March 13, 2013 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
Actually training is the easy part of bodybuilding. Sure, it is tough to push your body to its physical limits every day, but that grueling process is often easier than understanding the ins and outs of bodybuilding. Luckily, we make it easy for you to become a champion bodybuilder with these effective weightlifting tips. Read on for our best advice, grab your fitness grips, and get ready to get ripped.
- Lose the Shoes
The only things you need to build muscle and tone your body is a pair of weightlifting gloves and some weight. Leave your shoes at home or wear a minimalist design to keep your feet flat on the floor. This strengthens your feet, adding traction and stability to your lifts, and also helps you lift heavier weights by reducing the distance you have to pull the bar on a deadlift.
- Go Heavy, Then Back Off
Do four- to six-rep sets using heavy loads one month, then switch to lighter weights and more reps for the next month. Mixing up your training like this lets your body make even faster gains during the lighter weeks.
- Ball to the Wall
Before you tackle a big pressing workout, press a light medicine ball into a wall using your back. Keep your arm extended, then roll the ball around, making the outlines of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Do this before reaching for your fitness grips to fire up your rotator cuff and stabilize heavy loads better.
- Stand Your Ground
Avoid the temptation to sit; strap yourself into a machine or lay down while weightlifting. You get more out of the exercises you do standing up, so stand your ground!
What is the best weightlifting advice you have ever received? Share your top tips with our readers in the comments below!
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March 8, 2013 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
Weight training is one of the most efficient ways to tone your frame, gain strength and add muscle. You can use your fitness grips to lift weights the traditional way, or you can follow a more structured program, like Crossfit. There are pros and cons to both methods, but this guide will help you decide which is best for you.
Pros and Cons of CrossFit
Pros: Many people enjoy being part of the CrossFit community. The program has cultivated a devoted group of followers who offer support and tips on CrossFit websites, events, and centers around the country. Members often cite the motivation and camaraderie as the main key factors to sticking with their workouts and achieving their fitness goals more rapidly.
Cons: The CrossFit method is more structured and often more intense than traditional weightlifting. The program includes exercises that require bursts of energy and power, and you repeat them over and over. While this new method burns calories quickly, you also run the risk of injury as you complete the wide range of movements required by CrossFit.
*So, if you have trouble sticking to routines solo, CrossFit may provide you with the discipline and group factor that you need. Most importantly, pay attention to your form and don’t do more than your body can handle to prevent injury. Working your way up is always a good idea.
Pros and Cons of Weight Training
Pros: One of the best benefits of weight training, when compared to CrossFit, is that you can set your own pace. You have the freedom to start slowly with light free weights and work your way up to a more strenuous or demanding program. You are more in control of your own program, and you can cater your workouts to meet your individual needs.
Cons: Most people that begin a weight training regimen do so alone and with little research. This can lead to injury or no results. Be sure to consult with an accredited personal trainer that can teach you proper form and help you with a regimen that is appropriate for your body. Many gyms offer at least one session with a trainer as part of a membership.
*Regular weight training seems to be most effective for those that do thorough research, plan their workouts, and are self-motivators. Although weight lifting is less organized than CrossFit, you can still find a community of other fitness folks who can offer advice and support, and even find a buddy to keep you on track.
Both workouts are beneficial, and which one you choose depends on your personal goals and preferences. No matter which program you decide to follow, the important thing is to grab your weight lifting grips and start moving!
Do you love CrossFit, or are you more devoted to traditional weight training? Share your favorite workout and why you love it with our readers in the comments section below!
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January 10, 2013 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
Many beginner weightlifters are super enthusiastic and want results now. This impatience often leads to the exploration of various supplements, but taking pills or powders will not matter unless you have a good fitness program and diet. Developing a healthy diet is the key to achieving an appropriate nutrient balance, but supplements can help you along the way until you reach your food goals. Like gym gloves, supplements can be part of an overall fitness plan.
Adding high quality protein to your diet can lead to improvements in muscular strength and size. Drinking a protein source that rapidly digests prior to, during, or directly after your workout can stimulate protein building and aid in recovery. Whey protein supplements get to work quickly, while casein protein digest more slowly over time. Whey is your best option during a training session, but casein protein is better if you need a protein source outside of your regular workout. Be sure to heavily research your brand of protein powder to make sure it is the highest quality. Most companies add unnecessary sugars, corn fillers, chemicals, and more, making your choice an unhealthy one. We like Dr. Mercola’s Whey Protein, made from the milk of organic, grass-fed, cows.
Taking a high quality fish oil every day can lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, neurological disease and speed your metabolism. The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon or cod liver have been found to be essential to the brain, nervous system, bones, digestion and heart. Lower quality fish oil supplements may be high in mercury and rancid with most, if not all, of the beneficial fatty acids destroyed, so invest in the best oils you can. We highly recommend Nordic Naturals or Carlson’s brands. Don’t like the taste of fish? Buy veggie gel caps, or throw a tablespoon of Carlson’t Cod Liver Oil into your shake or smoothies in the morning, and you won’t even know it’s there!
So grab your high quality supplements and your weightlifting gloves and get ready to work!
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December 24, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
It has long been thought that if you want to lose fat you need to load up on cardio, while weight training is what you wait to do to build muscle after you’ve lost the fat. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Weight training has many calorie-burning advantages and an effective workout will help you burn fat and lose weight, so grab your GRIPAD gym gloves and get ready to lift!
Workout #1: Hit it Heavy
Muscle tissue grows when pressure is applied to it, and doing lots of reps of light weights won’t do the trick. Your muscles won’t grow unless you apply stress to them, even if you eat a clean, reduced-calorie diet. Lower rep/heavy weight workouts also burn more calories because they require greater exertion.
Challenge yourself to use heavier weights and complete more reps. Effective exercises to try include; decline bench presses, dumbbell flyers, lat pull-downs, dumbbell presses, plate twists and hanging knee raises. Just be sure to slowly condition your body to higher weights to avoid strain and injury.
Workout #2: Speed Up with Moderate Weights
Lifting moderate weights for more reps can lead to fat loss because slow-twitch muscle fibers are used during high reps. These fibers store less glycogen and therefore deplete less glycogen from the body during the workout. This keeps your metabolism high and your muscles full.
To burn more fat, use moderate weights and more reps with exercises like hyperextensions, flat bench presses, cable cross overs, dumbbell lateral raises and hammer curls.
Workout #3: Circuit Training
Create a hybrid workout that combines aerobic (cardio) with anaerobic (lifting) exercises. This is where you can use lighter weights and higher reps. Try jumping on a cardio machine for ten minutes, then doing sets on weight machines. This type of exercise works both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscles, leading to fat and weight loss.
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September 11, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
Weight training exercises can add necessary balance to your cardio routine and can help you build the upper body and core strength that doesn’t always come from cardio alone. Along with the many health benefits that come from any physical activity, weight training can support agility, bone strength, balance, coordination, body alignment, tone, and weight loss. But as you set your goals and develop your training program, you need to keep safety in mind, since incorrect lifting can cause potential harm to your joints and ligaments. Keep these weight training exercise tips in mind as you move forward.
Tips for Weight Training Exercises
- For heavy lifting, always enlist the help of a spotter. Heavy weights can cause serious damage if they fall on you.
- Pay attention to your grip. GRIPADS® keep your palms safe from blisters and calluses, and can also help you maintain control over your weights and technique.
- When you apply tension to your shoulders, always keep your arms forward of your body line. Hyperextending your shoulders in a backward direction can risk harm to your rotator cuffs.
- Stop any lifting move immediately if you feel pain, numbness, or tingling in your spine or joints. Correct your technique or find a new move that shifts the pressure elsewhere.
- If you’re engaged in a motion that pulls something down from above you, bring the object or bar down in front of you, not behind your head.
- The most injury-prone areas while lifting tend to be the lower back, shoulders, neck, and knees. Think about the strain you’re applying to these areas and use common sense to determine if a move is right for you.
Read more of our important tips, like proper breath and counting here.
July 24, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
Looking for more ways to get the most out of your weightlifting routine? Keep these simple tips in mind while you’re at the gym and you’ll be on your way to a more effective workout.
- Don’t stretch too much right before you begin. Stretching can provide a great way to warm and increase blood flow to tight muscle fibers, but too much cold, static stretching right before a weight training session can actually weaken muscles temporarily. Warm up first, then do a few dynamic stretches in which your body is moving and stretching at the same time.
- Choose your goals and build your routine around them. Are you trying to gain strength or build mass? For stronger muscles and better athletic performance, lift lighter weights and do more reps. For big muscle mass, choose heavy weights and lift to the point of failure, then start again. For both goals, stay focused on technique.
- Lift safely. Never let your raised arms move backward beyond the point of your ears, and avoid any move that places unnatural strain on your joints or back. Don’t lift heavy weights without a spotter.
- Surround yourself with support. A great support network can do amazing things for your workout goals. Surround yourself with positive people, and make sure you give as much encouragement as you receive. If your gym is negative or demoralizing, find a new gym.
- Choose the right gear. Make sure your gear is clean, safe, and well maintained. This includes clothing and weight lifting gloves. Instead of smelly, bacteria laden gloves that can restrict your range of motion, try moisture-wicking Gripads. These simple little pads slide on over your fingers and protect your hands from rough equipment without compromising your effective workout.
July 2, 2012 | Filed Under Tips for Beginners, Weightlifting | No Comments
If you’re just starting to work out for the first time, congratulations! You’re taking the first steps down a path to a stronger body, better health, and a higher quality of life. As you start making regular appearances at the gym or on your running route, trainers, workout enthusiasts and well-wishers will probably provide you with plenty of advice and weight lifting tips. As this happens, keep an open mind, separate hype from common sense, and discriminate based on what works for you. Remember, while the best weight lifting tips apply to almost everyone, our bodies are still unique. Some weightlifting tips work well for some and not as well for others. With that in mind, consider the following.
Weight Lifting Tips:
- Protect your knees, shoulders, and back. Don’t overstrain these areas, and immediately stop any move that causes pain, pinching or tingling. One avoidable injury can undo months of progress, so be bold, but smart.
- Enjoy the process. How do you feel at the end of your workout? If you’re like most of us, the answer is fantastic. No matter how tough the middle may be, stay strong through to the end and enjoy the feeling of well-being and accomplishment that comes from pushing yourself to your limits. There’s no better long term motivator.
- Choose the right gear. Comfortable clothes, well designed shoes, and proper hand protection can mean the difference between great and mediocre results. It can also mean the difference between a fun, sustainable workout routine and an unpleasant chore. Everything, including your hand protection, should be durable, breathable and moisture-wicking.
- Surround yourself with support. If you feel sensitive to criticism, work out privately for a while to protect yourself while you build a strong foundation. Otherwise, choose workout partners who build you up, and make sure you give them back the same level of energy and encouragement.
June 30, 2012 | Filed Under Nutrition, Weightlifting | No Comments
Your resistance training regimen and the muscle building diet choices you make as you train will both be influenced by your long term workout goals. If you’re trying to gain strength and improve your athletic performance, you’ll want to focus on blending resistance and cardio, lifting lighter weights, and increasing your reps. But if you’re working on building big muscles fast and you aren’t especially concerned about strength and agility, your workout regimen and your diet should both take this into account.
For big muscle volume, use the burn down method, which involves lifting heavier weights to the point of failure. Focus on lower reps, higher weights, and nutritional choices that can quickly rebuild overtaxed muscle tissue. Here are a few healthy workout diet tips for muscle growth and repair.
Muscle Building Diet Choices
- Load up on plenty of protein, but make sure you’re choosing the right proteins and avoiding the ones that can stand in your way. Look for lean meats like fish, chicken, turkey, and eggs. Nuts like almonds and walnuts can also help you build muscle fast without adding fat.
- Skip red meat like beef and pork. No matter how much fat has been trimmed off the edges, these meats are still loaded with fat, and it isn’t the good kind. Excess fat won’t help build muscle tissue and can actually contribute to the subcutaneous layer that, for example, keeps your six pack abs from showing. You don’t need to do more crunches; just lay off the cheeseburgers.
- Choose whole grain and unprocessed carbs, like oatmeal, whole grain bread, and legumes. Before you eat something from a package, take a quick look at the label. If you see more than about twenty ingredients, or if high fructose corn syrup appears at the top of the list, just put it back on the shelf and choose something else.
June 24, 2012 | Filed Under Hand Protection, Weightlifting | No Comments
Are your weight training gloves helping you get the most out of your workout? Or are they holding you back? Like any other element of your gear, your weight training gloves should contribute to your progress and offer returns equal to or greater than their cost. Above all else, your workout gear should be functional, stylish, and durable enough to stand up to whatever rough treatment you deal out.
Do Your Weight Lifting Gloves Make the Grade?
Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer no to any of them, consider tossing those old gloves and grabbing a pair of moisture-wicking neoprene Gripads.
1. Do your gloves constrict your range of motion? Traditional weight lifting gloves can inhibit your movements in subtle ways you might not even recognize until you think about it. But any restricted motion, especially in your hands, can interfere with your lifting technique and hold your progress back. Gripads slide on easily and cover only the palm, leaving the rest of the hand free.
2. Do your weight training gloves collect moisture? Gloves that cover the entire hand can accumulate must and sweat and prevent the skin from breathing properly. This means discomfort, mildew, smells, and bacteria growth. Gripads wick moisture away and allow your hands to sweat and breathe naturally.
3. Are your weight training gloves wearing away and falling apart? Your weight lifting gloves should work as hard as you do. Choose a form of hand protection that lasts through one tough workout after another. Slide on a pair of Gripads and then forget about them. They’ll still be there at the end of this workout. And the next, and the next after that. Just toss them in the wash and then back into your gym bag as good as new.
May 24, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
There’s nothing wrong with heading to the gym to workout with no specific goals and no long term plan in mind. Exercise is always healthy, and resistance training can build strength, boost circulation, elevate your confidence and release positive endorphins regardless of your goals or how long you keep it up.
But if there’s something specific you’d like to gain from your workout routine, your goals can and should play a role in what you lift and how you do it. For example, many people begin a workout regimen with the sole intention of developing large, defined muscles. If that’s your plan, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Building Muscle Mass and Size
First, recognize that listing for mass is not the same as lifting for strength. If you want a fast path to big muscles, you may have to let go of a total focus on muscle strength or athletic performance. But muscle mass is a great goal. Defined muscles make your clothes fit better, they make you look good and feel great, and they’re the first step on the way to competitive body building.
Second, since muscle mass is caused by hypertrophy, or miniscule tearing and damage to the muscle fibers, you’ll need to put your muscle tissue under high levels of stress. This will mean lifting to failure, or lifting heavy weights until you simply can’t do it anymore.
Lifting for muscle mass is often called the “burn-down” or “drop-down” method. Your trainer can provide you with specific instructions that match your own goals, but in general, your focus will be on low reps with very heavy weights.
Lifting for muscle mass requires extra attention to safety. If you’re using the burn-down method, you may be lifting weights that exceed your capacity, so make sure you lift with a spotter. You’ll also need to protect your hands. Use non-slip, moisture-wicking Gripads to keep your hands safe and your weights and equipment under control.
May 12, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
When you head into the resistance-training portion of your workout routine, do you do so with long- term goals in mind? If you’re lifting for maintenance or just trying to keep your body healthy, that’s great. But if you’re working your way toward specific goals, these goals should play a strong role in your approach to lifting, including your weight, reps, diet, and technique.
Mass and Strength: What are the Benefits One versus The Other?
Lifting for mass means building the size of your arms and legs without worrying much about making them stronger or improving your athletic performance. Big muscles are like a fashion accessory—They stand out, they change the way your clothes fit, and they can help you gain an edge in competitive body building. If you want a muscular look, you can definitely get it, but you won’t get there very fast if you choose moves and techniques that are designed for strength.
On the other hand, strength and performance don’t always translate into huge bulky muscles. In fact, the opposite may be true depending on your unique physiology. Choose this path if you want powerful muscles and are fine with a look that’s lean and toned.
To build strength in your chosen area, the first move will be finding the right guide. A knowledgeable coach or mentor can keep your training regimen—which may be complex—on track. Don’t just throw yourself into new moves on your own. Consult the internet or talk to someone who excels in your chosen sport.
Meanwhile, you’ll be lifting with a focus on reps and technique, not weight. You’ll usually be lifting lighter and longer than your bulked-out counterparts. Avoid questionable supplements, and eat plenty of chicken, fish, leafy green vegetables, and plant proteins like nuts and legumes.
To build volume and mass, use heavier weights and lower reps. Have your coach or mentor walk you through the drop-down or burn-down method, which will mean lifting until you experience muscle failure. This will contribute to the hypertrophy, or miniscule tissue damage, that builds volume. Be safe—lifting for mass often means lifting weights outside your comfort zone, so make sure you lift with a spotter.
April 12, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting, Workouts | No Comments
Body weight workouts are built around exercises that use our own body weight to create resistance. These include any exercise that challenges our muscles and our sense of balance against conflicting muscle groups, stationary objects, and constants like gravity. We’re engaging in body weight exercises every time we complete a simple move like a sit-up, push-up, or dip.
Advantages of Body Weight Workouts
Using your own body weight as your gym equipment can be convenient and fun. Body weight workouts are simple, portable and cheap, and they can be done anywhere, from a backyard to an office to a hotel room while traveling.
Floors are all around us, walls are everywhere, and gravity is free. But before you start relying exclusively on body weight exercises, remember that all workout routines should be just one component of a healthy lifestyle. Don’t just trust the floor and your own body to keep you fit—you’ll also need plenty of sleep, adequate stress management, and a healthy diet. You should also bear some of the following considerations in mind.
Body Weight Workout Considerations
Body weight exercises offer plenty of resistance as long as your strength-to-body weight ratio stays low. But as you become stronger, pound for pound, you’ll need to find ways to increase leverage and place your muscles at a greater mechanical disadvantage to get more out of your body weight workout. This is especially true for strong, lighter weight athletes like gymnasts.
Clothing and gear can play an important role in a good body weight workout. Since many of these moves involve parallel bars and floor work, hand protection will be key. In general, clothing for a body weight workout should be loose enough to allow a full range of motion but tight enough not to get in your way.
Also, you’ll need to pay attention to safety. Body weight exercises tend to be unstructured, so monitor your moves and stop doing something if you feel off balance or experience pain in your back, neck or joints.
March 27, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
Lifting too much weight and lifting improperly are two of the primary causes of back injury, from pulled muscles to slipped and ruptured disks. Safe lifting and proper biomechanics go hand in hand. But safe lifting also involves a few other considerations that you should keep in mind as you approach your weightlifting workout:
- If you have a history of back problems or have sustained a past injury to your neck or spine, don’t let your enthusiasm cloud your judgment. It’s great to feel motivated and competitive, but stay in control of your destiny. Talk to your doctor before you begin a lifting plan or make any changes to your existing plan, even insignificant changes. And of course, notify your personal trainer of your back history before you place your workout routine in his or her hands.
- Pay attention to your body and listen to its signals. Pain is a natural component of any serious workout, but only certain kinds of pain and only under certain circumstances. Feeling a burn in your targeted muscle area is great. A burn in your joints, neck or spine? Not great. If you feel pain in these areas, stop doing your current move. Ask your trainer about it, and if you don’t have a trainer, double-check your technique– something might be off.
- Don’t use gear you can’t trust. Make sure your no-slip Gripads are securely in place before you lift, and if you’ve had problems with a specific weight machine or a certain move in the past, don’t keep putting it to the test. Just move onto something else.
- Don’t lift heavy weights without a spotter. And don’t put yourself in a position in which you have to choose between dropping a weight and injuring yourself. Be ready to drop the weight.
March 21, 2012 | Filed Under Strength Training, Weightlifting | No Comments
Children and teenagers who are still growing often want to improve their athletic performance, tighten and tone their bodies so they look better, and improve their strength. Should parents and coaches encourage them to lift weights? The answer is almost always yes… but only within certain limits. As your child starts picking up weights and leaning toward lifting equipment, you’ll need to keep these considerations in mind:
- First, there’s a big difference between resistance training and competitive weightlifting, or body building. Light resistance training is a positive move in almost every way (read on), but intense weightlifting should be skipped. Heavy weights, lifting to failure, and overtaxing a child’s muscles can damage her growing tendons and the still-developing areas of her bones called growth plates. Put off the intense lifting for a few more years, and focus instead on proper technique, light resistance, and controlled movements.
- That being said, mild resistance training is generally great for kids. A regular routine of cardiovascular exercise supplemented by controlled resistance training can strengthen muscles and bones and improve athletic performance in almost every sport. It can also protect a child’s joints and muscles from sports-related injuries.
- Resistance training offers long-term lifestyle benefits as well. Children who engage in mild lifting workouts tend to have an easier time controlling their weight later in life. They also have healthier blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and they demonstrate improved confidence and self-esteem.
- Children can safely begin resistance training around the age of 7 or 8, as long as they’re mature enough to control their movements and know the difference between mild resistance and bulking up. If you aren’t sure your child is ready, or if he has a health issue, talk to your doctor before he begins.
March 18, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
The burn down approach to weightlifting, also called the drop-set method, is a lifting strategy often embraced by those in the competitive bodybuilding field. Bodybuilders like this approach since they prefer to stay focused on muscle size, definition, and other aesthetic qualities. Burn down lifting will provide bulk and support aesthetic goals, though it won’t do much to increase muscle strength.
To complete a drop set, load as much weight onto the barbell or dumbbell as you’re able to lift safely. Without a rest period, lift that amount of weight as many times as you can. When you can’t move the weight another millimeter, put it down. Professionals call this the “point of failure”. As soon as you’re ready, take a small amount of weight off the barbell or dumbbell and lift to failure again. Keep repeating this process with incremental reductions in the amount of weight you lift.
The burn down method builds bulk because it accelerates the process of hypertrophy, or the miniscule tearing and muscle fiber damage that leads to the formation of new fibers and scar tissue. Hypertrophy should not be confused with strength, so this method isn’t ideal if your lifting goals are focused on strength training and athletic performance. For performance goals, lift lighter weights and increase your reps.
Before you decide to add drop sets to your workout plan, bear in mind that some lifters are not genetically inclined to develop huge bulk, even if they practice the burn down method every day. So as always, keep your expectations reasonable. A personal trainer can help you customize your plan to reach your goals. Also, stay safe when you’re lifting to failure. Don’t lift without a spotter, use a weight belt if you need one, and make sure you wear a pair of strong, slip-proof, moisture-wicking Gripads.
March 5, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
Weight training is a great way to stay fit during pregnancy, and it provides benefits after childbirth as well. Keep in mind, though, that your fitness goals now should be geared toward maintenance and not dramatic gains. A basic program is suggested, focusing on the major muscle groups. You might want to enlist a personal trainer who has experience working with mothers-to-be.
Take these precautions:
Check in with your healthcare provider. Go over your exercise regimen with your doctor or midwife first to make sure it’s okay for you to continue at your current pace while you’re pregnant.
Use lighter weights, more reps. To avoid overloading joints already loosened by increased levels of the hormone relaxin during pregnancy, use lighter weights and do more repetitions instead. If you usually do leg presses with 30 pounds for 8 to 12 repetitions, try 15 pounds for 15 to 20 reps. Or if you typically do a chest press with 15 pounds for 8 to 12 reps, try 8 pounds for 15 to 20 reps.
Avoid walking lunges. These raise your risk of injury to connective tissue in the pelvic area.
Watch the weights. Be extremely careful with free weights to prevent them from hitting your abdomen. Or use resistance bands instead, which offer different amounts of resistance and varied ways to do your weight training and pose no risk to your belly.
Don’t lift while flat on your back. After the first trimester, lying on your back can put pressure on a major vein called the vena cava, which diminishes blood flow to your brain and uterus. An easy modification is to tilt the bench to an incline.
Listen to your body. The most important rule is to pay attention to what’s going on physically. If you’re feeling muscle strain or excessive fatigue, modify the moves you’re doing and/or reduce the frequency of your workouts. Pregnancy isn’t the time to push yourself to your limits.
As long as you follow these guidelines — doing any chest, back, leg, or shoulder lifts in a sitting or upright/inclined position, and not lifting more than 5 to 12 pounds — you should be able to safely keep weight training while you’re pregnant.
February 27, 2012 | Filed Under Nutrition, Weightlifting | No Comments
Nutrition is one of the most confusing aspects of muscle building, and many bodybuilders achieve poor progress, specifically due to serious dietary errors. Those who aim to build muscle mass are often wondering exactly when they should consume meals, especially in relation to the weight training workout itself, with some aiming for a complete meal prior to their workout, and others avoiding food before an intense weight lifting session, with a feeling that more fat burning will occur when food is restricted prior to an exercise period.
Obviously, these wide range of opinions create much frustration for the bodybuilder who is seeking maximum muscle gain, but there is a correct answer as it pertains to eating before weight lifting, in that doing so is extremely beneficial for muscle building. In fact, intensity must remain extremely high for a workout to consistently boost muscle mass, and this becomes overwhelming for most when attempting to perform a weight lifting session on an empty stomach. For those who decide to engage in an early morning workout, this becomes especially problematic, as energy levels are low due to the overnight fast, and although performing a weight training workout in such a scenario will certainly prove possible, intensity will suffer greatly, which leads to disappointing muscle gain.
The best diet technique is to fuel the body with a properly balanced carbohydrate and protein meal prior to a weight lifting session, as protein is always used by the body for recuperation and to build new muscle mass, while carbohydrates are the primary fuel for intense workout periods, and planning a meal with ample carbohydrates preceding a weight lifting workout will allow energy levels to dramatically improve intensity, sending muscle gains to new heights.
Do not allow hunger to become the barometer for whether you consume food prior to a weight lifting session, as even those with tiny appetites are in need of nutrition before their workout, and there are a wide range of convenient, quick to prepare, and easy to consume carbohydrate and protein sources that will make a meal prior to weight lifting fun to consume, and simple to digest.
February 21, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
The deadlift is a classic weight room exercise that has been practiced in its perfect form for countless decades by serious power lifters. Despite how simply the exercise seems to be (to lift the weight from the ground and then lower it again), many people have difficulty in following proper technique, and will often allow small mistakes to creep in. One of the most common is to start the set from standing, and then ‘bounce’ the weights off the ground and back up to a standing position.
A deadlift is so called because the weight must be raised from a dead stop. The trainee must break inertia and lift the weight to a locked out position where they are at a complete vertical line.
Any other problems with technique will be much harder to correct if you begin the deadlift from a standing position and count on a bounce. If your back begins to round or waver from side to side, you will be much less likely to notice it, and in such manner are bad habits created, resulting in your eventually being limited on how much you can lift without damaging yourself.
When lifting enormous loads there are few exercises that come to mind. The squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Of these, the deadlift allows the trainee to lift the most, and in doing so the most perfect technique is required. In order to properly understand the biomechanics behind the deadlift, it is crucial to break the exercise down into its component parts.
Instead, embrace the complete stop at which you must lift the weight from the ground, since this allows you to completely and properly set yourself, allowing you to check in on your start position and ensure that the bar is over the midline of your foot, that it is touching your shins, that your scapula is directly over the bar, that your arms are straight, that your back is straight if not a little arched in the set position. Finally, you should always remember to wear protective hand gear such as Gripads to complete the technique in a safe manner.
February 18, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
Elbow pain from weightlifting often occurs with beginners, who intend to gain muscle quickly and therefore start lifting heavy weights. This finally lands them in elbow pain if they’re not careful. However, it also happens to experienced weightlifters after a period of continuous heavy weightlifting, as this starts affecting their elbow joints. Another cause of elbow pain is imbalance while lifting weights. Remember, whilst lifting heavy weights, you also need to maintain a proper body balance, which otherwise can result in injury to any body part – especially elbows and back muscles.
Below are some common types of elbow pain that can be experienced in different parts of the elbow.
Golfer’s elbow is a sort of elbow pain that occurs in the ulna side of the elbow. Most common weightlifting exercises that cause golfer’s elbow are tricep presses, dumbbell flies and bicep curls, which involve frequent up and down movements of the elbows.
Tendinitis is another name for tennis elbow. This problem is experienced mostly due to the pulling and pushing movements of elbows during certain exercises. Tendinitis or tennis elbow occurs when lateral epicondyle (a bone on the radius side of the forearm) is rubbed against the tendons of the forearms and triceps.
Pain in front of the elbow
People who over train or perform more workouts on biceps are more prone towards pain in the frontal part of the elbow. Exercises such as the preacher curls, bicep curls, hammer curls and incline curls, performed either with barbells or dumbbells exert a lot of strain in the front region of the elbow.
Pain above the elbow
Most of the people who indulge in long and intense workouts of seated and standing dips can suffer from pain above the elbow region. Excessive workouts or bench press can also result into such an elbow pain.
It is important if you have experienced any of the above pain to consult a weight-lifting trainer and get a proper weightlifting workout prescribed with appropriate weights and right techniques, to avoid future elbow pain.
February 3, 2012 | Filed Under Weightlifting | No Comments
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Weight lifting mistakes like trying to lift before you are fully warmed up, or taking on weights that are heavier than the ones you need, can turn a workout session into a nightmare. The pain of a weight lifting mistake is bad enough, but the discomfort of an injury during strength training is just one part of the package. Most mistakes in the weight room cause injury or damage, which spells bad news for your health in the present and in the future. Tearing a tendon or a muscle insertion can affect the resilience of that muscle group and impact your training for years to come.
Most weight lifting mistakes result from trying to take on too much weight too early in the training process. In an effort to push harder, many beginning and even some experienced lifters try to handle the most poundage possible, a choice that often backfires. Experts agree that it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to lifting weights, so although it is important to challenge yourself with your workout, it is better to opt for more reps with less pounds than to risk hurting yourself.
To protect yourself against weight lifting injuries, just follow these simple tips. Rather than pushing yourself to your limits by trying to lift heavy weight, try sticking with smaller weights but persevering through a couple of extra reps. Your main priority should be to achieve perfect form as you go through your weight lifting regimen, so when you set your fitness goals, focus on attaining better positions rather than on lifting more weight. To protect your muscles, make sure that they are warm from start to finish as you workout. A solid warm-up and a gentle cool down will help you make sure that your muscles are at their peak of flexibility, which will help you avoid injury. Always remember to protect your hands with professional weightlifting gloves like Gripads.