3 Common Weight Lifting Mistakes
Did you know that adding muscle means boosting your calorie burn? As a metabolic tissue, muscle not only supports weight loss, but also improves your body's function in daily life as an essential part of your workout routine. Coupled with a healthy cardio routine, weight lifting throughout the week can help you reap a long list of health benefits.
But before you strap on those weight-lifting gloves, it's important to consider your current level of fitness. Without proper form and execution, strength training could mean pain instead of gain. If you are just starting out, it is easy to overload yourself or risk injury.
Here are three common strength training mistakes people make, and how you can fix them in your own workout routine:
- The Mistake: Overloading yourself with weights that are too heavy.
While it might be tempting to grab a pair of 25-pound dumbbells, strength training is a gradual thing. It is important to condition your muscles by increasing weight over time to maximize the benefits and avoid injury.
The Fix: Start small and work your way up with weights that are tailored to your fitness level. You can gauge the weight that is right for you by finding a weight that allows you to do all of your reps with proper form, but that you also find challenging (without breaking your form) in your last couple reps. Once that weight is no longer challenging you on the last couple reps, move your weight up by no more than 5 lbs the next time you work out and test that weight out using the same technique.
- The Mistake: Rushing through your reps.
It's easy to speed through your strength training workout. But going too fast can lead to poor form and uneven force. It's important to keep your reps slow, controlled and even to gain the most benefit from your workout.
The Fix: Pay close attention to how you are moving during each rep. Make sure you complete each rep completely and go at a pace that feels comfortable to you.
- The Mistake: Picking one routine and sticking with it.
While getting into the habit of strength training is important, opting for the same routine day after day can slow down your effort to reach your fitness goals. As your muscles become accustomed to a routine, there is less of a challenge. This means you're more likely to hit a plateau and stop seeing results.
The Fix: Mix it up! Explore new routines and exercises to keep your muscles moving in different ways. You can get creative with the moves you do each time. (Always keeping proper form of course!)
According to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, more than 80 percent of adults "do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities." A balanced workout regimen is important, but practicing efficient and safe workout habits will make sure none of your hard work goes to waste.
Also, if you haven't yet, be sure to check out our top-of-the-line strength training equipment that will make applying these strength training tips a breeze!