It is unfortunate, but true, that many people do not genuinely understand the value of weight training as an important and effective part of any weight loss or fitness program.
This is due, at least in part, to a public misunderstanding of three terms:
Weight training or weight lifting
Start talking about weights, dumbbells and “lifting weights” to most people, and they often begin to imagine hulking figures that they’ve seen on magazine covers or portray monsters in movies … although the “commando” thing attracts some men. While most men would like to have a good physique, magazine images tend to make them nervous, or at least portray the image of someone obsessed with “getting fat” and “getting muscular”!
Women, in particular, tend to be discouraged by the idea of ”weight lifting,” in part because they fear that they, too, may look a bit like the men mentioned above. They may also have seen pictures of professional bodybuilders or weightlifters. Many women, even though they want to lose weight and get in shape, like to feel “feminine” and that any type of weight training will make them look like these professional athletes.
As in many discussions, a part of these fears is the result of simple ignorance. Nor do I mean “ignorance” in any derogatory way. I am equally “ignorant” of nuclear physics and embroidery simply because I have never had reason to study them. However, if I started looking for a hobby or a new career, I could avoid nuclear physics because it seems too difficult, and embroidery, because … well … you know … it’s for girls, and I’m a boy! !
However, if you were to do a little research, you might find that Rosie Greer, once an NFL lineman, was well known for her embroidery and NO ONE dared to tell Rosie Greer that she was less of a man for her hobby. In fact, having this fact and knowing that many people find embroidery relaxing could make you appreciate embroidery a little more and consider it a hobby!
Well, let’s do it with all this confusion about weightlifting.
First of all, let’s say you train with weights; Lifting weights, using resistance training, using free weights, weight machines, or resistance machines like Bowflex, can be quite effective in any weight loss or fitness program.
Second, don’t worry about how you will look if you choose to “lift weights.” While the end result will be determined to some extent by genetics and personal hormone levels, most weight training, if done correctly, will simply result in a strong, toned, and healthy body that exudes confidence and confidence in one. same. women will end up looking “feminine” and men will look “masculine.”
Those people you see in magazines have chosen to train in certain ways at certain intensity levels, and have opted for a diet and supplement regimen that will only be followed by those who WANT to end up seeing it that way. They are athletes who train for specific purposes, and you won’t end up looking or acting like them any more than you can ride a bike like Lance Armstrong just because you bike regularly for your health and fitness.
So what are the differences in all those terms that we started with?
Well, by now, I hope I have dispelled some of your uncertainty about the images that you have been carrying in your head that influenced your decision about whether or not to use weights to improve your health and body. However, since confusion about the differences can still lead you to make the wrong decisions in your training program, here are the basics.
1. Weightlifting – This can include weightlifting, bodybuilding, and / or weight training. By the way, when I use the term “weight training,” I’m going to include just about any type of resistance training. With free weights (mainly barbells and dumbbells) and “weight machines” the resistance is gravity. Some machines, however, provide resistance by means such as springs, steel rods (Bowflex), or even your own body weight (Total Gym).
Bodybuilders, weightlifters, professional athletes, high school football players, golfers, gymnasts, and people who just want to get fit or lose weight can lift weights as part of their overall training program. This is simply “weight training”. The best thing about lifting weights is that the number of possible exercises is large, the types of exercises are varied and the training program can be easily adapted to the capabilities, needs and goals of the individual simply by varying the exercise, the weight used for each exercise , the number of repetitions performed of each exercise and the number of repetition groups (series) performed. At 180 pounds, the male tennis player can select a series of exercises, weights, repetitions, and sets; while a 110 pound housewife may select another.
2. Weightlifting is actually an athletic event that consists of certain specific lifts. When looking into weightlifting, you can also find references to weightlifting. The three basic lifts in weightlifting competition are the clean and jerk, the snatch and the clean and press, although the clean and press was eliminated from Olympic competition in the early 1970s. The three basic lifts of weightlifting are the “squat,” the “bench press,” and the “deadlift.” In weightlifting, style and technique are important, whereas in weightlifting, the focus is almost exclusively on the weight moved. Weightlifting movements are shorter and less coordinated than weightlifting, but require more … er … power.
Since many weight-training athletes want or need strength and / or power for their sport, these types of training techniques are often incorporated into their training program. However, this type of training tends to “bulk up” the athlete, as the muscle is built large enough to perform the specific task required.
Most people who train for health, fitness, or weight loss will have little or no need to engage with weightlifting or weightlifting techniques. However, they will use many of the same or similar exercises and training techniques, although the weights used will typically be lower and the exercise routine will be much less intense.
3. Bodybuilding, while not strictly an athletic event in the sense normally found in sports or even weight lifting, is ultimately a competition for which the athlete trains.
The bodybuilder primarily uses weight training to produce a body appearance that conforms to certain standards. These may be the person’s own standards, or they may be the standards required to participate in bodybuilding competitions. The bodybuilder focuses less on physical strength and power than on achieving a sculpted physique. However, don’t be fooled; the bodybuilder trains hard and the training usually results in huge gains in strength and power. In recent years, more attention has been paid to volume and definition, that is, how individual muscles and muscle groups stand out like on an anatomy chart. Compare bodybuilders of several years ago, like Steve Reeves (Hercules), to Darrem Charles, and the differences will emerge with modern bodybuilders who strive for more muscle mass and greater definition.
Again, however, while the average person who chooses to use weight training as part of their fitness or weight loss program will likely have a workout somewhat closer to that of a bodybuilder than a weightlifter, no it will be necessary to train at the intensity of neither of the two. The results, as noted above, will be more within what most people would consider acceptable appearance.
As noted, you do NOT need to train anywhere close to the intensity and dedication of the true weightlifter or bodybuilder, or even the professional or semi-professional athlete. To achieve very satisfying results in appearance, fitness, health, self-esteem, and self-confidence by adding weight training to your fitness program, a short 20-40 minute workout three times a week will suffice.
A real weight training program for beginners is too much to add to this article at this point, but simple weight training programs are easily found in many books at your local library or bookstore. Just remember to keep it simple. Start easy and build little by little. As one of my coaches used to say, the goal is “train, not strain.”