June 18, 2019

Increase your weights!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Increase your weights!

Have you been lifting the same weights for months on end, or for even longer? Increase your weights to challenge your muscles! If the muscles are not stimulated or overloaded, there will not be a strength gain. Do a rep check during your next workout. If your goal is strength improvements and you’re regularly and easily cranking out 12 reps, increase your weight on the next set. Go to the next weight available and begin with 8 reps in good form. And remember, you can lift a different amount of weight on each set. Your muscles want to be challenged!

 

Straighten Up Your Posture

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Row for improved posture!

A Standing Row is an effective strength exercise for your upper and middle back. Strong back muscles mean better posture! Here’s how to start:

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold a weight in each hand. Bend forward from your hips. Keep your spine aligned, and shoulders back and down. Begin with both arms straight. Bend both elbows and pull the weights straight up to your waist. Slowly lower the weights back down to your starting position. Begin with 10 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

SLOW DOWN your strength training!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

SLOW DOWN your strength training!

To get the most out of your strength training workout, slow down your pace! Complete the exercise at a pace where you’re able to stop the exercise at any point. Controlling the weight is key to overloading your muscles. A slow pace extends the time your muscle is under tension. Try lifting the weight for 2 seconds and lowering the weight for 4 seconds for starters.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning workout.

 

 

Weight Training Works!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Weight Training Works!

You lift weights every week in the form of groceries, your children, your dining room chair, the bag of dog food, various items in and out of your car. Want to make your daily tasks easier? Start a weight training program. Lifting and carrying are required daily actions that can be completed with less effort by logging a strength workout as little as 2 days each week. Consult a Fitness Professional to outline a program specifically for you, as well as learn proper form and technique. Here are few other benefits of a weight training program you may not have thought of:

Shape your muscles. Muscles give your body shape and contour. You’ll look fit.

Builds independence and confidence. You’ll easily be able to lift and carry what you need, when you need without having to wait for assistance.

Decrease stress. If you’ve had a long stressful day, you’ll leave the muscle and mind tension in every repetitions and set. The result is a relaxed and total-body tension free you.

Improves body awareness. General awareness of posture and alignment will improve, especially if you’re working with free-weights, as you have to stabilize your body on every set.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

 

Are you lifting too heavy?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Effective exercise is more important than load of exercise.

How heavy is too heavy? Regardless of the number of reps you’re logging or particular move you’re attempting, sometimes the weight is simply not safe or appropriate for you.

Are you lifting too heavy? Here’s how to know:

Unable to load and unload the weight properly. You should be able to lift the weights off the rack and move, with proper mechanics, into your starting position. The same applies to racking the weight after your set is complete.

Unable to maintain proper form. You should be able to stabilize your body against the weight throughout the entire range of motion.

Unable to control the speed of the exercise. You should be able to stop the move at any time during your range of motion. Controlling the weight, rather than using momentum, is key.

 

Ask A Pro by Mollie Millington

Question: I’m 65 years young. How do you recommend I start lifting weights? I’m brand new to working out and plan to purchase dumbbells to workout at home. -Carol, Nashville TN

Answer:  Begin with two initial steps to determine the best course of action for your individual goals. Firstly, consider enlisting assistance from a Professional Fitness Trainer in the beginning, as s/he can help you create good habits with proper form and technique, while avoiding injury. Secondly, look into local gyms or community centers, as they may offer group exercise classes that involve weights. Both of these initial steps will help you learn the how-to’s of strength training to then safely and effectively transfer these principles to a home workout.

Here are a few additional points to keep in mind when starting out on an at-home strength training routine:

Purchase 2-3 sets of dumbbells at different weights. A good starting selection is 3, 5, and 8 lb weights. Remember that water bottles and soup cans are also good light weights to start.  
 
Invest in a strength training DVD.  Or research if your cable company provides on demand fitness shows for guidance as to the best exercise selection.

Be mindful of proper footwear. Be sure to wear athletic shoes when lifting weights to help your body maintain stability and to protect your feet in case one of the dumbbells is dropped.

Hydrate.  Have water on hand. Hydrate before, during, and after your strength workout.

Always warm up prior to your strength training workout. An appropriate warm up consists of walking, jogging, or going up and down the stairs. Once you break into a light sweat, you are sufficiently warm.

Keep it simple. Remember to keep the exercises simple at first and take a day off (a rest day) after completing a weights session. Your muscles will need a day to recover. One this day off (or even the day after) you might experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS.) This is normal and means your muscles are healing. It is perfectly fine to perform cardio on your rest days. 

London-based personal trainer Mollie Millington may be reached at www.ptmollie.com, as well as via @PTMollie on Twitter.