This guest post comes from Tiffany Gust, trainer at the Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge.
Many people enjoy lifting weights and have been doing it for years; however, there are some common mistakes that seem to keep people from reaching their goals. These are simple to fix, and can enhance anyone’s current workout program.
1. Warm up. It is important to warm up the muscles before you start your strength training. The muscles are cold and rigid, especially in the morning. By hitting a cardio machine for 10-12 minutes before your strength training, you prepare the muscles for what is about to take place. Some like to walk or ride their bikes to the gym, and this is very effective as well.
2. Stretching. Some engage in stretching exercises before they lift. This actually weakens the muscles and decreases the effectiveness of the strength training session. Stretching after the session is completed will help reduce injury or muscle soreness.
3. Lifting too heavy or too light. If toning is your goal, you should lift 12-15 repetitions while maintaining good form. The weight should be heavy enough that you can feel a burning in the belly of the muscles you are working. If this is done for 2-3 sets, one should see results with consistent behavior.
4. Speed. When the strength training exercise is done at a slow pace, it takes out the momentum. The American Council on Exercise recommends two counts up and four counts down.
By adding just a few small changes to your regular strength training routine, you will be able to see better results faster, and avoid injuries. Change up your workout often, and think outside the box for fresh new ideas.