Training in order to build up strength isnít exactly an exotic thing to do. Saying that everyone does it might be taking it too far, but saying that everyone knows a person who either does strength training or has done so in the past paints a much more accurate picture. But how do they do it? And what are the best advices for anyone looking to take up strength training?
Letís start from the very beginning. How exactly are muscles and strength built through exercise? Well, this might look counter-intuitive, but in order to build muscle, you need to damage it first. Putting stress on your muscles causes small tears in them, which in turn raises all kinds of alarms in your body and it reacts by fixing the tears and making the muscle stronger in the process.
So, you need to put stress on your muscles. But not any kind of stress - you can seriously injure yourself if you take your strength training too far. Feeling fatigue is okay, but when lifting weights starts to cause you pain instead of discomfort, you should stop, and consider moving to a lighter weight. The opposite goes for feeling completely rested after your last rep - if you donít feel tired, youíre not training with enough weight and you should add some.
As for the exercises you should be doing, remember that stretching and doing some cardio before you start your training is always required, as you need to be warmed up to avoid injuries. The big four exercises you should do are bench presses, deadlift, overhead press and squats. For strength training, itís generally recommended to stay away from machines and lift free weight instead. Learn to love the barbell and the dumbbell. Learn the proper technique for using them, your joints will be grateful and youíll have less chances of hurting yourself. And find someone to teach you all of this and supervise you until theyíre sure youíre doing things right.
Of course, there is plenty of advice that can be given to a strength training novice - from the best shoes to wear, to the different gear to use. And not to mention the diet, although, whatever people might think, eating healthy but more than usual will do just fine for any strength trainer. Still, for the time being, it all boils down to this: learn how to do it right, and avoid getting yourself hurt.