Weightlifting may seem like a very daunting task, and while there
is a lot to learn, it doesn’t have to be scary. Let’s start by talking about
how muscle growth works. You’ll need to understand exactly how the process
works before you can expect to use it to your advantage. Muscles grow by being
broken down. This sounds counterintuitive, but when a muscle is stressed, as
when you lift weights, satellite cells come to the muscle’s aid and fortifies
the muscle. This fuses muscle fibers together by making new muscle proteins
called myofibrils. The result of this process is muscle growth.
Change It Up
Because the body adapts so quickly it is important to create a
routine that will continually challenge your muscles. This can be done by
putting them under metabolic stress, damaging them, and creating tension.
Varying the amount of weight and types of stimulus will keep muscles working
hard and you gaining mass. This process is called progressive overload. It can
be done by adding more weight or adding new exercises.
Have A Plan
Most people who attempt weightlifting fail because they don’t
have a plan. You need to go into it with an idea of what you want to accomplish
and how you’re going to do it. Go to the bookstore and pick up and number of
the books available on weightlifting. You need not worry about which is more
correct because you will need to change up your routine anyway so you can try
out different things from different books. Break your training up into blocks
of time that you will focus on one method. Change up your routine at the end of
each block. You can even incorporate mini blocks to focus on different areas
within that block of training.
Keep a journal of your workouts. This will help you track your
progress. If you’re not making any progress it is a good way to look back and
see why. Base your goals off of what you achieved in the past. Unless you write
done the information wrong on purpose, you can’t lie about what you’ve done or
not done. It’s a way to keep yourself accountable.
Focus on Big Movements
Your focus should be on the big muscles and multi-joint
exercises. While single joint exercises can be beneficial, the larger movements
help you gain all around rather than in isolated areas.
Vary You Speed
If you look at most weightlifters they lift at a pretty high
speed. Varying that speed will help to keep your muscles on their toes and
working their hardest. Varying your lifting tempo can be done in your mini
training blocks. You can adjust the overall rate at which you lift or make the
time between movements or in the middle of them longer or shorter.
How much time you should rest in between sets depends on how
intensely you are working. If you are doing more reps, your rest period should
be relatively short. If you’re doing fewer reps, the rest time needs to be
longer. It sounds counterintuitive again, but it has to do with the energy.
Lighter reps means lighter motion and so a shorter time in between and vis
versa for lower reps.