Strength training constitutes an important part of any exercise schedule, and can give you the shape that many achieve using steroids or body building drugs.
Strength training routines should be an important part of your workout regime. Not only do these routines help you lose weight and get back into shape, they also help you to maintain the weight you have achieved. However, it is important to note that strength training will not give you good results instantaneously. You will have to stick to your workout schedule. To get the best results you will have to divide your workout well and remember that the workout should be efficient. It is the quality of the workout which is important, rather than the quantity. While mapping out a routine, it is important to note that you should never train a muscle which is already sore from the last workout. The fresher your muscles are for a workout, the better results will you get. Always design the workout schedule in such a way that you have a high number of compound exercises, rather than isolation exercises. A good way of designing a strength training workout is to start with compound exercises and end with isolation exercises.
Important Tips for Strength Training Routines
- It is observed that a lot of people injure themselves as they do not warm up. Warming up is as important as the workout itself. Therefore NEVER, I repeat, NEVER compromise on your warm up.
- When you are doing strength training you are essentially working out your muscles. Therefore, it is essential to stretch your muscles after warming up and before you start working out. Stretching increases muscle flexibility, which, in turn, helps in preventing injuries.
- Always take care that you engage your abdominal muscles while you are doing your weight training. Keep your spine neutral and take care that you are not straining it. Remember to breathe rhythmically as you proceed through your weight training exercises. Holding your breathe is not healthy and causes undue strain on your heart. Therefore, breath normally.
- If you are going to workout in a gym, it is a good idea to use machines to workout, so that you achieve better stability for your movements.
- Just as warming up is important, so is cooling down after the workout. Almost 99% people do not spare even 5 minutes to cool their body down. It is required that you let your breath come down to normal after your workout is over. Its simple, you just have to lie still in order to cool down.
I have given below some routines, which you can make use of for strength training. I will recommend that you do routine 1 and 2 on consecutive days, then take a break of a day and then proceed with routine 3 and 4 on consecutive days. For example, you can do routine day 1 on Monday, day 2 on Tuesday. Take a break from strength training on Wednesday. Do routine day 3 on Thursday and day 4 on Friday. This was just an example. You can choose your workout days as per your convenience. Follow this workout for 4-6 weeks to achieve the best results.
Now that you are comfortable with strength training exercises, the next is a new routine, which you can implement after 4-6 weeks of doing the previous routine. Mind you, this is going to be a strenuous routine as compared to the previous routine. This routine will be divided into three days a week, unlike the previous routine. You will take a gap of a day between two workout days. Therefore, you will workout either on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The number of exercises and repetitions will decrease in this routine but the weights will increase. You will have to pick up weights with which you will be able to perform not more than 5-7 repetitions. Follow this routine for 4-6 weeks.
- Always check your posture when you are strength training. In the initial phase, you should concentrate more on your posture, than the weights. Once you have the right posture, you can increase the weights that you use. You can hire a personal trainer so that you get the correct posture and lower the chances of injury.
- The muscle groups in the body are the chest, back, shoulder, biceps, triceps, hamstring, quadriceps, calves and abdominal. Always make sure that your routine does not leave out any of the muscle groups. If such a case happens, there is a possibility, that you will injure yourself due to the imbalance that was created by leaving out one muscle group.
- If you think that your muscles are actually formed as you are working out, then you are mistaken. The muscles rebuild when they are resting. Therefore, it is important that there is a gap between your two workouts so that the muscles recover from the previous workout schedule and are not sore.
- As each week progresses, you can either add repetitions to your workout or you can add weight. The best way to judge if you should add weight is when you can do more than 16-18 repetitions, with the current weight for that particular exercise. Understand that it is time that you increase the weights that you are using.
- Last but not the least, when do you change your workout routine? Any time after 4 weeks of using the same workout routine, you can change it. You might question as o why, why do you change the workout routine? It is simply because your body gets used to a set pattern of working out and eventually stops producing results. I am sure you want results for the amount of energy you are putting in. There are some people who also say that routines are to be changed only after 6 weeks of using the same routine. However, with experience I can say that around the fourth week the results start reducing. Remember to make your new routine a little more challenging than your previous one. Also at the same time, if there are new exercises that have been included make sure you correct your posture, before you start using big weights. This rule is to be followed for every change that happens in your workout.
Along with strength training routines it is also important that you pay attention to what you are eating. Reduce fats and fatty food from your diet and increase proteins. However, do not forget to have the required amount of carbohydrates in your diet. I hope the routines are helpful to you and you achieve the desired results.