Getting Started in a Beginner Weight Training Program
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What are some guidelines for starting a weight training prgram
If you have been inactive for a long period of time, be sure to check with your doctor before starting a weight training program. Once you have made the commitment to get started, you should try to follow the weight training guidelines that are suggested by the American College of Sports Medicine:
- Perform a minimum of 8 to 10 exercises that train the major muscle groups.
- Perform one to three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions to the point of fatigue.
- Perform exercises at least two days per week
- Perform exercises through a full range of motion
- Perform exercises in a controlled manner.
- Use good form on both concentric and eccentric muscle actions. The concentric phase involves shortening of the muscle fibers, whereas the eccentric phase involves muscle lengthening. Many people tend to drop the weight on the eccentric phase.
Exercise sequence should involve large muscles prior to small muscles, multi-joint exercises before single joint and higher intensity exercises before lower intensity. For example, if you were performing exercises for your chest and triceps, you would work your chest first. The triceps, which are smaller and weaker than the pectorals, are used as assisting muscle groups in chest exercises such as the bench press. If you were to fatigue them prior to performing the bench press, you would not be able to perform this exercise in good form.
Allow 24-48 hours of rest between strength training days. Rest days will give the muscles adequate time to repair themselves from the small tears that occur during strength training.