When it comes to weight lifting programs it is hard to say what ‘average’ is because every person is different – they have different natural strengths and recovery times and a big factor of how to shape a weight lifting routine is decided by what you want to gain from it.
However the average gym goer is normally at a level of fitness that should be safe to incorporate a weight lifting program into an exercise regime.
No one is going to look like the incredible hulk without completely changing their diet and lifestyle too – most average gym goers want to tone up and try and bulk up a bit but not to the extreme of some of the serious professional bodybuilders and powerlifters.
Devise Your Workout Routine And Start Small
Before starting a weight lifting program you need to think about what you want from it and plan out your sessions. If you want to generally tone up – an all over body workout is the best way to go about this as once you start building muscle more and more calories are burned off and your metabolism rate will increase.
You should decide on exercises that target all the specific muscle groups such as abs, legs, chest, back, shoulders and triceps and biceps.
You need to start off small and then build up the weights and intensity of the weight lifting workouts. Although serious bodybuilders and powerlifters go for low frequency of reps in their sets to avoid injury it is best to start off with low weight with high reps (6 to 12) as this will help build strength and muscle mass as well as endurance without risking too much stress on the muscles. Once you are doing more reps with a weight then you will know it’s time to increase the weight.
Warm-Up, Keep Good Form And Rest
Warm up – The first thing to schedule into your weight lifting plan is a proper warm up, at least 10 minutes should be devoted to warming up your core and stretching each muscle out even if you won’t be using weights with it. This will prevent injury and it has also been said that doing this will actually increase the amount of weight you can lift.
Good form – Make sure you do the research on your exercises to ensure good form especially if you are using free weights in your workout. Also plan to do the larger muscle groups in your workout before the smaller so things like back and chest before arms because they are used in exercises such as bench presses too and if you have fatigued them it will hinder the progress with those exercises.
Rest – Work each muscle group until the muscles are exhausted – known as volitional fatigue and then make sure you rest the muscles for 24 hours so that they can repair themselves because that is how the muscles will get bigger and more toned.
Off You Go!
When planning the exercises you do, try to start off with compound exercises and then as you progress bring in the isolation exercises as well. Compound exercises will work more of your muscles and burn off more fat more quickly.
One final weight lifting tip for your program is to keep a diary so you can track your progress and know which weight to move up to.