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Of course, most of us experience instantaneous confusion when entering the gym for the first time with a variety of weights and hard-to-describe devices be confronted. Fortunately The New Science of Strong a special edition of SHAPE deals with all questions about getting started in lifting beginners. Here's what you need to know to start ironing the issue on stands now.
Should I start my workout with weights or cardio?
If your primary goal is to strengthen your muscles and build muscle mass, then you should opt for dumbbell storage first, advises celebrity coach Jay Cardiello When your cardio session is exhausted, you need to switch to weights for form, control, Balance and safety do not cause injury, "he says," You can walk on the treadmill after lifting or add jumps between the strength exercises to get the most out of both worlds. "(See: Is the question of the order in which you perform exercises? ?)
Weights or Machines?
The drive to 'functional fitness' tasks such as CrossFit and Kettlebells means the cable stacking machines in the gym have become more solitary, and dumbbells and dumbbells, as well as tools like TRX, require you stabilize in all levels of movement, says Brad Schoenfeld, Lecturer, Assistant Professor of Human Movement Science at CUNY Lehman College in New York City. "These exercises usually recruit more muscle than comparable machine movements," he explains. The development of these stabilizer muscles is important for both functioning (lifting the heavy bag with food) and aesthetics (your abdominals are also more defined in these movements). However, do not turn your back on these weight machines. Machines provide stability and support. So, if you are just starting training or have limitations, they are a good option. (See also: 7 Exercise Machines That Are Really Worth Your Time)
How long should I rest between sets?
Structuring your power program involves thinking about which exercises you will perform in which order. The downtime between sets is also the key to positive results, says dr. Gabrielle Fundaro, sports nutrition scientist and health coach and consultant to the fitness and nutrition business Renaissance Periodization. If your primary goal is to build strength, you'll need three minutes between sets for your muscle systems to recover, using heavier weights and fewer reps (five to eight). If you are more concerned with muscle growth or maintenance of the muscle during the diet, you should use a moderate rep range (eight to twelve reps) and shorter rest periods (about a minute or two between sets). A 30-second break is good if you are training for muscle endurance ̵
How many times should I increase the load?
Moving the next weight on the rack or machine is always motivating, but be careful that you do not make too much too fast, says Julia Ladewski, a strength and conditioning coach based in Highland, Indiana. "If you can complete all reps of a set with a certain weight without losing the form, you should try to increase the weight the next time you do the exercise." Of course you will eventually hit a wall. "If your form breaks, stop and rest or check how many repetitions you should perform," says Ladewski. Come back every four to eight weeks and let your body heal for a few weeks. (See also: How often should you perform heavyweight exercises?)
When is the best time of day to lift weights?
Studies have shown that pumping iron early in the morning. can help you get stronger as cortisol levels (the hormone responsible for breaking down muscle tissue as part of its role in regulating blood sugar) are lower in the early evening hours. In the meantime, testosterone, which is important for building muscle in women, falls off during the day, but it has the highest levels of cortisol in the evening. Keep in mind that most studies on the strength and natural clocks (or circadian rhythms) of our bodies are performed on men, so women are not guaranteed the same results. If you prefer to exercise in the morning (or the only time you can), then this is the time to move. "Some people prefer to do sports in the morning, others like the later afternoons or evenings – it all depends on when you feel most comfortable," notes Marci Goolsby, a sports medicine doctor at the Special Surgery Hospital in New York City. Her only reservation: "Avoid violent exercises too close to the bed because you can stay awake." And then you never come to the gym when your alarm goes off. (See also: What does it really mean if you want to train in the morning or at night?)
Do I need a spotter?
"If you're working with a big and heavy composite exercise like squats or a bench press, the answer is a definite yes!" Says Ladewski. If you are looking for someone, you can help if something goes wrong (for example, if your foot slips or the grip loosens). If you only know someone is there, strengthen your self-esteem to become heavier or to do another repetition. If you do not have a spotter, make your big uplift in a smith machine or rack with safety rails to catch the weight just in case.
How long should I feel sore after training?
This pain You feel like one or two days after an intense workout are officially referred to as sore muscles (DOMS). "The idea behind resistance training is that you basically break something and create a microtrauma in your muscle," says Harley Pasternak, fitness and nutrition expert, author of The Body Reset Diet . "When the muscle recovers, it recovers stronger and denser than before." Pain means profit. But acute or non-bilateral pain – d. H. On one side of your body, but not on the other – can be a sign of injury. If you experience normal DOMS pain in a muscle, ligament, or tendon, you can handle it, says Pasternak, by focusing on a different muscle group for a few days. (See also: Is it okay to get a massage if you really hurt ~?)
Should I train my abs everyday?
If you are forced to make crunches daily, you may want to rethink that. "As with all muscle groups, there is so much training to do, and you will not see any added benefits if you train the abdominal muscles every day," says Fundaro. In addition to core-centered movements such as planks and bicycles, your abdominal muscles are attacked by indirect work during movements such as squats and deadlifts. Fundaros Advice: Hold ab-specific training three to five days a week for three to five sets of eight to 20 reps. And remember that there is no one-off reduction – all crunches in the world will not give you a six-pack if they hide under body fat. If you keep your diet clean and complete your workout, you will get the results you want.
Complex exercises like pull-ups or isolated exercises like rows?
"Both have advantages, but it depends on your goal." says Ladewski. If you want to build up general strength, first do compound movements such as pull-ups so your form will not be affected, as isolation exercises tend to exhaust the small supporting muscles you need for the larger movements. If you are more interested in aesthetics, first perform the isolation exercises. They focus on the exact contraction you want and prevent muscle imbalances.
How do I avoid calluses on my hands?
"Calluses are actually of great benefit because they are very beneficial in helping to grip," explains Fundaro. Still, you may not want your hands to look like woodcutter. Wear gloves or wraps during exercise, so as not to interfere with the grip. Rinse your hands later in warm water with Epsom salt to soften the skin, then gently rub them with a pumice stone. And moisten your hands daily. Never look at the calluses – it only makes them harder and can lead to an infection.
What are the best recovery measures?
You killed your last strength training unit. Congratulations! Now the real work begins, because on those days when you are not exercising, you become stronger. "When you exercise, your muscles undergo microtrauma, and so-called satellite cells connect to the damaged areas to repair the muscle fibers," says Jessica Matthews, Senior Counselor Integrative Wellness, American Council on Exercise. However, this process can only be done in peace. Most of your "off" days should include active rest, ie, low intensity exercise such as: As an easy bike ride or a walk with the dog, as well as movement and movement exercises such as slight stretching, yoga or foam rollers. These activities increase blood circulation and provide vital nutrients to the muscles to regenerate faster, says Matthews. Increase your heart rate slightly and relax the tension, but do not sweat it seriously. (Associated: Common mistakes in foam rolling that are likely to be made by you)