Weight lifting is not an exact science, as everyone person’s body is different. For example, your genes may not allow you to lift as much weight as your friend, but your muscles may appear longer and leaner than theirs. But if you’re looking to maximize your time in the gym, there are plenty of weight lifting tips you can follow.
Below, we share the 6 daily habits of effective weight lifters so you can incorporate them into your own routine and start seeing even greater results:
Warm Up Pre-Workout: Warm muscles are less likely to suffer from an injury and offer you a greater range of motion through which you can move your weights. A warm up also prepares your mind for the workout as it gives you time to transition from work or sleep to exercise. Aim to complete approximately five minutes of full-body movement such as walking, stair climbing, or using an elliptical trainer prior to lifting weights.
Constant Hydration: Your body is approximately 75 percent water and this includes your muscles. Your body needs water to repair itself after your workouts—water helps move needed nutrients into your muscle cells so they can grow and removes toxins to help you recover faster. Consider drinking water during your workouts to help boost each session.
Proper Form – Always: Nothing beats proper form when you are weight lifting. Form helps to build muscles equally, reduce your injury risk, and save wear and tear on your body. Effective weight lifters know that proper form is number one for strength training.
Rest and Recovery Time: It’s important to give yourself rest time between sets and recovery time between sessions. Depending on your workout goals, your between-set rest time should be 30 seconds to three minutes. Use shorter rest intervals for endurance or typical strength training and longer intervals for power lifting. Aim to allow yourself to recover for 1 to 2 days between sessions of the same muscle groups.
Routine Variation: Effective weight lifters do not do the same routine every day for weeks on end. They reverse the order of exercises and add new ones. They increase the weights or lower the reps. All of these changes stimulate the muscles to respond with gains. If you always use machines, try switching to free weights for a change.
Stretching Post-Workout: One of the most important daily habits of avid weight lifters—and one of the best weight lifting tips we can offer you—is to perform flexibility exercises at the end of your workout sessions when the muscles are warm. Since weight training contracts the muscle fibers and shortens them, it is important to stretch the fibers and keep them long to help you reduce your injury risk.