Getting into lifting weights will help you get to a toned and shaped body fast. Try these exercises to get started.
Lifting is a great way to start your strength training and building muscle. Moving around things like cast iron bars and plates will do wonders for the curves on your body faster than just doing cardio or dieting alone. You can build and shape the way you look with the way you lift, the amounts you lift and how often.
Lifting weights is also known as bodybuilding or strength training. This is the way that you start building muscle and changing your body composition and metabolism. Changing your body composition means changing the ratios or amounts of fat, lean muscle and tissue.
The more lean muscle you put on or develop, the more calories your body has to burn to keep that muscle fed and alive; your metabolism changes when this happens. Your body starts using more of what you eat – and it wants healthy stuff – for feeding, repairing and growing your muscles.
I started lifting towards my senior year in high school. I bought a little weight bench from Walmart and a set of cement plates encased by plastic with a metal bar. They were a lot smaller than your good Olympic sized bar and plates. But I worked out with them and a set of 20 pound dumbbells.
I started doing just a basic set of exercises that I had found in a fitness magazine I had borrowed from the library. I made a copy of it and taped it to my wall. I kept track of how many pounds I lifted, how many reps and how many sets I did, what time of the day it was as well so I could see what was working for me. I also made a note of how I felt before and after my workout so I could make adjustments to my workouts.
I did the following exercises. Click each one to see an example of the exercise:
There are several types of equipment you can use in your bodybuilding.
Dumbbells are a small bar with either an attached plate or ball at each end of the, small enough to hold one dumbbell in each hand. They come in sizes anywhere from 2 pounds to 50 pounds and on up.
They can be either made out of cast iron or concrete encased in plastic. They can come in adjustable sets where small plates can add pounds incrementally. I bought a set like this because it saves space and you add on small 2 pound metal plates to each dumbbell when ready to lift more.
Kettlebells are like dumbbells except they are a cast iron ball with a small handle that you can grip and it is used in swinging motions and is good for strengthening your grip, using your whole body in lifting and moving them.
Barbells include using a metal bar from about 4 to 8 feet long and plates in different amounts. The middle of the bar usually has a textured pattern to help with gripping it and the plates are secured on the ends with collars, small metal grips that clamp on the bar.
Barbells are used in bodybuilding and powerlifting. I prefer using the Olympic standard bar and plates since the bar itself can be a great starting point, I love the clang of the metal and the solid feel than when I use cement plates. Just my opinion.
With this equipment you also should use a sleeve, a padded wrap around the middle of the bar for when you are squatting or having the bar across your back or shoulders. Also, use a weightlifting belt with heavier lifting to protect your back.
There are some other types of barbells as well such as the EZ curl bar, trap bar and triceps bar.
There are several types of machines that are either stacked or plate machines. This means that the weights are either in stacks that moving a pin will determine what amount you will use in the exercise. The plated machines are used with plates.
We can’t leave this one out! Of course, there are some limitations of how heavy you can go since you only weigh so much. Such as when you are doing pushups or chin ups, the most you can lift (unless you strap on some more poundage with plates!) is your own body.