Monday, June 17, 2013

Weight Lifting / Strength Training Tips

Sirius just made a comment about weight lifting on Bumight's post, so I thought I'd share some of the things I've been taught about lifting, and strength training in general.

1. Ditch the heavy weights. Except you are body building or wrestling, for example, you do not need heavy weights. As with all your diet and weight loss activities, the following principle also applies to weight lifting: 'Quality over Quantity'. For toning and shaping, you only need smaller weights and your body weight. Instead of straining your muscles to do 1 set of 10 reps of curls with a 15lb dumbbell, do 3 sets of 20 with 5lb weights. Engage your body weight with push ups, pull ups, leg raises, arm raises, planks, etc.

2. Mix it up. Don't over work any muscle groups. Set up a calendar that helps you properly schedule your strength training in a way that your muscles have time to rest and repair before you work them again. If you do biceps, triceps and shoulders on Monday, hit HBT (Hips, Butt and Thighs) on Tuesday, then ABs on Wednesday, etc. Your muscles with thank you for being kind to them.

3. Be Consistent. Muscles are like high-maintenance girlfriends. They need constant attention. Don't abandon them. Keep showing love by working them out. If you ignore them, they become rebellious and turn to fat.

4. Don't forget the cardio! You have to make sure that you are not just building muscles under layers of fat. Muscle training doesn't replace Cardiovascular activities in your weight loss / workout program. Keep your heart rate up. Rope Jumping, Jogging, Step Aerobics, Swimming, etc are good ways to get your cardio in.

5. Eat Right Baby. Don't be scared to count calories. Listen to your stomach. Don't overload it. Don't stuff it with a heavy dose of carbs if it will be just fine with veggies. Be kind to your behind.


  1. Just to add to what Isha said:

    1. I beg to differ on the heavy weights. It depends on what you want. I do CrossFit which isn't weightlifting. We do a ton of heavy weights. Do what you want regarding weights. Some people want a STRONG body and not just a lean body. Going up in weights will help you build strength.

    2. I'm a fan of TOTAL BODY weight sessions e.g. Back Squats (with weights), Front Squats (with weights), Dead Lifts and Kettlebell swings. I do some isolation work, but most of what I do and like is total body stuff. In real life your body works in tandem, as a whole and not in isolation.

    3. Muscle can not turn into fat. It is impossible.

    4. I have learnt that stretching is important to Strength training. Hence why I do Yoga. But note that you shouldn't stretch cold muscles.

    4. If strength training, heavy carbs i.e. starch is your friend. Your muscles need to replenish their glyocgen storage or you will lose strength.

    5. Epsom salt is your friend.

    6. Sleep is your friend.

  2. I beg to differ as well. There is no such thing as "toning". your muscles are either big or small or have a layer of fat covering them. What most people refer to as "toning" is getting rid of the layer of fat covering their muscles.
    For your muscles to grow, you need to "tear" the muscle fiber while exercising and when the body is repairing the muscles thats when the muscle grows big.

    I agree with training muscle groups in isolation because your muscles need that rest period for the healing/repairing, so having a schedule allows u to have a rest period between muscle groups.

    for strength training, u need the carbs to fuel your workout.

    @phunkie O: what does Epsom salt do?

  3. Epsom salt because of the magnesium helps to relieve sore muscles. I love it because it reduce soreness and also puts me to bed. I'm an insomniac...

  4. I thought i would be the only one with a different opinion.

    Weight training with heavy weights can be done differently depending on your goal... cutting/ leaning or bulking.

    To cut(lose fat and not lose weight/ muscle), you lift heavy with a calorie deficit.
    To bulk you lift heavy and eat heavy (focus on protein here)
    To lean (can't remember because i wasn't interested in that, some bodybuilding competition last minute extreme leaning )

    Now as for isolation or full body...they are all good.

    When you isolate , you can weight train almost everyday but different muscle groups everyday (such a way you work one muscle group just once or so a week giving them enough time to recoup)
    For full body, you are advised to not do this more than 3/4 times a week and on alternate days, so your muscles rest and recoup.

    And if "fat loss' is you goal....cardio won't really help you much , yes it will melt off some fat but you will do yourself more good lifting weights as muscle burns fat much longer after a workout than cardio will ever do. (if you are over weight this is for you)

    The advice is usually at least 3-4 times a week 30mins, but if your going the HIIT route, 3 times a week 15mins is all good.