Lifting weights is a form of exercise that uses resistances provided by different weights to produce the desired results, such as an increase in size, power, strength or endurance.
Weight training is incredibly beneficial for your overall health and, you can accomplish a lot more than muscle bulkiness or gains from lifting weights.
You may not even realize a significant change in your muscles, but you can notice an increase in your muscular size, strength, endurance, and power.
When people begin weight training, most of them usually overdo it. They want to gain muscle quickly, so they train almost every day in a week thinking that the more they do it, the faster they will see results.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t take you long to learn the hard way that recovery is paramount when lifting weights.
You are sore most of the time and continuing with your exercise becomes challenging, which can force you to scale your exercises back, so you just hit a muscle twice or once a week.
Your impulse to utilize a high training frequency is not wrong, but the way you go about it can make it wrong.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should train every group of muscle as a set three or two times at light intensity every week if you are getting started or you are a senior.
If you are used to resistance training and you’ve been doing it for some time, three to four days each week is recommended for a total body exercise.
If you are experienced in lifting weights, try a split schedule to give you a complete resistance exercise of three times a week. You can space out your workout by lifting some weights on one day and taking your rest the next to make sure that your muscles get enough time to recover.
For instance, you can lift weights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, perform moderate cardio workouts on Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and then take the weekends to rest your whole body to get ready for your next weekly schedule.
Duration of the Workout
The American College of Sports Medicine suggests two to four groups of resistance training on every major part of your body which includes shoulders, chest, legs, and arms.
If you are below the age of 40 years, every set should consist of 8 to 12 repetitions with a reasonable weight that you can easily lift before it becomes challenging to lift.
If you are over 40 years of age, aim for around 10 to 15 repetitions in every group.
This increase in repetitions is needed because the size of the muscles is easily lost as you age. That means you will have to work hard to build and maintain your muscle.
You should rest for at least 48 hours to allow your muscles to recover after your resistance workout session before you embark on the next one to give your muscles time to repair.
Benefits of Resistance Training
You will exercise smarter
When you entirely focus on a set of muscles or lift weights once a week, there is a lot of natural pressure to exercise as hard as you can. That means you are liable to go heavier than you may feel up to or go to failure.
You want to make the most of your workout, so it’s difficult to be mentally comfortable with doing only a few repetitions on days when you need to or backing off from the training.
However, if you know you are going to exercise your shoulders for two more times in a particular week, for instance, it’s pretty easy to be responsible and also workout within your limits.
Exercising the whole body will automatically control your volume, reducing your risks of over-training.
You will not have the energy or time to get overexcited with your bench pressing when you already know you are supposed to work your core, back or the legs in the same session. High-frequency training also ensures that you get balanced training too.
If you did four sets for your back, you will probably notice that you should do four sets for the chest before you leave the gym. That means you will not favor one part of your body over the other in any way.
You will become stronger
Increasing your frequency of lifting weights is probably one of the simplest ways to see improvements on it.
Every exercise feels like a workout session, assisting your muscles to learn and memorize each technique.
A squat exercise that feels a bit unsteady during the first week will feel fast and smooth within one or two weeks of regular exercise provided you are doing it the right way.
Select the lifts you will be able to bring up sensibly, ensuring that they are the ones you can lift with maximum ability, or troubleshoot by yourself at least.
Repeating a certain lift almost every other day works particularly well when it comes to mastering high-proficiency workouts.
If you want to do a one-legged squat or a barbell squat, you are better off exercising them multiple times every week.
For example, Jim Williams, a famous power-lifting icon, bench pressed for five days every week and later became the first man to lift 675 pounds in Olympic competition.
Therefore, if you decide to start lifting weights, you should purpose to practice certain lifts each day because a daily practice is paramount to the achievement of any success.
You will establish regular training as a habit
Some individuals need to exclusively budget time into their daily schedules to exercise, or they won’t exercise at all.
For some of them, working out more regularly is a good solution and going to the gym more often helps them develop regular training as a habit.
Exercising becomes just another crucial part of your day and can help enhance adherence to a workout program.
The other habit that most regular gym-goers will form is mobility work. An increased workout will mean more warm-ups, and this will necessitate more static and dynamic flexibility exercises to keep your soft tissues and joints healthy.
How to do High-frequency Workouts
The frequent question when lifting weights to build muscle is how much is too much. For your safety and to avoid burnout, it’s probably good to stop at six or five, although Saxon proved that seven days of weight lifting could also be effective if your mind is set on it.
However, the amount of high-frequency training depends mainly on the time you have and your preference, and it’ll determine the intensity and the volume you put in every session.
Lifting weights three days every week
Three workouts every week is a common way for beginners and the people who want to become lean.
It works well for muscle building and also provides you with more exposure to an exercising incentive than most people are used to. In this case, bodybuilding experts recommend two approaches.
1. Doing two sets in every movement pattern
In this approach, movement patterns are often divided into the following: hinging in any deadlift variation, squatting with swing variations, pulling in vertical chin-ups and horizontal rows, and pushing horizontally like bench pressing or vertically like in overhead presses.
You can start with two sets of chin-ups, rows, flat bench, front squats, RDLs, and dumbbell. After two days, go back and change the exercises, and keep them for around four weeks.
You can change them after that since your joints will begin to take the beating. Remember variety will always keep you healthier but the way you do your two sets is solely upon you.
The first set can be heavy, performed for low repetitions, and the second a bit lighter for high repetitions. You can also go light first or even do both of them heavy.
You can experiment to see what will work for you, but the two sets do not include the warm-up sets you need to prepare for the weights you want to utilize for a specific lift. Again, do not be afraid of failure.
You are going to exercise again in a couple of days, and you should be ready for it. Working out frequently on a high-frequency plan will typically burn you out and can also bring you injuries fast.
2. Narrow down your workouts to a single pull, push, and leg movement
The second approach is basic, and you can rotate the options in every session, and also play with the intensity and volume as well. For instance, you can do three sets of 12 on Monday, then four sets of 8 on Wednesday, and three sets of 12 on Friday.
The additional sets allow you to work on every muscle a little bit more feels more like an upper-lower split or traditional body-part if that’s what you want. However, limiting yourself to three fundamental movements will keep the volume and intensity under control.
You can include several sets of a full carry such as farmer’s walks, triceps, biceps, delts or core exercises at the end if that’s what you want.
Exercising for four or more days in a week
If you are going to exercise almost every day, you will have to be incredibly conservative with every routine.
If that is not your style since you like exercising heavy and hard all the time, its fine, but you can become impressively ripped and brutally strong if you teach yourself to hold back more.
In this case, select three huge lifts and limit yourself to only two to three sets without fail.
Treat each set as a practice session and work up to weights that feels reasonable and understand that some days will always be better than others. Such frequency is good for weight lifts such as bench presses and squats.
You cannot deadlift each day, but you can do something like the front squat, bench presses, and chin-ups and see fast results.
Be careful with the isolation lifts you decide to use with this approach. Even if you are avoiding failure as much as possible, working the same muscle for four days or more is taxing, particularly when it comes to your joints.
Remember that something as mild as curls can lead to shoulder or elbow pain, so if you are a beginner avoid any isolation lifts for the first three to four weeks.
You can start small and gradually include one set of laterals as you finish your workout session. The following day, you can add one set of pushdowns or one set of curls but keep them light at around 10 to 15 repetitions.
Weight Lifting Benefits and Tips to Help you Build Muscle
Whether you are 20 or 60, athlete or non-athlete, man or woman, it’s essential to remain physically active.
While medical experts have done an excellent job in warning us about the impacts of poor cardiovascular health, most people do not give enough attention to building or maintaining physical strength. Weight lifting is necessary and here are some of the reasons why:
Increased muscular strength
Lifting weights can assist you in developing muscular strength and, using a routine with the right progression; you can also train your muscles to build their overall capacity, which means you will be able to pull, push, or lift heavier weight.
Increased muscular endurance
Muscular endurance refers to as the ability of your muscles to apply force against resistance for a long duration. Lifting weights more often will assist your muscles to convert your energy more effectively. Therefore, the more you exercise your muscles, the longer you will be able to exercise before fatigue sets in.
Increased your muscular power
Muscle power refers to the speed or explosiveness that your muscles can handle when lifting weights. When your muscles are more efficient and stronger, they will feel more powerful at all times.
Increases the size of your muscles
Increase in the size of your skeletal muscle is one of the most common motivations people take when it comes to weight lifting. When you increase the mass of your muscles, you accelerate your body metabolism which results in the body burning lots of calories during the day.
Here are the additional health benefits you will enjoy by lifting weights regularly
- Reduces the risk of osteoporosis and builds your bone density
- Increases cardiopulmonary health
- Reduces the risk of injuries by keeping all your joints safe
- Develops your confidence because when you are strong and fit, you will perform at your best
- Improves your balance and also reduces the risk of falling
- It’s incredibly beneficial for seniors to aid in gaining muscle mass
- Helps to aid and prevent postural imbalance due to strong muscles pulling your system out of alignment or weak muscles.
In a nutshell, if you desire to live a high-quality life, even in your old age, then ensure that you develop a strong foundation of cardio and strength from a tender age. When it comes to weight training, you should focus on actual strength training.
Real strength training refers to lifting heavy weights even more than your body weight in some workouts and concentrating on tough exercises such as military presses, squats and more.
You can build muscle and improve your fitness and overall health with the right guidelines.
To see results, ensure that you implement these tips into your workout schedule and remain consistent with building muscle.
Concentrate on free-weight compound workouts
A compound workout refers to a single move that involves multiple groups of muscles. For instance, a simple squat works every muscle in your lower body and works the upper body muscles and your core as well.
While a seated leg movement solely works the quad muscles. Heavy-compound workouts are ideal for strength training since they enable you to build more strength and lift heavier than most isolation moves.
Again, if you focus your workouts entirely around compound moves, then you only require approximately three to six routines in one session.
Do lower repetitions
If you are conversant with proper form and technique, then you can include lower reps into your training.
Lowering your repetitions means you should lift heavy weights, which will assist you in gaining more strength.
However, if you are not into competitive weight training, then five repetitions are excellent, and you don’t have to go lower than that, but you should up to the weight.
Go for full-body training
Resistance training is usually a skill, and just like any other expertise, the more practice you put into it, the more proficiency and better you will get.
For instance, if you want to build your leg strength, you should exercise your legs three times every week, instead of once every seven days.
By practicing multiple times every week, your nervous system and muscles will get efficient at it, and they eventually become stronger.
Keep your ‘Training to Failure’ to the lowest
Training to failure refers to when you do a set of exercises to the point of muscular fatigue.
While strength training may look like a hardcore way to exercise, training to failure will eventually lead to possible injuries and over training.
Nevertheless, if you stop your workout one or two repetitions short of failure, then you’ll feel a lot better, gain strength faster and prevent any injuries. For instance, if you can squat 200 pounds for ten repetitions, then do seven reps.
In theory, it might sound like you are giving up early, but this way will assist you in adding more weight to your resistance training routine without burning out. However, if you still need to train to failure, then try and do it on the last set of every exercise.
Try moving the weight faster
Many books and other online resources will recommend lifting weights gradually, and while that is ideal for novice weight lifters when lifting form, you should try moving weights faster if you want to become strong.
Slowly moving weight will not allow you to lift heavy weights. Alternatively, when you start moving weights with speed, your quick twitch muscle tissues, which are stronger, will immediately come into play.
When you look at professional weightlifters, you will discover that they usually move big weights from one point to another in a second.
If they try doing this in a gradual motion, they might end up lifting less weight than what they do. In the same way, when a martial artist punches or kicks, they do so speedily to create maximum effect.
Otherwise, their effort would not have a lot of impacts. Therefore, focus on speed if you want to become strong.
Nevertheless, remember that lifting with speed does not mean you dangerously lifting weight or using poor form. You should still maintain proper form and technique.
Weight lifting can do more for you than making you the envy of your peers or getting the attraction.
A lean and toned physique is desirable, but regular strength training can also help in improving your levels of cholesterol as well as lowering your blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
However, too much resistance training in a week can sometimes do you more harm than good.
According to a study carried out by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, lifting weights to build muscle can reduce symptoms of diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis.
Resistance training can also boost metabolic rate to aid weight loss, increase bone density, and also help you maintain a strong cardiovascular system.
Alternatively, overtraining or lifting weights regularly with little to no rest between training sessions can lead to delayed onset muscle pain and damage of skeletal muscle.
In conclusion, always consult a medical professional before getting started on any strength training routine.
If you have a background of heart disease or you are pregnant, seek medical advice before you embark on resistance training exercises to avoid any health complications.
Always consult a bodybuilding expert or a professional gym instructor when it comes to the operation of the strength training machines, the right form, lifting weights, and the techniques that will work best for you.