A to Z of Weight TrainingWorking through the available information on weight training and strength training as a novice or an experienced trainer can be a daunting process. Many opinions exist on many different subject areas, some of which are defined by controversy.
I’ve put together a summary of my articles with links to specific, and mostly non-controversial information that stretches from beginner to experienced practitioner in a logical sequence. You can start at any point and link to the information that is important to you. To help you get ready, here two basic primers on weight training.
If you want more reading, you can follow up with these short reviews of ten of the best books about weight training from novice to expert level.
Looking After Health and SafetyBefore you start weight training or any exercise after a period of doing very little exercise, you need to make sure you are medically fit for the extra stress placed on the body. Most people are, so don’t let that put you off.
Where Do You Want to Train?The next thing you may wish to consider is where you wish to train: at home or at a facility like a gym or health club. Good arguments exist for both, depending on your circumstances, but a gym may provide a better all-round experience in variety of exercises available and the motivation of social interaction.
Do You Need a Personal Trainer?It’s a good idea to employ a personal trainer for a few sessions, if only to familiarize yourself with exercise form and safety issues. Make sure you get someone who is qualified or at least has a good reputation for knowledge and experience.
How Weight Training Can Help YouThe benefits of weight training are diverse. These days, strength and muscle building are not just about body image, weightlifting and bodybuilding competition and sports, because increasingly a variety of health conditions can be either stabilized or improved with weight training as part of an exercise program. Many experts now say that weight training is of equal importance to aerobic training for health and fitness, especially for the over-40 age groups, men and women.
- Health benefits of weight training
- Fitness benefits with circuit training
- Muscle building and body shaping
- Building strength
- Facts and fallacies about weights and exercise for fat loss
Typical Sets of Common ExercisesMany exercises are available in gyms with a complete inventory of free weights and exercise machines and stations. You don't need to use all of them, although variety helps maintain interest and some equipment is preferable depending on what your goals are.
Choosing a Workout ProgramThe best results arise from using a structured training program tailored for your specific goals rather than a haphazard choice of exercises. A "program" means that you will train according to a sequence of exercises and times that match your target results. It’s best to write this down and take it with you to the gym so you work through each exercise in sequence –- at least until you are familiar with it. Here are three examples.
Fat Loss Weight TrainingPhysical activity in conjunction with calorie restriction is a proven method of weight reduction. Weight training is one component of an exercise program. Extra muscle increases metabolism a little and provides the strength to complete harder workouts.
- The fundamentals of fat burning
- Questions and answers about fat loss
- How to measure body fat
- A high-power fat loss program
Advanced Concepts in Weight TrainingIf you want to delve into the finer detail of weight training terminology from sets and repetitions to periodized training programs and the subtleties of program variation for specific goals, then this is a good place to start:
Also, for more advanced information, check out the book list for names like Rippetoe, Bompa, Baechle, Zatsiorski and Siff.