More and more people are turning to weightlifting to preserve youth, maintain strength, and even reduce body fat. Numerous studies point out the wonderful benefits of weightlifting. However, what is the right way to do it?
Bodybuilders, and even casual fitness enthusiasts, should understand a simple weightlifting program blueprint prior to training. By following this proven blueprint, increasing muscle mass has never been easier.
Designing an effective weightlifting program is as simple as following the proven steps listed below. Follow these steps, and you will be on your way towards greater muscle, greater bone strength, and even less body fat.
Step 1 – Determine Your Goals – Sit down with a pen and
paper, and outline your weightlifting goals. Be specific! What exactly do you want to accomplish, and by when? Write them down, visualize them, and repeat them daily.
A goal isn’t a goal until it has been written down. This is the first crucial step in designing your weightlifting program.
Step 2 – Evaluate Your Medical History – When designing your weightlifting program, determine which exercises may hinder your medically challenged areas. Consider modifying certain exercises that could possibly cause problems.
I recommend getting a medical physical prior to engaging in an exercise program. Sometimes your doctor can locate a medical limitation you didn’t even know you had. You should also discuss your exercise program with your physician asking if there are any medical limitations.
Step 3 – Program Design – Next, you will, once again, want to sit down at a computer, or have a paper and pen ready to begin outlining your specific program. What follows are some weightlifting program design tips you should consider.
Determine how many sets, exercises, and reps per body part you intend to perform. You should not be doing more than two sets of weights for each exercise. Use one as a warm up, and the other as an all-out “work set.” You should only be doing one to three different exercises per body part. Please remember, weightlifting is anaerobic, not aerobic. The intensity should be high, depending upon your goals, while the volume, or sets should be low.
According to your goals, you can either train for strength by doing very heavy weight and low reps, or for endurance, lower weights, more reps. For bodybuilders, I recommend 8-12 reps per set.
Make sure you have incorporated enough rest days between workouts. You should have this all outlined prior to lifting your first weight. Depending on your goals, once again, you should only be weightlifting one to two days per week, maximum. The higher your intensity, the more rest you will need.
Another tip I would like you to consider is the speed of reps. Make sure you are letting the muscle do the work, and not the external force – momentum. I always recommend using a two second positive, and a four second negative cadence.
As far as breaking up your body-parts up, I recommend a split routine. In a weightlifting workout split routine, you can really maximize your muscle producing days. An example would be one workout doing chest, and back, while the next workout exercises legs.
Consider what time of the day; and where you going to workout. Have this all planned out prior to your first repetition. Are you working out at home with dumbbells, or are you joining a gym?
If you are planning on exercising the entire body in one workout, make sure you start with the largest muscle groups first, and work your way to the smallest. An example would be glutes, quads, back, chest, shoulders, then arms.
Step 4 – Schedule Training Sessions On Your Calendar – Once you have completed your plan, schedule your training sessions on your calendar.
Step 5 – Stay Consistent – Consistency in training is crucial. Stick to your scheduled training appointments you placed on your calendar.
Step 6 – Monitor Progress – That what is not measured can’t improve! Record your progress and results. This is a great motivator as well as a secret results-producing tool. Reps, weight, and days between workouts should be tracked at all times.
Step 7 – Evaluate The Data – Evaluate the tracked data. If you are not getting the results you had hoped for, modify the weightlifting routine, and continue to track progress. Evaluate each workout.
By following the seven basic steps above, you can quickly design a weightlifting routine that delivers results.