There is no shortage of fitness information these days. Everyone has some sort of opinion on how to diet and when to exercise. It’s a never-ending and constantly evolving process. This is to be expected somewhat. After all, we’re always discovering new things about the human physique. But, all this information from popular fitness magazines and Internet websites can cause confusion. I know that I’m sometimes confused about which exercises are best and what makes a greater difference. We all want the cold-hard facts. We want to know what exercises really work and how often they should be done. I got into fitness magazines recently because I am trying to improve my weight training regimen. My wife has been reading these for years. She loves “Shape” and “Self,” which are both women’s fitness magazines. Personally I have always been consumed with martial arts magazines, simply because I love fighting arts. But, it was time to get the current scoop on proper and efficient weight training. Now, just to be clear, parts of this were and still are not clear to me. After reading through numerous bodybuilding websites and fitness magazines, I’ve come to a few conclusions. First of all, different things work better for different people. While many authors encouraged me to lift heavier weights and do fewer reps in order to build mass, a few others claimed that I should be able to accomplish at least 8 reps, or my load is too big. Both said that 3-8 sets were important for building muscle mass. Just to give you an example, I investigated ways to build my chest. Several fitness magazines and websites encouraged four chest exercises for a session. This should equal about 12-16 sets total. Bench press, incline, decline, flys, and cable cross-overs are all recommended. Good enough! Now come the reps and weight issue. This varied from source to source. In the end I went with the heavier weight, less reps simply because it makes the most sense to me. Heavier weight will result in more torn muscle fibers and make the muscles grow larger. Plus, you obviously want to increase. You can’t always pay attention to fitness magazines just because their published work. You may find other methods or exercises more helpful in your fitness regimen. It’s crucial to remember that opinions and results will vary.
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Women’s Health magazine, May 2009 issue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: This is the 2010 September cover for Men’s Health, which was directly received from Rodale, the publisher of Men’s Health. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)