You may have noticed these 8 Weight Training Tips in the Full Body Circuit Training Workout I created for you. Because these weight training tips are so important, I had to create a separate post that goes into more depth about each tip.
I want to emphasize these weight training tips reflect 15 years of my experience working out along with spending countless hours training people of various ages and exercise levels. Burn these tips in your memory and you will always have safe, effective weight training workouts.
The image on the right is a tear sheet with all these weight training tips so you can easily reference them.
1. “Active” Rest
While you are in between sets or exercises, it’s important to use the time wisely by “actively” resting. This means stretching the muscles you are targeting in between sets, fine tuning your form for a particular exercise, or drinking water to help prevent dehydration. Don’t sit around watching the football game on TV; it’s a lot more comfortable to do at home.
2. Focus on Form
There are a variety of exercises that target different muscles in your body in different ways. Each exercise has a specific form for targeting the desired muscle, or muscle group. Never use any momentum (i.e. throwing up a bicep curl by using your lower back) when lifting weights unless you are completing sports specific exercises with supervision. A momentum style of strength training is typically reserved for seasoned athletes and powerlifters.
3. Quality of Contraction
As you are working out, focus on the muscle group that you are training, the so called “mind-muscle connection”. Every single rep, you should concentrate on the quality of the contraction to make sure the targeted muscle group is being stimulated. If you are completing an exercise and don’t feel the targeted muscle working intensely, then the exercise is most likely ineffective.
4. Complete Set to Failure
The amount of weight you choose is critical in determining the quality of your workout. If you use weights that are too light, you will not be challenging your muscles to increase their strength. If you choose weights that are too heavy, then you are at greater risk of injury and the quality of the set may suffer. For the targeted amount of reps chosen, use a weight that makes you “fail” (i.e. can’t perform any more reps) while still using proper form.
5. Keep up the Pace
In order to keep your heart rate elevated and get aerobic benefits during a weight training workout, you should try to rest for as little as possible, basically just enough to catch your breath. Short resting periods of as little as 20 to 30 seconds are usually adequate for recovery and allow for another quality set of training. The amount of time you rest between sets is dependent on a number of factors, including most importantly, your fitness level.
6. Remember to Breathe
A lot of people make the mistake of holding their breath while they lift weights. Breathing in during the negative phase of the lift and breathing out during the positive phase will give your body more energy to complete those extra few reps.
7. Listen to Your Body
At the end of the day, only you know how you feel and if something doesn’t feel quite right. If you are completing an exercise that causes you a “bad” pain (vs. “good” pain of muscle burn), don’t do it. If something doesn’t feel right, stop exercising immediately. It’s not worth seriously injuring yourself because getting surgery on a muscle or ligament tear will put you out of commission for months. That extra rep or set when you’re feeling unusual pain is NOT worth it.
8. Rest and Recover
After an intense exercise session, the body needs to rest and recuperate. In fact, working out too much can be counterproductive. Generally speaking, you should allow at least two days of rest between intense full body lifting sessions, preferably three days.
I hope these tips are helpful for you. If you want me to go into more depth about any tip, then let me know in the comments section below. Also, if you have any extra tips to share that I did not touch upon, please leave a comment!