As individuals age, it’s important to build and maintain muscle. Many adults lose muscle in their bodies around the age of 30, especially since they are not as active physically as they were in previous years. When the body starts to lose muscle while the rate of metabolism slows, it’s a recipe for weight gain that can open doors for other health issues to crop up.
Weight training isn’t just about being able to look good. Weight training has been noted to help with keeping weight in check, strengthening the bones and muscles, boosting energy levels and improving balance. For anyone wondering whether it’s worth it, there’s also a significant amount of research that supports the benefits of training with weights.
As fitness enthusiasts such as Jonathan Alexander Abt know, many weight training exercises can be grouped into a program that ensures all the major muscle groups get some work. Giving more prominence to certain muscles over others can lead to strength imbalances, which can affect posture and increase the chance of injuries. For many beginners, it’s important to work with a qualified fitness professional to come up with a strength training program that addresses individual needs and to demonstrate how to perform the exercises safely.
Staying the Course
Upon embarking on a weight training program, one of the most encouraging aspects for most individuals is seeing improvements in muscle tone and strength. It’s a source of motivation for many, but after a while, the improvements slow down. It’s a natural part of the fitness process that with continued exercise, strength and appearance gains come at a slower pace. It’s at this point that motivation becomes essential, so it’s important to find ways of staying active, such as training with a partner.
It can be comforting to get into a familiar routine so that the exercises are the same for a long duration. However, the muscles adapt when you settle into a routine, and it’s quite easy to get bored. Consider changing the routine every six to eight weeks. Tweak aspects such as the sets, rest periods, equipment used and exercise types.
Aim to exercise regularly during the week and take adequate time to rest between workouts. Training too frequently can lead to some slight gains, but the downside is the added risk of injury that comes with overtraining.