Fitness Tip of The Month
#7 Summer Weight Training
Summer is almost here, so now is the time to start getting in shape for it. Whether you want to tone your body or simply be fit enough to enjoy fun summer activities like tennis, biking, swimming and hiking, weight training is one of the best ways to accomplish your fitness and aesthetic goals.
Here are 5 weight training tips to help you get in shape for summer.
1. Perform a total-body workout.
Whether you’re trying to put on some lean muscle or drop some fat, a total-body weight training program can help do the trick. Choose 8 to 12 exercises that target each of the major muscle groups: back, chest, shoulders, legs and arms. Perform 1-4 sets of 8-15 repetitions of each exercise (depending on your time and level of fitness). This repetition range will stimulate muscle growth, thus increasing lean tissue mass, and help to create a strong, toned physique. Perform this total-body workout 2-3 times a week for 4-6 weeks before selecting new exercises.
2. Track and SCHEDULE your workouts.
After you have selected your eight to 12 exercises, be sure to keep track of them (exercises, amount of weight, number of reps and sets), either on paper or digitally. You can review previous workouts and set goals to increase the intensity of each workout. The amount of weight lifted should increase over the course of the 4-6 weeks. Tracking your progress enables you to see the progress you’ve made (something that’s not always visible in the mirror in the short-term) and to truly push yourself. Scheduling helps to ensure you FIT in your Fitness activities.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail. (actually you MUST!)
To stimulate muscle growth, the muscle fibers must be broken down and subsequently built back up. Therefore, you must use a challenging weight while performing exercises to initiate the muscle-building process. Choose a weight you can repeat for a minimum of 6 repetitions and not exceed 15. When you can complete 12-15 reps it’s time to increase the load by 10%.
4. Fuel your training.
Weight training is an important tool for reshaping one’s physique, but you also have to pay attention to your nutrition throughout the day and especially around training. Fueling before a workout with carbohydrates and after a workout with a combination of carbohydrates and protein is key for stimulating muscle growth.
5. Supplement with cardio.
Cardiovascular exercise is a great tool for assisting with caloric burn as well as fat loss it will also prepare your cardiovascular system for all of those great outdoor activities you’ll be doing this summer.