1- Choose an appropriate amount of weight. When you’re first getting started lifting, it’s difficult to know how much weight to lift. You don’t want to start with too much and max out after only a few reps, because multiple repetitions are the proper way to build muscle. Likewise, you don’t want to lift weight that is too light for you. To choose the proper amount of weight will take some practice.
- Figure out how many reps are appropriate for the routine you’re working on. If you’re doing bench presses, you’ll want to do more than 3 or 4 reps to build muscle, so you’ll need to find an amount of weight you’ll be able to lift 10, 15, or 20 times before you experience muscle failure.
- Muscle failure is the point at which you physically cannot perform another unaided rep. The more you lift, the more familiar you’ll become with your muscle failure point, and the more you’ll be able to push it.
- Ideally, muscle failure will occur immediately following your last intended rep. Choose the heaviest weight that you can lift for the intended number of reps.
2- Lift slowly and steadily. Getting a workout done quickly isn’t the best way to maximize the good effects of lifting. Don’t rush your way through your lifts, which risks injury and ends up being a waste of time. Doing fewer reps slowly and properly is better than maxing out on super-heavy lifts and getting done in record time.
- For a good workout, set aside at least an hour. Don’t work out more than a few hours, and try to work out for a solid thirty minutes to ensure a healthy routine.
3- Make sure you haven’t eaten 50 minutes before you start exercising, or you might end up with cramps.
- Do make sure you aren’t exercising on an empty stomach either, or you won’t have the energy to preform the exercises. Have a meal 1 to 2 hours prior to exercising, and just a little snack of fruit 15 minutes before you start if you are hungry again.
4- Do a warm up routine before you start exercising. This will get more oxygen in your bloodstream and to your muscles. It also prevents -or at least reduces- muscle soreness after your workout.
- A typical warm up will move all of the joints that you plan to work out through their full range of motion. For example, if you are working on your shoulders, you might do shoulder rolls and jumping jacks.
- A warm-up should also elevate your heart rate, so that there is an increase in the blood supply to both the connective tissues and muscles.
5- After your workout, do a cool down routine. This should stretch the muscles you just worked out. The goal is to gradually lower your heart rate again and prepare your body for a rest.