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Benefits of Weight training
The desire for good health, physical attractiveness, muscular strength and self-confidence lives within every man and woman Despite their innate urges, however, millions of otherwise rational individuals suppress their desires for health and physical perfection. They follow an unnatural life pattern that makes them old before their time, limiting their effectiveness in society. Modern physical-fitness authorities recognize that today's high-tempo lifestyle makes natural living impractical for most individuals. Free time of any sort is often at a premium. So those physical-fitness measures taken by the individual in modern society must be relatively brief and, consequently, must produce quick results. Both physiologists and medical doctors have concluded that, in providing strength gains and muscular development rapidly, weight training meets the exercise requirements of most individuals very effectively. There are more than 20 concrete benefits that can be gained by anyone who trains regularly and progressively with weights. Weight training leads to the following benefits:
- Increases muscular strength.
- Increases muscular endurance.
- Is an outstanding means of body shaping.
- Increases bone and ligament strength, cartilage thickness and capillary density in the muscles.
- Improves health and physical fitness.
- Improves sports performance.
- Increases flexibility.
- Increases power and speed.
- Helps relieve the stresses and tensions of everyday life.
- Promotes a positive self-image.
- Teaches discipline and motivation that carry over into all other areas of life.
- Helps control bodyweight and reduce body fat.
- Strengthens your heart, intensifies metabolism levels and normalizes blood pressure.
- Can increase your longevity.
- Improves the quality of your life.
- Helps prevent many medical problems such as osteoporosis.
- Increases both hemoglobin level and red cell count.
- Is an appropriate activity for men and women of all ages, can become a valuable couple and/or family activity.
- Is an excellent form of rehabilitation for muscle and joint injuries; can be used by handicapped individuals who have at least partial use of their arms and/or legs.
- Has been proven to reduce cholesterol levels.
How to Weight Train for Maximum Muscle Gain
Not only did I have to change my diet, I had to learn the correct way to weight train for muscle mass as well.
The best way to gain muscle mass quickly is to use free weights. You must focus on compound free-weight exercises, and lift heavy/challenging weights. This will stimulate the largest amount of muscle fibers. Your body responds to this stimulus by increasing your muscle mass.
In the past, I used mostly machines. I was always told that free weights were a waste of time, and machines were much more effective. Boy, was I mislead!
Most machines are a waste of time for us. They will limit our development, because they help to support the weight. On the other hand, free weights make you support the weight along the entire path of the movement, which helps to stimulate more muscle fibers, while also strengthening smaller/weaker muscles. If your smaller supporting muscles are weak, your larger muscles won't grow. To build size and strength quickly, pro bodybuilders and professional athletes do not use machines - they use free weights almost exclusively!
I also had to stop training so often, and understand that for hard gainers, "less is more". Some people still believe that the more you train the bigger you will get. If that were true, all I would have to do is workout 8 hours a everyday, and I would be huge! Unfortunately, it's not true, it doesn't work that way. You do not get bigger while working out.
Your muscles do NOT grow in the gym; they only grow when you are resting!
Weight training is needed only to stimulate growth. After that, your body needs rest and food to build the muscle. Hard gainers, of course, need more rest and food than others.
That took me a long time to understand. Working out too often does not allow your muscles the necessary time to recuperate. Not only will you not grow, but you will also be setting yourself up for chronic injuries from over training, and possible muscle loss.
Improper diet and over training are two reasons why most people never get beyond an average physique. I see guys at the gym that workout 5-6 days per week for 2 hours or more each day - but they always look the same. They have the right motivation, but the wrong information. In other words, they're wasting their time, effort and money doing the wrong things.
If you're looking for a weight lifting routine that works, there are step-by-step programs available here (Who else wants to gain 32lbs of muscle mass in the next 12 weeks ?) and here (The fastest way to shed subcutaneous fat).