Weight training is a resistance exercise that is, by definition, the opposite of aerobics. Specifically, it is a high-intensity, short-duration exercise expressly meant for building and preserving muscle mass and increasing strength. Weight training is often neglected and misunderstood by most people trying to lose weight and fat. Most dieters focus entirely on aerobic exercise and thermogenic fat burners, which can cause you to lose a large amount of muscle mass. This muscle may be lost forever, and the loss will ultimately inhibit you from burning excess fat. Weight training solves this problem by increasing your testosterone levels, helping you preserve and build muscle, facilitating fat burning, and stimulating muscle tissue growth. By maintaining or gaining some muscle mass, you also are able to prevent the decrease in your metabolism that occurs with most weight-loss programs. Many women avoid weight training because of the misconception that they will get too muscular. However, for many reasons, it is exceptionally difficult for women to become very muscular by natural means. The extremely muscular female bodybuilders you sometimes see in fitness magazines generally take large doses of anabolic steroids as well as many other drugs. Some of these women also have “super genes” that give them the genetic ability to get muscular very quickly. But these women are very rare. The average woman will not get bulky muscles, especially women over the age of thirty.
High-intensity weight training means that you are using a heavy enough weight to fatigue your muscle quickly after a short number of sets and repetitions. When your muscles “fail,” they usually quiver and feel worn out to the point that you just can’t lift anymore. Don’t be afraid to push your muscles to these quivering failures; this is a natural reaction to healthy weight training. However, do not push yourself to the point that you feel any acute or sharp paint. Feeling some discomfort is normal, and over time you will learn to read your body and be able to distinguish between good discomfort and paint that could indicate early signs of muscle, tendon, or nerve injury.
If you are new to the weight-lifting part of the program, avoid pushing too quickly to achieve moderate or high-intensity lifting. It is always safer to begin slower with lighter weights to make gradual progress rather than to make huge gains quickly. This is especially true if you have never done any weight training or other sports, are over the age of thirty-five, or have had some prior trauma to your spine or joints.
A fundamental principle of the Hormone Revolution weight-lifting program is that you should always exercise standing up using free weights, thereby stimulating the entire body-the muscles, nervous system, and skeleton. Lifting free weights while standing demands coordination, balance, and resistance. Also, it has been revealed that fat cells have a “stealth effect” whereby they quietly release hormones such as leptin that preserve fat stores in the body. This preserved fat is not just a storage area-each cell is a major hormone factory that has tremendous effects on many hormone systems. But recent research has shown that multi-joint exercises such as squats and deadlifts help suppress this stealth effect and promote fat burning.
The stress put on your bones during weight lifting actually strengthens them, helping to prevent osteoporosis. People who have been on improper diet and exercise programs often lose excess muscle and bone mass while gaining fat, increasing their risk of osteoporosis and hip and spine fractures. Your hips and spine need some stress from gravity and weight training to increase their strength. These standing exercises are designed to increase your functional capacities for living and to improve your ability to complete everyday tasks.
I suggest that you weight-train two or three times per week, with at least one day of rest in between weight-lifting sessions. You should try to work out a different group of muscles during each of your weekly weight-training sessions, being careful not to overwork the same muscle groups. Muscles will grow only if you give them enough time between training sessions when they are not being worked: good sleep and post-workout relaxation are essential to give your muscles time to grow and replenish.
Before you begin your weight training, you should first do some aerobic exercise. (read schedules of training Then begin your weight training with a warm-up set of a low weight doing 20 repetitions (or reps). If you can do more than 20 reps with this weight without undue strain, then this weight is too light for a proper warm-up. Your warm-up weight should be the maximum weight that you can lift 20 times continuously yet slowly, without interruption. The purpose of this set is to get blood flowing and your muscles ready for much heavier weights.
After your warm-up set, rest briefly for a few minutes. Now you are ready for a heavier weight. This weight should be the maximum weight with which you can do 8 to 12 reps-called your max (or plateau) lift. If you can do more than 12 reps, increase the weight at the next training session. If you can do less than 8 reps, the weight is too heavy .you should do two sets with this weight, resting at least 3 minutes between sets. After setting two sets, move on to the next muscle group exercise (read on exercise splits below). This is more than enough exercise for you muscle; any more might actually damage them, increasing your risk of injuries and lowering your testosterone levels. Brief but intense is the key to hormonally charged weight training.