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Weight training is a popular form of exercise for those wanting to build strength. Lifting weighted bars, weight stacks or dumbbells uses gravity to make the body work against the resistance, which can develop the size and strength of skeletal muscles. Weight training uses a range of specialised equipment and types of movement to target specific muscle groups.

Strength training is an essential part of sports such as weightlifting and bodybuilding as well as javelin, discus and shot put. It is also an important part of the training regime for other sports, including rugby, boxing and rowing. Weight training shares many basic principles with strength training; both vary exercise repetitions, type and weight to achieve the aims of the individual. Size, strength and fitness can be worked on through weight training.

How much weight training is best in order to achieve optimum results is a question asked by most exercise enthusiasts. More training does not automatically mean a better result which is probably a relief to people not in a position to train daily. Whether it is possible to achieve the same benefits largely depends on the objectives of the individual.

Studies show that the number of exercise sessions each week affects results in some ways but not others. For older adults, there is not much difference between once and twice weekly training. However, a jump to training for a third weekly session is shown to have a significant impact on results. Similar differences are noticed between children and young people who train once or twice weekly.

This research indicates the elusive ‘sweet spot’ for best training outcomes is 2-3 times per week; a thankfully manageable schedule for most people juggling exercise with busy lives. Busy professionals – such as orthodontics specialist Jonathan Alexander Abt – can maximise fitness when training at this rate, as it allows for a full-body work-out during each session. This is also the type of work-out that most people’s bodies recover from most quickly.

As well as finding the best weight lifting schedule, it is important to concentrate on the types of exercise completed during each session. One tip is to think in terms of movements rather than muscles. A mixture of vertical and horizontal exercises can help build muscles in the upper body while squats, dead lifts and single-leg exercises are good for leg training. As the body adapts to exercise, it is a good idea to vary weight lifting routines every few weeks. This can help challenge your body and its limits.