Weight training is a popular method of building muscle because it can deliver fantastic results. To ensure you get the most from pumping iron, here's our guide to what you should and shouldn't do:
Do fuel your body
In order to perform at optimum levels and get the most from a workout, it's important to prepare your body for exercise. Make sure you consume some protein and a sports drink about an hour before reaching the gym.
Do push yourself
In order to build muscle during weight training, it's important to use weights that you struggle to lift. You won't become stronger by lifting weights that your muscles can easily handle, no matter how many reps you do. A perfect set of reps should end with you unable to perform even one more lift.
Do mix it up
It's important to complete a large variety of exercises in order to keep your body guessing what sort of strain is going to be placed on it. If you perform the same exercise every time you visit the gym, your muscles will quickly learn to adapt to the strain placed on them and won't need to expand as quickly.
Do seek help
We're here to help. Our team have helped members of all shapes and sizes to build muscle and can give valuable advice. They'll also motivate you to continue when you're feeling sluggish.
Do recover properly
Consume plenty of protein after a workout as this can help muscles recover more effectively and ensure that your next session will be just as intense. A large amount of muscle growth actually occurs during sleep so make sure you get plenty of rest.
Don't weight train every day
Even if you're someone who doesn’t do things by halves, weight training more than three or four times a week can end up being counter-productive. So break up your workout regime with rest days or something different such as cardio, a class or a swim.
Studies have shown that the human body can rarely perform an intense workout to its full capability for more than 45 minutes. This is how long it generally takes for the body to exhaust all of the glycogen being transmitted to the muscles. Testosterone normally ceases to secrete after this time as well.
A shorter, more intense workout is far more beneficial than performing at half your capability for a long time.
Don't lift weights that are too heavy
It's important to push yourself but lifting weights that are far too heavy for you runs the risk of injury, leaving you unable to train for some time.
Don't neglect your legs
A huge upper body may be more noticeable, but there's a limit to how much weight you can lift without large leg muscles. Squats are one of the most beneficial exercises you can do and should become a part of your training regime.
Don't set unrealistic goals
Unrealistic goals can damage your motivation and are a major reason people give up on weight training. It's better to concentrate on maintaining good habits rather than the end result.