Unlike walking or biking, which are almost impossible to do wrong, weight training requires proper form and technique. Perform an exercise incorrectly and risk of injury is high.
A trainer can help you master every form of weight training, including barbells, dumbbells, elastic bands and machines that are uniquely designed to strengthen specific muscle groups.
Many of those who belong to a health club, young or old, tend to lift weights that don't appear very challenging.
Lifting a small weight that hardly taxes your reserves isn't worth the effort. Every study has shown substantial benefits from resistance training only when high-intensity, muscletaxing exercises are used.
In practical terms, this means choosing weights that are sufficiently heavy that the muscle is virtually exhausted after six to eight repetitions of the exercise.
Exercises should involve every muscle group, including those on the arms, legs, back and abdomen. Each exercise should be done as three sets.
During the first set the 10th repetition should be difficult; during the second, only eight repetitions should be possible, and in the final set, you should only be able to manage five or six.
Exhausting the muscle leads to muscle growth and increased strength. It is hard work, but it's the only way to build strength to the level needed for optimal fitness.
You'll probably be a little sore when you start out. But the soreness goes away, and soon you'll find that you feel refreshed and energized and that the effort is well worth the sweat involved.
Want to start the new year with a realistic workable resolution? Don't worry about your weight or shape; instead, stretch, do balance and aerobic exercises and weight train to guarantee a longer, more independent life.
Dr. David Lipschitz is the author of the book "Breaking the Rules of Aging." To find out more about Dr. David Lipschitz and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. More information is available at: www.drdavidhealth.com
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