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Fitness Basics



Basic Weight Training Information

Weight training should be included in any well rounded fitness program. Weight training is a type of strength training exercise and is designed to strengthen and tone the skeletal muscles. Unlike body building exercises, weight training is not used to build large muscles. Instead, weight training increases the strength, endurance, and tone of the muscles.

Safety and Weight Training

In order to safely perform weight training exercises, follow these guidelines. Always spend at least 10-20 minutes warming up before you perform any exercises. Begin your weight training routine slowly. Start with light weights and gradually increase the weights over time; muscle injuries will occur if you suddenly begin an intense exercise program without building the muscles up first. Remember to always maintain good posture and form while you exercise. If you are at the end of your set do not give in to the temptation to sacrifice your posture and form in order to finish; if you cannot maintain good posture and form then end the set.


Weight training exercises that use full range movements have been known to result in muscle tears even for experienced athletes. It is best to use weight training exercises that focus on one movement at a time. Weight training can cause a build up of lactic acid in the muscles and produce a normal burning sensation, but if you experience any pain stop the exercise immediately.

Weight Training Resources

If you have never trained with weights before, you should start your exercise routine at a gym or fitness club first. Trainers and fitness instructors can show you how to perform these exercises properly. As you exercise with weights, check yourself frequently in the mirror to make sure that your posture and form are correct. Home exercise videos and fitness magazines can also provide tips and instructions on how to train with weights, but it is better to begin your program at a fitness center.

Weight Training Equipment

Free weights and weight machines are the two types of exercise equipment that are used for weight training. Weight machines are often used by weight training beginners because they will allow you to focus on your form and posture while you exercise. Weight machines that are frequently used for weight training include the Smith machine, the cable machine, and the leg press. Free weights provide more intense work outs that utilize more muscle groups, but it can be difficult for beginners to concentrate on their posture while they are working with free weights. Free weights that are most often used for weight training include barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells.