and 3 sec to return to the start position.
- Exercise until you cannot do another unassisted repetition—that’s called reaching positive failure.
- Rest long enough to catch your breath between sets, before you begin your next.
- General rule: this will normally be about 1 minute of rest for smaller body parts like arms and abs
- And about 2 minutes for larger body parts like legs
- Don’t rest any longer than you have to, but always listen to your body. Catch your breath before doing the next set.
- You may want to purchase a stop watch to time your rest periods and train yourself to up to no more than “one minute” rest between sets.
Following your workout, consume a high carb, high protein mini-meal. I usually opt for a banana and a Lean Body RTD shake.