There are quite a few things
to bear in mind when you are putting together a
weight training session or programme.
Firstly, you need to work out how many weights
sessions you are going to do each week. Then you
need to consider which exercises you are going
to perform, in which order, with how much weight
and recovery and how many repetitions to perform.
Below we will try to answer or at least guide
you through some ideas that might help.
It is easy do too many
weights. If you are new to them, then one
weight training session a week should be sufficient. This will
allow you to progress whilst not placing too
many stresses on your body. Once you are happy
with this two, and eventually three sessions a
week are possible, though often only advisable
for the top level performer.
Generally, it is
worth getting the muscles you are going to
develop with weights prepared for the stresses
by following a circuits schedule for at least
a few weeks before starting on weight training. Also, prior to
each session you should ensure you are thoroughly warmed up.
It is important that you
don't develop any part of your body out of proportion
with the rest. Basically, this means not
concentrating on too small a range of exercises
and balancing them against each other. An
example of this would be to do bench press for
the chest and arms and balance this with upright
row for the arms and back.
Order of Weights Exercises?
This is not vital, but
it is useful to put the heaviest and most powerful
exercises early in the session and the others
at the end. Another tip is to try to alternate
an upper body exercise with leg exercises.
Although not always done, generally you will
complete all your sets of one exercise before
moving on to the next.
How many reps and at which weight?
When you first start
weight training it is important to learn the
techniques on a low weight before you move up
to heavier weights, even if this means starting
with just the bar in many cases. As far as the
number of reps goes this is up to you and you
may feel you want to vary it according to the
exercise that you are doing. As a rough guide
we'd suggest doing three to five sets.
as the number of repetitions in each set is concerned, 1 to 2 reps tests your overall strength, 3 to 6 reps is for pure strength
improvements in the muscles you already have, 7-12 is hypertrophy (muscle building) and beyond this is for the endurance of the muscles
exercises and won't improve your strength.
There are two elements
Between sets in the session you
need to take recovery according to how you feel
and whether you are concentrating on pure
strength or more endurance. The amount of time
might vary from just 30 seconds right up to 5
Equally important is the amount of
time between sessions. If you are attempting
more than one session in a week try to leave at
least 48 hours betweens sessions to allow for