1st December 2016. Taking good care of our bodies requires a substantial investment of time and effort. While it seems easy to stay in good shape when we're very young, as we age we must make more of an effort to exercise. Physical fitness is a significant component in living a healthy life and reducing the chance of disease. There's no one exercise that covers all the bases, either. In reality, different kinds of exercise work together to supplement each other's effects. If you've already started working on your cardio needs, maybe you're thinking it's time to consider the weight room. While it's easy to feel intimidated when you're just beginning with weights, getting started isn't difficult at all. Everyone can benefit from strength training. In fact, it's an essential part of a balanced workout. Training with weights can do everything from protecting bone health to aiding you in improving the way your body moves. With that in mind, finding out what you can bench press might seem appealing. Before you get started, it's important to have a good sense of how to approach weights ? both regarding how to use them and how your body reacts. We'll begin by looking at the first steps you can take.


Where to start with weights in the gym


  First, though, a word about muscle development. Remember that muscles develop mass by initially breaking down during exercise. The muscles then repair themselves using protein to gain thickness and strength. This process takes time. In other words, it takes several workouts to begin seeing gains. If you find yourself feeling frustrated with the initial stages of your weight training, you have to keep on going! The right diet and consistent training will eventually yield gains. Now, before you head straight to the bench and start slapping weights on the bar, consider all your options. If you're a true beginner, you might need to work up to the bench press as well as the machines. You don't want to push yourself too hard too fast; that's a recipe for muscle injury rather than muscle growth. So how do you begin? One of the best ways to start is with dumbbells and barbells. By using these hand weights, you can begin to condition muscles in your arms and upper body. This initial conditioning is an excellent foundation for more in-depth work later. There are many dumbbell exercises you can do in an open space of the gym or with the assistance of a bench. Once you begin to develop more strength and you start to move up in weight, try switching to barbells. Using both hands allows you to work out muscles like the pectorals in your chest more thoroughly. Curl bars are also ideal for working out the biceps and triceps. Once you feel comfortable with this level of weight workout in the gym, you can move up to the next level: fitness machines.


How to approach the use of exercise machines


When you think of people in a gym, you probably imagine one of two things: people jogging on a treadmill, and people lifting weights with all kinds of machines. The sheer variety of equipment can be daunting on its own, but we're here to break down the basics of the most important machines. You'll want weight-training-basics-gym-weight-machinesto focus on the devices that will let you work out the muscles you plan on targeting. We'll discuss that in a moment. We'll begin with a caveat: it's important not to overdo it with exercise machines. They have some serious drawbacks in comparison to working with free weights like we just discussed. For example, they isolate muscle groups that are essential to whole body strength. While they're also excellent for targeting specific muscles, like the quads in your legs, too much of a good thing can be bad. Try to find a mixture of free weights and machines that works for you. Additionally, be sure to avoid machines which can place far too much stress on your body, like the Smith machine. That said, there are some effective machines. Leg press machines, for example, allow you to work out the muscle groups in your legs more easily. Be careful not to overload the machine. You can use this as a component of your overall workout. Cable machines are excellent for working out muscles like the trapezius and the muscles of the chest. Break up your routines with these machines into sensible sets of repetitions. Supplement with plenty of cardio and your usual recovery period.


What muscle groups should you try to develop?


In general, working on just one particular muscle group exclusively isn't a good idea. While you can (and will) do exercises that only focus on one group of muscles, the important thing is that your whole workout consists of more variety. By doing a little of each exercise during each gym session in the week, you can improve your entire body, enabling you to build muscle mass more evenly. Broadly speaking, you should be working on your chest, your back, and your legs. Each time you choose an exercise for a muscle group, you should try to do up to three sets of about ten repetitions each. For example, if you're using a barbell to do chest curls, you'll want to do it roughly thirty times total with brief resting breaks in between each set. This method will enable you to work your arms and your chest effectively. Afterwards, move on to a set of exercises for your legs, such as squats. In the beginning, you may need up to two days of rest between strenuous strength training sessions. This is the time in which your muscles will be repairing themselves, so be sure to keep plenty of protein in your diet. After two days, you can return and cycle through each muscle group again. When in doubt, don't be afraid to ask someone else in the gym to spot you for an exercise. You can also ask them for advice on specific exercises to help expand your ability.


Developing a schedule for strength workouts


So, you know you need to rest, and you also know that you should be rotating the weight training between muscle groups. How can you craft this knowledge into a solid workout schedule? GymLad.com have a great article highlighting their preferred strength training program. Or why not look upweight-training-basics-3-day-split the three-day full body split. This routine involves breaking up your workout into two specific types and breaking them up with rest days in between. Over two weeks, you do both workouts an equal number of times. This method is ideal for avoiding "over-strengthening" one side of your body or group of muscles. On your "rest" days from strength training, don't forget that those are ideal days to throw some other exercise into the mix. Go for a run or hop on an exercise bike! You might even choose just to go for a swim to cover some distance. Not only will this improve your overall wellness, but it can help you stay committed to working out the rest of the week. If you continue to mix in regular cardiovascular exercise, your fitness regime will be rock solid. If your goal is to lose weight, prepare to start shedding the pounds. If you want to bulk up and gain muscle mass, don't worry ? that's coming, too.


Are you ready to get out and pump some iron?


Even if you only begin with basic dumbbell training, in time you can learn to impress yourself with weights. Incorporating a strength training component into your weekly workout routine is not just a good way to improve your body's fitness. but it's also an excellent way to get your money's worth out of a gym membership! Gyms provide all the easy access you need to a variety of machines and weights that would otherwise be quite an expensive investment for you to make. Once you're comfortable with the machines and training with weights in the gym, the sky is the limit. Remember to provide for the proper recovery period, however. Additionally, bear in mind that diet plays a significant role in the success of your exercise! Especially when you're building muscle, boosting your protein intake and eating wholesome foods is imperative. With all that said, it's time to go and build some muscle!