It is nice to have a little more strength than you need. It makes tasks so much easier. In fact, it is very natural to have a little more strength than you need. Your own body tells you that. It is the overload and adaptation principle that we have been talking about.
For some people, deep knee bends and push-ups are sufficient to build a reserve of strength. But for most people who are serious about being in good shape, some kind of progressive resistance exercise (weight training) is appropriate.
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One thing to be careful of: Weight training is very intense. You can overdo it very quickly if you are not careful. Please remember the information in Exercise 4 about different body types and the appropriate training routines for each type.
If you’re the average person, the kind of exercise you do is less important than the fact that you do exercise. But there are some guidelines you should follow.
First, unless you are very advanced, or have a very high metabolism, it is usually best not to train with weights on consecutive days.
Also, when you are using weights to build up strength, it is best to use only the big, heavy exercises.
• Work your upper body with military presses or bench presses, exercises which any weight trainer or gym operator can show you how to do correctly.
• Work your back with deadlifts or power cleans, or work on the lat machine. Avoid back injuries by exercising your back regularly.
• Exercise your legs with squats. Your legs are your foundation. They say that the legs are the first thing to go on an athlete, so the stronger your legs are, the longer your career. A trainer or gym operator even the instructions you receive with home fitness equipment can show you the correct way to do any of the exercises recommended in this paragraph.
You should avoid small exercises with light weights. The little high repetition exercises are used to help you decrease size in order to increase definition; they are not for building muscles.
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