Weight lifting is an extremely popular form of muscular strength training particularly for building the size and strength of specific skeletal muscles. It makes use of the resistance of gravity in the shape of weight plates, dumbbells, or weight stacks to oppose the tendency produced by muscle via eccentric or concentric contraction. Although weight lifting is universally acknowledged as a weightlifting routine, it has also recently become more widely recognized for its potential use as a functional exercise routine as well. Weight lifting has therefore become a major component of strength and conditioning exercises commonly recommended for athletic youth, adults and senior citizens.
To effectively carry out a weight lifting program, there are certain variables that must be considered, depending on the desired end result. A good starting point is to analyze your own strength and conditioning level. As you become stronger, you can add weight training sessions into your weekly schedule. In order to make optimal use of the different exercises and resistance levels, there are some fundamental factors that need to be considered. These include your flexibility, endurance, and muscular power.
Good Form: It is important that you maintain good form as you lift heavier weights. This will reduce the risk of injuries such as torn muscles, sprained ligaments, and even bone fractures. Good form is achieved through controlling the resistance throughout the entire range of motion, maintaining a proper posture, maintaining correct grip pressure, and performing controlled repetitions. Good form is therefore a fundamental principle of weight lifting.
Endurance: A good weight lifting program builds stamina and enables the body to sustain a regular intensity level of exercise over a long period. It is therefore necessary to regularly lift heavy weights to support muscle mass and to prevent muscle failure. Muscle failure, a common injury in weight lifting, occurs when you cannot continue to lift the required weight or your strength fails to increase despite constant lifting. This results in swelling and possible dislocation of the joint. Long-term endurance and strength building will also result in improved health and greater longevity.
Muscular Strength: One of the most predominant goals in weight lifting is developing large muscle groups with hypertrophy (growth) in your arms, shoulders, chest, back, and abdominals. There are two kinds of muscle fibers-those that are made up of myofibrils (small muscle fibers running parallel to the muscle fiber) and sarcomeres (longer muscle fibers attached to a tendons or bone). The myofibrils have a two-phased process that is crucial for producing strength in muscles. First, they divide to become smaller to allow more contraction of the muscle. Second, after division, they become longer to produce more force for movement. Both processes are necessary for strength building.
Barbells vs. Machines – There have been some debates over whether machines or free weights are better for exercising. Although free weights usually take up less space and require lesser space in storage, they are not as effective at providing the isolation exercises that many weightlifters need to maximize their gains. This is why many people prefer using barbells during exercise routines. Barbells allow for heavier weights and more frequent exercise variations which are essential for gaining strength and building muscle while using weights.