If you’ve added strength training to your workout routine, we’re happy to hear it. Building lean muscles is one of the best ways to boost metabolism and weight loss, and also benefit your health overall.
However, it’s possible that you’re making a common mistake. Many weight training newbies set up a prescribed workout (such as one recommended by a friend or featured in a magazine) and then they never change that workout. This is a mistake, because over time your muscles will get stronger. They need more of a challenge, and you’re probably getting bored as well.
So, over time you will gradually add weight to your workout routine. But how much should you add? If you go overboard, you risk injury and sidelining your whole fitness goal. If you don’t add enough, you lose out on the opportunity to challenge yourself and get stronger.
One general rule is to add 5 to 10 pounds to lower-body exercises each week as you progress. For upper-body, you will add 3.5 to 5 pounds each week. You’ll keep your number of reps and sets the same.
Of course, everyone isn’t ready for the same rate of weight increases at the same time. Another way to gauge your ability is to follow the 1-10 rule. Ask yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10, how difficult does this exercise feel? You want each move to fall in the 7 or 8 range. Too low, and you’re not challenging yourself enough and should add more weight. If you push it to a 10, you’re risking injury. Never add so much weight that you compromise form.
There’s one more adjustment you should consider adding to your strength training regimen. About every 4 to 6 weeks, change up your moves. For example, you might try a different type of squat, or switch from traditional weights to a kettlebell. Changing things up periodically will challenge your muscles more, and keep your workouts interesting.
Before beginning or changing a workout regimen, call us to schedule an appointment. We can help you set safe, reasonable goals, offer nutritional support, and consult with you regarding weight loss or other plans that you might have.