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Beginner Weight Training Qs

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My roomie finally got me down to the gym a few weeks ago (pretty much first time ever) and since then I've been keeping up with him and doing some reading and going down there on my own. A few things I'm trying to figure out;

how do you know when you should increase the weight/resistance you use on a particular exercise? A friend of mine works his way up to being able to do 3x12 consistently at a given weight and then increases, which is just a general guideline I've kind of used so far. Should I look/aim for something else?

Also, how important is resting muscle areas between training sessions? If you do your arms every day, is it a 2 steps forward 1 step back kind of thing, and is it dangerous at all? I've only been going for about 2.5 weeks now, every day, but I work the same muscles every session pretty much, though I'm 'feeling it' the next day less and less now.
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwaffle View Post

how do you know when you should increase the weight/resistance you use on a particular exercise? A friend of mine works his way up to being able to do 3x12 consistently at a given weight and then increases, which is just a general guideline I've kind of used so far. Should I look/aim for something else?

......how important is resting muscle areas between training sessions?........

The guideline you are using is OK but there is nothing wrong with doing some heavy sets with less reps. It's the only way I can get stronger..but you need to experiment and see what works best for you.

To understand the importance of rest you need to understand exactly what you are doing when you lift weights and why you are lifting them. Resistance exercise activates and micro tears muscle fiber. Rest allows the fiber to heal...when it heals it gets bigger and stronger...if you don't rest you won't allow your muscle fibers to heal and grow bigger and stronger
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwaffle View Post
how do you know when you should increase the weight/resistance you use on a particular exercise?
Move up when you can do your working sets without fatiguing at the last few reps... if your routine looks something like 3x5, move up when you can do 3x6/7 (doesn't matter if you get tired or not)

about the rest thing, it's extremely important
there are 3 things you need to do to get big
1. eat big
2. lift big
3. sleep (big)

stylized of course, since you have to eat clean and healthy, lift with proper form.. etc etc
but you get the idea
generally you want to give your muscles at least 24 hours to recover if you're a beginner and longer (48 hours or so) when you're an intermediate, but again they're just guidelines
post #4 of 5
Fantastic info from both of you guys ^^

No matter how badly you want to spend like 2 hours a day at the gym, resist the urge and rest.

Weight lifting creates microscopic tears in muscle tissue, the body ( during the rest period and with enough protein) will rebuild those tears and make them slightly larger then before, in hopes that they wont tear again under stress.

That is what makes you get larger as you progress through lifting weights, and if you dont rest properly, the tears will not fully heal and you will get reduced gains, and probably injure yourself in the process.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I'm definitely working on diversifying my workout, training different muscles and the same ones less consecutively. Also, good guidelines for increasing resistance. I think I can see where I should be using more weight now
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