Just like when moving heavy objects around your home, it is necessary to learn the correct techniques for lifting weights in the weight room. Proper lifting means using the correct posture and movements, maximizing repetitions and doing the exercises slowly and intelligently to avoid accidents. You can learn to target your core muscles to properly build muscle by lifting carefully and correctly.
Part 1 of 3: employing correct techniques for lifting weights
Step 1. Always perform a warm-up routine before starting to lift weights
It is important to activate the circulation of oxygen in the blood, to relax your muscles, to warm them up and to prepare them for lifting heavy weights. If you want to build muscle while avoiding injury, warming up is essential.
Start with regular push-ups and sit-ups, performing a few sets of each exercise with a short rest period between each set. Do a few sets, then gradually increase the number of repetitions in each set. For example, you could start with 10 reps per set and work your way up to 50 reps per set
Step 2. Systematically stretch before you start
Take it slow and count to at least 15, stretching your arms to release them. Do not force your muscles or make movements too fast, you risk straining or tearing a muscle.
Step 3. Lift an adequate mass
Ideally, you should reach muscle failure (the point at which you can no longer lift any weight) on the last repetition and finish the set by passing that muscle failure. This is how you will know you have chosen the right mass. You will be able to find this mass over time.
- Start with a small mass. You need to be sure you can lift it. Then, gradually increase the mass until you find the one that suits you. As you lift weights, this point will gradually increase with your training program, but your primary goal should be to find this ideal point.
- Lifting weights that are too heavy may injure yourself and your training will become counterproductive, while lifting weights that are too light will put unnecessary pressure on your joints since you will not be building muscle. Either way, you will be wasting your time.
Step 4. Maximize repetitions
Proper training doesn't necessarily mean you have to lift the heaviest weights you've ever lifted, as good training is about maximizing reps, not total mass lifted. In other words, to build muscle, you need to lift less weight, more often.
- A good way to maximize your reps is to do “pyramid sets” in which you will gradually increase the number of reps performed per set or the total number of sets you will perform. For example, for crunches or barbell rowings, you could start with a set of 10 reps per arm before resting and doing a set of 15, resting again and then performing a set of 20 before “coming back down”. the pyramid.
- It can be fun to find your “max out” by gradually building mass over the course of a single set until you reach your limits. Also, it can help you estimate how your muscles are developing, but it is not the best way to perform this exercise. Use it to measure your abilities, but don't make it a goal. Don't look for your "max out" more than once every two months.
Step 5. Stretch your limbs well as you perform your movements
The correct technique for each type of exercise differs slightly. This is because you wouldn't use the same posture to perform a bench press as you would for a deadlift. But what all the exercises have in common is that you have to fully extend your muscle and complete the movement. During a bench press, you must bring the bar well closer to your chest before fully extending your arms by pushing the bar up. Do each set completely and correctly, regardless of the exercise.
Step 6. Go slowly
It can be tempting to rush the workout, but if you spend time in it, going slowly and deliberately, you won't be wasting your time. A good training session should last at least an hour, but not more than 2 or 3 hours. Take the time to complete each set of reps well, at a pace that will keep you from injuring yourself and taking the time to rest between each set to build your muscles properly.
Step 7. Breathe
With each repetition, you should oxygenate your body well by blowing with your mouth when you lift the weight (s) and by inhaling with your nose while lowering the weight (s). Breathe naturally and comfortably (don't hyperventilate!), But don't obsess over it! You shouldn't be too focused on your breathing. There is no secret; you just have to not hold your breath while lifting the weight, otherwise you may feel dizzy or pass out.
Step 8. Always practice with a trimmer
Never do a deadlift alone, especially when working with free weights. Even if you are lifting a sledgehammer that you find easy to manage, make sure you always have someone around who can keep an eye on you and possibly lend a hand if needed. Injuries and problems most often occur when one is exercising alone. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Step 9. Go to the recovery phase
For your cool-down phase, you could choose a specific activity or exercise that you enjoy doing, or you could simply repeat the same exercises as during your warm-up. By doing a few light stretches and slowly finishing the exercise, you will be less likely to have muscle soreness the next day and therefore reduce your risk of injury or strain.
Part 2 of 3: targeting the core muscles
Step 1. Work your pecs
The pectoral muscles, that is, the muscles that run from the top of the shoulders to the chest, can be strained by lifting free weights or working on the butterfly press in a horizontal or inclined motion.
- It is not for nothing that the bench press is the most popular weightlifting exercise: lying on your back, usually on a weight bench, you must take the bar by spreading your arms at the same distance as the one on the bench. separates your shoulders. Place your feet on either side of the bench, take the barbell and position it (with the help of a trimmer, as always) over your chest, keeping the muscles tight. Slowly lower the bar until it touches your chest, then lift it forcefully back to the top position.
- The incline bench press involves using a technique similar to the bench press, but holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Chest curls are similar exercises, except that you should keep your arms straight by extending them outward, like a bird flapping its wings.
Step 2. Work your back
Working out with free weights is a great way to strengthen your back, become more toned and stronger, and better define your muscles. Working the shoulder and back muscles is essential no matter what weightlifting program you are taking.
- Do deadlifts. Deadlifts are a more advanced exercise and should only be done with a spotter or trainer who can help you. Deadlifts can be very dangerous if you don't know what you are doing, as this exercise involves lifting a bar off the floor before pushing it straight up. There are different variations of the exercise: some involve lifting the barbell towards your chest while others involve lifting it above your head.
- Do rowings with dumbbells. Working each arm in turn, kneeling on a weight bench, lift a dumbbell off the floor to your chest before lowering it to complete a rep, then switch sides.
Step 3. Develop your biceps
If you want to be all the rage at the next rusk show, start targeting your weightlifting biceps to make them bigger and stronger.
Do bicep curls to develop biceps, while standing or sitting. Take a dumbbell of the appropriate weight, let it hang down at your side, then bring it back towards your chest, contracting your biceps. Switch arms to complete the exercise
Step 4. Do squats
Don't neglect your legs, although they are a large muscle group that is easy to overlook. You can also work them with free loads. To do squats, stand in the squat cage and lift the bar up onto your shoulders. While keeping the bar behind your head, squat down while keeping your back straight, then come back up.
Part 3 of 3: Establish a training plan
Step 1. Vary your workouts
If you only do bench press all week, that is by no means a decent weightlifting routine. Create a program in which you will target different muscles depending on the session. You will thus have a varied program in which you will insist on the muscle groups that you will target and will strengthen thanks to good training methods. Here is an example of a weekly program.
- Monday: pectorals
- Tuesday: legs
- Wednesday: aerobics and running
- Thursday: bust and back
- Friday: sit-ups
- Weekend: rest
Step 2. Gradually add extra weight, but in a small amount and so that it does not become uncomfortable
With the right technique, you will find that your usual training becomes easier and easier. This means that you are getting stronger and you have started to build muscle. Weightlifters call this the “plateau”. This is a sign that it's time to add weight and vary your exercises to avoid stagnating.
When you add weights, it should not be too heavy, it should be comfortable. However, they should be heavy enough that the final reps are more difficult. You have to find that limit where your muscles are about to let go
Step 3. Continue to do pyramid series and vary your rest phases
To really vary your workouts and add a little cardio to it, you can play with the amount of rest between each set. If between two sets of arm work you take a minute of rest, decrease it to 15 or 30 seconds and you will see how much more difficult the exercise will become.
However, you need to listen to your body and not rush. Going straight to another set when you're exhausted is the best way to make a mistake and injure yourself. Pay attention and exercise at your own pace
Step 4. Do only a few weight lifting sessions per week
Beginners usually think that doing three weightlifting sessions a day is the fastest way to build strength and build muscle, but that's a mistake. This is not the case in weightlifting. Overtraining can cause injury and prevent you from working properly for weeks or even months. Do a few exercises correctly and you will start to build muscle faster than if you lift weights too often.
Step 5. Warm up after the cool down phase to avoid muscle soreness
After your session, always take a hot shower or bath. It is very popular to follow the training with a hammam or sauna session. This allows your muscles to stay warm and “cool down” at their own pace. You will find that your muscles will be less painful if you do the right things after training.
- Wear a back support belt to maintain correct posture when lifting weights.
- You need to understand what good posture is. Adopting the correct posture in your day-to-day life will decrease the risk of back injury and help you lift weights correctly.
- Wear gloves to help grip the objects you are lifting.