New fitness enthusiasts are often influenced by social indicators of fitness – putting them on a misguided course towards unrealistic and ineffective goals.
Often, the confusion has to do with one major misconception: you don’t need big muscles in order to be fit. Do you know the difference between going for bulk and tone in your weightlifting workouts?
Tone has to do with shape and muscle density. Muscle mass has to do with size, which is associated with strength. Too frequently, size and strength is given premier status as an indicator of fitness – a danger to any new weightlifter.
Typical strategy to achieve muscle mass/bulk: More weight, fewer reps
Typical strategy to achieve muscle tone: Less weight, more reps
Your fitness plan doesn’t need to be extreme – there’s a whole spectrum in between. If your fitness goals are to increase your size and weight, then you might opt to go with more weight and fewer reps. Many athletes find a balance, not wanted to jeopardize their flexibility by adding too much mass.
The overarching theme: know what you want to accomplish. Take some time to understand the why of any workout plan, and what it is designed to do to your body. Before you embark on a new series of weightlifting exercise, understand the muscles that each lift will target. Make sure that you properly warm up your muscles.
Did you know that weightlifting essentially tears your muscles, and the healing process achieves the growth? To prevent soreness, do cardiovascular activities immediately following a weightlifting session to keep blood flowing through your muscles. If your gym has a sauna, 10 minutes after each workout can help to heal muscles faster. Protein and potassium is always a good idea if you are experiencing cramps and soreness.Read More