When you first start out, it can be very daunting imagining how you can turn your current body into one with strong toned muscles. It is important to consider your weight lifting routine, as this is what will take you on your journey to the body beautiful. Your weight lifting routine should vary in many ways – the point at which you start should be carefully geared to your current level of fitness and strength, and the routine should change significantly over time as you progress.
The only way to build muscle is to exercise using weight resistance. This is the essence of weight lifting, and requires you to use free weights (including barbells and dumbbells) and a weight lifting machine. The simplest form of weight resistance is using your own body as the weight in exercises such as chin-ups or press-ups.
Free weights are the best way of building muscle and power, but if you are a beginner it is important to build up slowly. Start out with a weight lifting routine which uses a combination of free weights and machine-based exercises. Your body needs time to adjust to the new stresses being placed upon it, and this will help avoid injury. Increase the amount of free weight exercises you do over time, and also add multi-jointed exercises. These are exercises that work supporting muscles as well as the targeted muscle, and are also known as compound movements. Exercises such as bench presses, shoulder presses, dead lifts and squats fall into this category and will help you advance in your quest for muscle gain.
In addition to picking a good selection of exercises for your weightlifting routine, you will also need to consider the level of repetition required to transform your physique. Each set of exercises is comprised of a number of repetitions, and the number of sets you perform will be dependent on your aims and current fitness levels. If you are just starting out, only do one or two sets for each area of the body. Start with light weights, and increase the number of sets you do before progressing to heavier weights. You should be focusing particularly on technique and form rather than rapid muscle gain – this will ensure that as you progress you do not injure yourself, and your body builds in a well balanced and attractive way.
Your weight lifting routine should develop in line with your abilities. Once you have covered the basics, you should consider using heavier weights but with lower repetition. Building muscle is dependent on using this low repetition / high weight balance, but you should always increase the sets before moving on to even higher weights.