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Weight Training

Weight Training

Body building is the process of developing muscle fibers through various techniques. It is achieved through muscle conditioning, weight training, increased caloric intake, and rest. Workouts are designed to focus on certain muscle categories, and foods are consumed with the intention to build the body’s metabolism and increase mass.

This section will focus on weight training for body builders. Weight training develops both strength as well as the size of skeletal muscles. It uses the force of gravity to oppose the force generated by muscles through contraction. Weight training uses a variety of specialized equipment designed to target specific muscle groups and movements.

Some people refer to weight training as strength training. While they are not exactly the same, they are both similar to each other. Strength training focuses on increasing muscular strength and size. Weight training is one type of strength training using weights as the primary force to build muscle mass.

The basic principles of weight training are pretty much the same as those of strength training. It involves a manipulation of the numbers of reps, sets, tempo, exercise types, and weight moved to cause desired increases in strength, endurance, size, or shape.

The specific combination of reps, sets, exercises, and weight depends upon the desires of the body builder. Sets with fewer reps can be performed with heavier weights but have a reduced impact on endurance.

Equipment used in weight training include barbells, dumbbells, pulleys, and stacks in the form of weight machines or the body’s own weight as in push-ups and chin-ups. Different weights will give different types of resistance.

Weight training also focuses on form performing the movements with the appropriate muscle groups and not transferring the weight to different body parts in order to move great weight. If you don’t use good form in weight training, you risk muscle injury which could hinder your progress.

Another form of weight training is resistance training. Resistance training involves the use of elastic or hydraulic resistance to contraction rather than gravity. When your muscles are resisting a weight, the overall tone of that muscle will grow over time.

If you are a beginner at weight training, you should not just “jump right in”. You need to build up your strength and over-working your muscles can cause more harm than good. Some of your muscles might be naturally stronger than others. Building up slowly allows muscles to develop appropriate strengths relative to each other.

Most gyms offer the services of a personal trainer that comes with the membership fee. These trainers can suggest specific workouts for you to begin with. If you want to undertake it yourself, we can make a few suggestions on routines that can help you build muscle and get on the way to a great body.

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Weight Training Basics

You may not be familiar with some of the terminology used in body building. Along the same line, you should know what certain exercises are and how to safely perform them. There are all sorts of exercises you can perform – so many, in fact, space prevents us from listing all of them. However, learning the basics can be a great help.

Beginners Training

Dumbbell Bench Press

Sit on the edge of a flat bench with the dumbbells resting on your knees. In one smooth motion, roll onto your back and bring the dumbbells up to a position slightly outside and above your shoulders. Your palms should be facing forwards.

Bend your elbows at a ninety-degree angle with your upper arms parallel to the ground. Press the weights up over your chest in a triangular motion until they meet above the center line of your body. As you lift, concentrate on keeping the weights balanced and under control. Follow the same path downward.

Standing Military Press

For this exercise, you will use a barbell. Stand with your legs about shoulder width apart and lift the barbell to your chest. Lock your legs and hips and keep your elbows in slightly under the bar. Press the bar to arm’s length over your head. Lower the bell to your upper chest or your chin depending on which is more comfortable for you. This exercise can also be performed with dumbbells or seated on a weight bench.

Lying Tricep Push

Sit on a flat bench holding a curl bar with an overhand grip. Lie back so that the top of your head is even with the end of the weight bench. As you are lying back, extend your arms over your head so that the bar is directly over your eyes. Keep your elbows tight and your upper arms stationary throughout the exercise.

The biggest key to this exercise is keeping your upper arms in a fixed position. Slowly lower the bar until it almost touches your forehead. Press the bar back up in a slow, sweeping arc-like motion. At the finish, lock your elbows completely.

Side Lateral Dumbbell Raise

Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms at your side. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms turned toward your body. Keep your arms straight and lift the weights out and up to the sides until they are slightly higher than shoulder level. Then slowly lower them back down to your side again.

Keep your palms turned downward as you lift the dumbbells so that your shoulders rather than your biceps do the work. Make sure you are lifting the dumbbells up rather than swinging them up. Don’t lean forward while doing this either or you risk injury to your back.

Preacher Curls

This exercise is best done with a special preacher curl bench, but you can do this without it with a little modification. Sit at the end of the weight bench, and place something such as a firm pillow or a few pillows under your armpits on your lap. Hold the curl bar in your hands with palms facing upward. Don’t hunch over the pillow, sit as straight as you can. Using a shoulder width grip, grasp the bar in both hands. Curl the bar upward in an arc. Be careful not to swing or rock to get the bar moving.

You need to be using your muscles to lift the weight, not momentum. The goal of this exercise is to work the biceps. Bring the bar up to your chin keeping in mind that the resistance is greatest during the beginning of the lift. Lower the bar slowly working the muscle on the way down as well. You can also do this with dumbbells or work one arm at a time.

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