How long should a training session last?
Keep your weight training sessions to 60 minutes. Your session should be about quality. Our bodies can not sustain a high -intensity session for more than an hour. Weight training puts a lot of stress on muscles and joints. After an hour they become fatigued and this could inhibit progress. If you combine cardio and weight training in one session then you could exceed an hour.
How many exercises should I do?
This all depends on the type of workout. Normal sessions should allow you to do 12 – 15 sets. With 3 sets per exercise, that would give you 4-5 exercises. When exercising, start with compound movements: these target multiple muscles. Save isolation movements for later or as a bonus. Again, it’s about quality. There i no point in rushing 20 sets per session without intensity. You want to push yourself to failure for every set. It’s about pushing yourself to the next level.
When to eat:
About 30 minutes prior to your workout. This allows your body to digest the food and ‘energise’.
What to eat:
- Carbohydrates: Ideally look for complex carbohydrates ( moderate to low glycemic index) like whole meal bread, rice or pasta. As it takes your body time to covert these into glucose. It ensures that you have a consistant energy supply throughout the (60-minute) workout. How much? About 40 – 50 g.
- Proteins: Look for simple proteins with high biological value. These get into your bloodstream quickly and saturate (prepare)your muscles. How much? 20 – 25 g.
- Water: Make sure you are hydrated.
- Whey Protein provides an excellent and convenient way to give you clean and high quality proteins.
- Weight Gainers provide both protein and carbohydrates, and are a good choice for those looking to gain weight.
- Creatine: Very popular among athletes to increase their energy output.
What about form?
Good form = quality. ‘Cheating’ a little on forced reps is something you can do to crunch out a couple extra reps but do so without risking your lower back or injuries. Even so, your ‘cheating’ form should still be ‘almost perfect’ form. DOn’t get intimidated by people around you lifting weights a lot heavier than yours. We all need to start somewhere. If the weights are too heavy, lower it – your guaranteed a better workout and beter gains.