Weight training can be used to improve strength, speed, stamina, endurance, muscle, lose body fat, prevent injury, rehab and feel generally better about yourself and your body. It also impacts your wider wellness with a testosterone boosting effect, improved sleep and can even help with the production of collagen to improve your skin! In essence, weight training is the answer to a lot of things.
But how do we know what style of weight training to do for our specific goal? If we take a look at building strength, for example, the way you would train compared to endurance, for instance,e would be very different, both would still involve moving weight but in slightly different ways. Strength training requires a greater amount of force moved and usually involves greater rest periods.
If you were looking to build strength in your legs, you may opt for things like squats, keep the repetitions low (3-5) and have longer rest in between sets to ensure your CNS (central nervous system) is recovered and you are ready to go again. Take endurance, this requires greater aerobic capacity (more oxygen) so you may want to increase the number of repetitions done (10+) and reduce the amount of rest time.
It’s important here to not only look at the repetitions and rest but the load (weight) you move. For strength training you will look to add more weight to the exercises and perform fewer reps, however, with endurance training, it would be less weight and more reps. Different types of training require different variables so ensure you gain a good understanding by reading, educate yourself and speaking with a trainer who knows your goal and understands what you need to improve on that goal.
Now that we’ve sold you on the benefits and before you rush off to the gym, WEIGHT a minute so we can ensure you are training properly and not making these common weight training errors:
Common Mistakes in Weight Training;
- The most common error our team spot at the gym is a lack of mobility and poor mechanics in big compound lifts.
- Running before you can walk – I’m not referring to cardio here, more the idea that before you try and master the advanced part of weight training, you must first master the basics. Understanding first how to lift a minimal weight with correct form and technique is going to be more beneficial than trying to over lift without correct form or technique, this will only cause injury, lack of motivation and may put you off weight training for good and then you’ll miss out on the HUGE benefits that come with it. The solution: Start smaller, lighter and master that, then work your way up to lifting more weight and trying more technical exercises.
- Not having a plan in place – It’s important to have a plan of what you are going to do, how much you intend on lifting, reps, sets, rest etc. This way you will see progress as you will know each session what you have done and what you need to do extra/different the next session in order to improve.
- Not warming up for the session – Simply jogging on a treadmill will get you warm before you train, but that’s about it. Ensure you are warming up appropriate area for the session you have planned, for instance, if you know you are doing squats and lunges, focus on warming up and activating the gluteus, hamstrings and lower back, same goes for if you are doing pull-ups, warm up your back and arms as its these muscle groups you will be using.
- Prep your body before getting under the bar or throwing some weights around is really important! But be specific in what muscles you want to be waking up before your session. Make sure you’re mobilising the specific muscle group you are about to train and add some activation exercises to get those muscles firing before you hit the big boy weights!
- Master the basics! Work first on establishing good mechanics and being able to perform each rep consistently well before adding intensity to your training. You are only as strong as our weakest link so build a strong foundation in the basics, work consistently on weaknesses (mobility, stability, technique) and you should see some awesome progression in your strength training! Having a good understanding of how to regress and progress certain movements based on your level of experience and capabilities is key to getting the most out of your program.
- Find someone who motivates you – Its not always easy to push and progress, more so with weight training as the demand is great and sometimes you just need that motivator by your side, to push you and make sure you hit your full potential. Find a friend or a coach who you can be held accountable to, someone who will push you each session and spot you when needed, do this and watch yourself improve.
- Adjust your programme depending on how your body feels – Sometimes we feel full of beans, hyped and ready to train, it’s these days you want to increase the weight, reduce the rest and push yourself above and beyond. Other days we feel tired, lethargic and demotivated, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t train, far from it, but it may mean we need to reduce the intensity 10-20%, pull back a bit on the weight and rest slightly longer. Listen to your body, if it says push then push, if not take a small step back, you will feel better for it I promise.
If you’re looking to take your training to the next level join us for a group training class, you’ll be surrounded by a like-minded fit fam who will motivate you to push through and reach your goals. If you need one-to-one advice sign up for PT with one of our expert coaches or try a consultation at the clinic to evaluate any imbalances and perfect your technique.