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thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your
actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch
your character; it becomes your destiny."
-- Frank Outlaw
Weight training can be both incredibly fulfilling and sometimes frustrating. A
great deal of mystery surrounds effective weight training methods, but the key
is to try to decipher effective tips among all the information on this topic.
Additionally, you need to be open to change and create specific goals for
yourself to better understand how to approach your own fitness program.
Throughout 24 years of training experience,
I have observed people's resistance to change. Every Monday in most health
clubs and home gyms, hundreds of people are performing the same routine,
exercises and repetitions. Change is one of the best tactics to stimulate a
loss in body fat, increase strength and endurance, and enjoy your routine.
Think of the body from "the inside out."
When you lift weights, the body senses stress and its job is to adapt as
quickly as possible. When it begins to adapt, you stop seeing results. However,
once the training parameters change, the body must re-adapt, thereby
accelerating your progress.
Strategic, well-thought-out change in your
weight training and overall fitness routine is pivotal to ongoing progress and
consistency. There are several essentials to weight training. The following
tips will help you get started by simplifying key essentials and have you on
your way to physical change, increased strength and, ultimately, a more
enjoyable fitness regimen.
1. Develop A Specific Goal
This is where you truly begin. Knowing what
you are working toward and creating a mental picture of your goal will
determine your weight training parameters and program, as well as increase your
focus and dedication. Is your goal to reduce body fat, increase muscle "tone",
train for a competitive event, or increase energy? Different training
parameters apply for a person who wants to just "tone up" versus someone who is
training for a marathon.
The more specific your goal, the more
effective your program. Write them down and. make them measurable and realistic
(ie. lose five pounds; increase the weight of an exercise by five percent
2. Change Your Workout Routine Every
Three to Four Weeks
Periodically change the order of your
routine. For example, instead of performing lunges at the start of every leg
exercise routine; begin with leg presses, or possibly dumbbell squats. There
are many ways to restructure a training session, but switching the order in
which you perform your exercises is one.
3. Vary the Volume and Reptitions of
Stop performing the same number of sets and
reps each workout. Vary the volume of your sets and reps for three weeks. For
example, if your legs and butt are a visually weaker muscle group, perform
three additional sets of leg exercises for 15-20 reps.
Another example: For the next three weeks
reduce the number of sets for legs and butt exercises. However, increase your
weights by five percent and attempt to get 12 repetitions per set. Your muscles
will recognize the change and you will see the results. You need not fear
"bulking up" if your nutrition program has you in a slight caloric deficit
(slightly less than maintenance).
4. Vary The Tempo Of Your Reps
When it comes to tempo, slow repetitions
are a popular method, but incorporating various tempos in your routine, from
slow to medium speed, can enhance your body. For example, when working toward a
goal of shapely shoulders, perform seated dumbbell presses and work at a
moderate tempo (one second pushing the weight up and two seconds on the
lowering). Then, for your next shoulder exercise, take a pair of dumbbells and
perform lateral raises with a four count on the eccentric part of the movement
(the downward movement). This provides different rates of tension on the
muscle, leading to further progress.
5. Vary Time Between Sets
For muscle and strength gains, many
individuals wait anywhere from one to three minutes between sets. A more
efficient way is to vary rest time between exercises. If you're working on your
chest, perform a dumbbell incline chest press with a weight that allows you to
lift 12 reps per set, taking one minute between sets. Then, go to a dumbbell
chest press and use a rep scheme of 12-15 reps, waiting 45 seconds between
sets. If you are advanced and add a third chest exercise, perform a dumbbell
fly for 15 reps waiting only 30 seconds between sets. Youll experience a
great burn in your chest muscles at this point, as you are stimulating as many
muscle fibers as possible. This will also help to stimulate an increase in body
fat loss. Whether youre inexperienced or highly experienced, these points
will guide you toward effective change and will ultimately keep you
enthusiastic, stimulated and most importantly -- consistent.
A competitive bodybuilder and 2004
winner of the prestigious WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation) Masters
Pro Card, Raphael Calzadilla is a veteran of the health and fitness industry.
He specializes in a holistic approach to body transformation, nutrition
programs and personal training. He earned his B.A. in Communications from
Southern Connecticut State University and is certified as a personal trainer
with ACE and APEX. In addition, he successfully completed the RTS1 program
based on biomechanics.
Want more information? Visit the Bob Greene
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