Weight bearing exercise builds sturdier bones. This is of particular importance to women who may be prone to osteoporosis due to decreasing estrogen levels during menopause or a genetic predisposition. Weight training on a regular basis leads to increased metabolism & speedy fat loss.
If followed with proper form, strength training can lead to increase in muscle size, strength, and endurance. Stronger muscles enable us to lift or move something that is heavy, which is considered muscle strength, and to lift or move something that is light more times, which is called muscle endurance. Increase in both muscle strength and muscle endurance contributes to improvement in our work, our favorite sports and hobbies, and our general day-to-day activities.
There are certain mistakes committed while training which prevent gain in strength. Check out the blunders often committed and go about making alterations if you are seriously looking for results.
1. Skipping Warm-Up: Warming up for 10-15 min and stretching the muscles is of utmost importance before starting off with your resistance training. It reduces the risk of injury, improves performance and prevents lactic acid build up. Research at Manhattan College in New York found that just five minutes of warming up enabled runners to exercise for longer than those who launched straight into their workout. You only need spend 5 to 10 minutes mobilizing your joints gently, getting your heart rate up and gearing up to your activity. The major cause of an injury during workout or whilst playing a sport is thought to be muscle stiffness and therefore the warm up should be aimed at reducing it.
2. Unorganized Training: One of the most common mistakes most of the women make is not training their muscle groups in an organized, systematic fashion. Always do every set and every exercise for specific muscle groups together. For example, if your chest routine consists of three sets of bench press, do all three sets, separated by resting periods, and then go on to the next muscle group. Or, if you chest routine consists of two or three different chest exercises, do all of those chest exercises together. Do the Bench Press (Db) then Incline Bench Press (Bb) for example until your chest routine is complete. Then you can move on to next muscle group.
3. Not Pushing Enough: Doing workouts with lighter weights than required is a sheer waste of time. Muscle training requires performing the required number of sets and repetitions, with a challenging weight. We have two basic types of muscle fibers, often referred to “slow twitch” and “fast twitch”. Slow twitch muscle fibers are best used for cardiovascular (aerobic) activities. They produce small levels of force for long periods of time and thus are better suited for endurance activities. Fast twitch fibers are best used for anaerobic activities. They produce high levels of force for short periods of time and are best suited for power activities such as weightlifting. Most women have an equal combination of both slow twitch and fast twitch fibers. However, some women inherit a high percentage of slow twitch fibers that enhance their performance in endurance activities, such as long distance runners. World class sprinters or football players, for example, have relatively more fast twitch muscle fibers. Although both fiber types respond positively to strength training exercises, the fast twitch types experience greater increases in muscle size and strength, and thus may obtain greater and/or faster results from a strength training program if properly trained.
4. Instructions Ignorance: Every step in exercise instruction needs to religiously followed in order to get results and avoid sprain & injury. If you’re using the wrong form, you can lift weights for years and never see a positive difference. For e.g. many women do not bend their knees deeply enough when they squat to get the full benefits (like well-toned thighs and butt). Not sure if you’re training correctly? Ask a certified trainer. To maintain proper posture and efficiency, hold your head high. Relax and avoid tensing your muscles. You will know that you are using proper form when you feel a warmth, some fatigue, and a ‘burning’ feeling at the end of each set for each muscle group. If you do not get this feeling, you probably need to review the proper form for your exercise. This may be an indication that you are making other common mistakes in your routine that do not allow blood to be fully targeted to the your muscles.
5. Holding Breath: If you hold your breath while lifting a weight, you run the risk of raising yourblood pressure and starving your brain of oxygen. You should try to exhale during the ‘positive’, or main exertion phase, and inhale during the ‘negative’, the phase in which you resist and come back slowly. If this becomes too confusing or takes away from your concentration on the lift, don’t worry about it—just remember to breathe.
6. Fluid Intake: The Institute of Medicine recommends that women should consume about 9 cups of water a day. If your body becomes dehydrated then you cannot weight train and if you try then it’s going to be counter productive because your muscles are going to be deprived of electrolytes. It is the exchange of electrolyte minerals dissolving in water which causes the electrical stimulation of nerves and the contraction of muscles. Therefore it is essential that you drink enough water when body building to give your muscles the electrolytes they need otherwise their strength and the control over them becomes affected. When you progress to adding more weight to your routine more stress is put on the joints and by drinking plenty of water this will ensure that the joints are surrounded by plenty of synovial fluid, which is the lubricating fluid which surrounds your joints and aids in movement of them.
7. Building on number of Repetitions: With the hope of challenging the muscles women tend to continue beyond recommended number of repetitions. To gain strength and push your body hard enough to burn fat, you need to lift heavier weight and perform fewer reps. Training this way will make you stronger and leaner. The fifth rep should be very slow and difficult to lift. Each time you go to the gym, try increasing the weight.
8. Ignoring Use of Free Weights: With the rise in the use of exercise machines, women have begun to ignore the significance of using Dumbbells and Barbells in training. Free weight training is more athletic, engages the core, is more functional, yields better gains, and is simply more interesting and fun, so do not neglect. Vary the different types of machines used in your training, The muscles in different target areas can be trained optimally.
9. Out of Focus: It is okay to let your mind wander while you perform some fitness activities. For example, you can jump onto a treadmill and plug in a seven-minute-mile pace and whether you think about it or not you will expend the same amount of calories. However, this is not the case with muscle-conditioning exercise. You must focus on what you’re doing because there is such a strong connection between the brain, the nerves and the muscles. Studies show that if you concentrate on what you are doing you can significantly increase the amount of muscle activity measured during these exercises. So put down your magazines, cease all conversation and focus on each set. Each repetition and each set will become much more effective and you will experience results much more quickly.
10. Monotony: Doing the same exercises will prevent you from seeing positive results. For e.g. doing ab crunches daily will not only prevent you from seeing results but make the workout boring and monotonous. If your weightlifting is getting tedious and boring, change one of these factors:
- Vary how often you do an exercise or the number of reps you do.
- Find an alternate exercise; for example, if you always do the bench press using a barbell, try doing it with dumbbells or on a machine.
- Vary the intensity; for example, try using some of our advanced techniques for overcoming plateaus.
- Change the order of the exercises you do for each muscle group and the muscle groups themselves. All of WF programs will continually and variety by the above methods.
Do away with these blunders to gain amazing results.