Diet and cardiovascular exercise are extremely important, but to transform your body shape there is nothing better than weight training.
Weight training will also strengthen your bones and increase muscular endurance. In addition, your muscles will grow/tone and larger or more toned muscles burn more calories and your overall metabolism will be raised.
Weight training, particularly free weight training, if done alone or incorrectly, can be dangerous, so find out as much information as you can on lifting technique, how much to lift and the various weight training programmes available. There are numerous books on the subject, or you could talk to friends who already work out, or a personal trainer. It would also be a good idea to consult your doctor if you are over 40, have not exercised for a long time, or suffer from high blood pressure.
Whether you intend to use a free weight set, dumbbells, or intend to train using multi-station equipment, the routine you choose will depend on your goals and the free time you have for your workouts.
Benefits of Weight Training
- Lifting weights raises your metabolism. Burn more calories – 24 hours a day!
- Free-weight workouts strengthen your bones, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis
- Improve your muscular endurance, posture, balance and immune system
- Strength training elevates your mood resulting in increased confidence in yourself
- Can drastically change your body shape.
If you are new to lifting weights and shopping for equipment to get started, you will soon realize that this can be a daunting task. There are basically two types of gear to consider – a free weight set and/or multi gyms.
- Free Weight Set – Barbells, dumbbells and plates
- Benches – Flat, incline and decline benches. Some are adjustable, with or without dumbbell racks and leg units. Ideal for all types of training programmes including bench press, fly’s, shoulder press and arm curls
- Multi-Gyms – Multi-Gyms can be used to train your entire body. They are safer to use than a free weight set because the weights are situated behind you and are lifted by an arrangement of cables and pulleys.
Not everyone can afford a top of the range multi-gym but for less than a couple of hundred pounds it is possible set yourself up with a free-weight set and bench will which still be able to provide a great weight training workout.