Sunday, August 27, 2006

5 Strength Training Don'ts

5 Strength Training Don'ts

1. Don't get an unqualified personal trainer. Individuals beginning strength training need to find instruction from a qualified personal trainer. Some gyms hire people who are just a hard body without any expertise. Find out if the trainer has an undergraduate degree in kinesiology or exercise science.

2. Don't do too much at once. Especially for middle-aged people, if you're starting off without any training, sometimes you have to get in shape in order to strength train. The basic strength program is usually about eight exercises, such as an exercise for your chest, your upper back, your shoulders, your abdominal muscles, your lower back, your thighs, your hamstrings and your whole leg.

3. Don't expect results right away. Every person's different, but typically you will start to see your strength improve in the first few weeks because the neuromuscular system responds very quickly. Then you'll hit a grey zone while you wait for the muscle to develop. If you have a proper diet, you will see fat and muscle changes in the first four to six months.

4. Don't have an asymmetrical workout. Some people, particularly men, just do bench presses and other upper body exercises but don't do any lower-body exercises. Or, some women will use only light weights on certain muscles because they fear getting 'too muscular' or are trying to taget a problem area. One needs a symmetrical workout for proper balance in strength between the front and back of the joints and across the whole body.

5. Don't overdo it. Overtraining is probably most common in the younger populations who are very aggressive, especially young males. Our rule of thumb is that, if you work out and you're excessively sore, you've probably done too much, too soon. If it takes a crane to get you out of the bed the next morning, you probably need to back off your workout.

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