Ten Tips for Performing Weight Lifting Program
- Always warm up properly before starting
- your workout, making sure you include the three main components of warm up :aerobic activity, mobilization of the joints, and warm-up sets with light weights and high repetitions. You can also do some warm up exercises as described in our warm-up section. Never train a cold muscle as that increases injury risk.
- Select a suitable weight which will allow you to complete the desired number of repetitions safely. Do not be tempted to lift heavier weights before you have developed sufficient strength in your muscles, tendons and ligaments.
- The general rule of thumb is to breathe out
on the concentric (or positive) part of the movement (when you lift the weight) and breathe in on the eccentric (or negative) part of the movement (lowering the weight). Never hold your breath.
- Perform each repetition using a complete range of movement, taking the muscle from its fully extended position to its fully contracted position. Partial repetitions will develop strength only in that portion of the movement, and produce only slow overall gains. Also avoid cheating movements as these will reduce the training stimulus and increase injury risk.
- Maintain full control of the weight throughout the movement. Swinging a weight too fast means momentum takes over to bear the load rather than the target muscles, putting your joints at risk of injury.
- Focus on both the concentric and eccentric phases of each movement. Resist the weight as you return it slowly to the starting position.
- To find the correct training tempo, count to two as you lift the weight, and count to three as you lower the weight. Hold the fully contracted position for a count of one (but do not relax) before returning the weight to the starting position.
- Visualizing your target muscle contract and relax will not only help you perform the exercise with good technique but will also help you do more repetitions. For example, as you press the bar up for for a bench press, visualize your chest muscles contracting and getting stronger. This strategy reinforces the powerful mind-body link, which gives you more control over your body and, ultimately, greater physical gains.
- Ideally, stretch the target muscles between sets, holding each stretch for a minimum of 8 seconds.
- Perform longer (developmental) stretches immediately after the workout. Each stretch should be held for 30-60 seconds.