How to Maximize Your Strength Training

English: Arthur Saxon performing a bent press....

If you are interested in improving your overall strength, then it is necessary to engage in a strength training routine. If you work out regularly you will invariably wind up being stronger, faster and better than people who avoid working out. It’s that simple. The tips in this article will get you on the fast track to getting the most out of each and every strength training workout.

First, when you are lifting weights, it is a good idea to slow down when performing a set. It increases the tension and work your muscles are required to do, and improvements come to your muscles much more quickly. Keep in mind, lifting weights is all about “the resistance”. When you lift too quickly, the muscles are not required to face resistance for as long a time, therefore the workout is not as intense, even though you might be lifting more weight. Maintaining slow, steady repetitions throughout the full range of motion is the most effective way to get that “burn” indicating success at strength training.

Next, be very careful to warm up properly. It is crucial to getting the most out of a strength training workout. I like to take the time in 20-30 minutes of easy cardio training before lifting. It really prepares your body for the muscle work to come. The blood gets pumping, your metabolism is elevated, and it prepares you for a far more intense workout. Each set becomes more beneficial because your metabolism is elevated before you even start lifting weights. It’s a great feeling.

Personal trainer showing a client how to exerc...

Third, you might want to consider working with a trainer to take you through the first steps if you have never been in a weight room before. Having that kind of instruction is invaluable, and many fitness clubs offer the free assessment with a personal trainer. Yes, it’s true that most of the weight machines have pictures and instructions on them. But, if you prefer using free weights, and you don’t want to drag around a bodybuilding magazine to use as a reference for each rep, having detailed instructions from a personal trainer prepares you to come back to the gym with your routine memorized.

Fourth, stay flexible. Flexibility is one of the keys to maintaining muscular strength and health. Since most of us work in sedentary jobs, we spend a lot of time at our desks working our fingers out at a keyboard or pushing paperwork. This is bad news for flexibility, because our hamstrings and calves spend most of their time in compressed positions. It becomes necessary to counteract that by stretching before we go to bed and after we wake up (like a dog or cat). Our muscles are better prepared for the day and will maintain much improved flexibility our hardest workouts.

A back extension.

Finally, your lower back and abs (the “core”) serve as your body’s foundation when it comes to strength training. Taking the time to keep these areas strong makes everything else simpler. Your lifting form will be a breeze to maintain, and you’ll run with better posture because the core muscles will be as strong as possible.

Understanding these training tips makes your strength workouts more effective and far more efficient. Keep these tips in mind the next time you head out to the gym.

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