Article Contributor: Andrew
Strength training in the UAE should be part of all training and exercise programs. In fact, many leading studies like the one found here advise that strength training is just as important as cardio training for health health.
Strength and resistance training isn’t just about building muscle either. When you do strength training regularly you’ll be improving your muscle strength, improving your bone health and much more.
Strength training should always include a good ten minutes of warm up and cool down exercises.
Why is it important to warm up?
To get your muscles prepared for the workout ahead it’s vitally important that you perform some warm up exercises before you start.
A warm up routine helps your muscles relax, stretch and dilates blood vessels which ensures your muscles are supplied with oxygen. It also raises the temperature of your muscles which increases their flexibility.
Warm up also slightly raises your heart rate which in turn gradually eases you into the routine ahead.
Why is it important to cool down?
A 10 minute cool down after you’ve exercises should be an integral part of your strength training workout routine and shouldn’t be something you should overlook.
Cooling down exercises gradually helps your muscles and your body to relax, it helps you regulate your heart rate and also your breathing. Cooling down can also help to reduce lactic acid build up in the muscles.
If you’re new to strength training you’ll probably be eager to get started and think the more you can lift or push (resistance) the better it will be. Wrong.
Correct form is a critical part of strength training and something you need to learn, either in the gym or by using a professional personal trainer in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah.
What is correct form?
Correct form defines how a weight should be lifted or how an item of resistance training kit should be used with the end goal in mind. For example, if you are training your arms using dumbbells then there are several techniques you can use depending on which muscles in the arms you want to train.
Why is correct form important?
Strength training involves lifting weights and using resistance training equipment to work out different muscle groups. Strength training can also help with bone health too.
However, if you don’t use correct form when lifting weights there are a couple of risks you are opening yourself up to.
Strength training, as opposed to some methods of cardio training doesn’t need to be done at speed. In fact, if you go full throttle when lifting weights or using resistance kit you’re more likely to injure yourself.
When you start using weights your tempo (or speed) matters. Ease your muscles into the routine with timed movements. This will provide you with much better results and also means your endurance will increase too.
Many people find that matching their breath with movement helps where timing is concerned.
Breathing properly during any exercise is important. When you can control your breath it helps you control your movements. Holding your breath while you are doing strength exercises is a big no no.
When you first start you might get into the habit of holding your breath when lifting weights but this is far from ideal.
Breathing well when you exercise helps to get more oxygen to your muscles. It also helps you stay in control of your movements and for some people it helps with tempo (the speed at which you lift)
Sometimes you get stuck in a rut with the same old strength training routines. And, surprisingly your muscles might get that way too.
If muscle growth through strength training is your goal in the UAE then you need to keep challenging your muscles.
What do we mean by challenging your muscles?
This of it this way. Unless you challenge your muscles as your strength and endurance increase your progress might stop. The reason for this is because as you get used to lifting weights or using resistance machines your muscles might find your workouts too easy.
The easiest way to challenge your muscles is to increase your reps, your sets and of course the weight. Using a personal trainer in the UAE will help you track and monitor your progress, they can then suggest additional ways to challenge your muscles including incorporating new strength training routines into your program.
Strength training, just like cardio or any other exercise program, requires commitment and consistency.
If you’re not consistent with your training you’ll start to lose progress and even worse end up back at square one.
Strength training needs to be done on a regular basis. You can expect lasting results without putting the effort in. This is where exercise becoming part of your lifestyle is important.
Training for a week here and there won’t work long term. Try to set a schedule, maybe 2 – 3 times per week dedicated to strength training.
There is a big difference between being consistent in your strength training and doing too much.
Over training has many adverse effects on you and your body.
You might think that the more you train the bigger and better your results will be. But, the opposite is often true. The main reason for this is that training damages your muscles and it takes time for them to repair.
Even professional athletes and personal trainers know that giving yourself time to rest is just as important as training itself.
For example, if you train for 2 days, take a day off. Your training schedule really depends on you but time to rest and recover should be a priority.