Have you noticed that you are getting burned out or not seeing progress with your current weight training routine? Maybe this could be a sign that it is time to shake things up. Doing four sets of ten repetitions of the same weight will only get you so far. Our bodies are really smart machines that adapt to exercise in a relatively short period of time. Once our bodies adapt to the doing the same weight and same number of repetitions, you might notice strength gains and muscle growth start to plateau. Luckily, our bodies need the smallest change to overcome the plateau and continue making progress with resistance training. Try using the FITT Principle to bust up that normal routine.
F—Frequency refers to the number of times that you work out your muscles per week. Are you the type that lifts one muscle group per day per week? If so, you could try combining muscle groups and working them out two to three times per week. Research studies have shown that individuals who work out muscle groups multiple times per week have more muscle growth than those that work out muscle groups one time a week.
I—Intensity describes how hard you are working when weight training. If you are doing the same weight for the same number of repetitions, you will not see much progress. To overcome this, use the concept “Progressive Overload.” Start with a weight you can only do 15 repetitions and then gradually get heavier each set until you reach a weight you can only use 8-10 times with good form.
T—Time can describe how long that your muscles are being worked. Try slowing down the repetition so that you are lowering the weight for a four- to six-second count. The slow lowering of the muscle requires more recruitment of muscle fibers which can result in creating more muscle. Lowering the weight in a slow motion can create a better metabolic boost, improve flexibility, and decrease chance of injury.
T—Type of resistance training that you are doing. A well-rounded weight-training routine involves a variety of different forms of resistance. Common ways to do resistance training include free weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells), machines, resistance bands, and body weight. Each type of resistance training provides a different tension of your muscle. Using multiple forms will help prevent your body from getting used to the same repetitive motion.
To learn more about creating a weight lifting routine, join Health Coaches Adam and Michael for their six-week Group Health Coaching series “Beginner Weight Lifting Challenge.” The webinars are held every Friday at 11:30 a.m. beginning January 22, 2021. They will provide workout content and tips to keep you on track and motivated. You will learn the benefits of building lean muscle and grow your confidence with weight training. To sign up, click the link above or visit linktohealth.osu.edu (search “Beginner Weight Lifting Challenge” under the group coaching tab).
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