Weight training only for those who want to bulk up?
Ok, the title may be obvious, but how many times have you talked to someone about doing exercise with weights, and get a response along the lines of “Oh, I don’t want to bulk up” or “If i lift weights I’ll just get those big muscles, and I don’t want that!”. It’s a commonly held myth that only body builders should lift weights because otherwise you’ll become a glistening mass of big muscles. What people don’t realize is that lifting weights can be great for you, and you don’t have to get too bulky if you don’t want to.
I was reading an article over at MSNBC today that talked about lifting weights can be good for you -by building stronger bones when you’re younger, and by helping you maintain bone strength when you’re older:
up until age 30, and particularly during childhood and adolescence, weight-bearing exercises such as jumping and running can help build stronger and stronger bones. After 30, studies show that weight-bearing exercise helps in another way — by preventing bone loss and therefore maintaining the bone strength that you already have.
Weight training, because it involves even greater resistance, challenges the bones more. A good starting point is a standard strength program, using free weights or weight machines, that targets all the major muscle groups with one to three sets of eight to 10 repetitions of each exercise. Over time, fitness experts say, it’s a good idea to periodically mix things up with different combinations of sets, reps and specific exercises.
So building and keeping strong bones is something that’s good for everyone, not just people who are trying to bulk up.
Getting back on a weight training program
I’ve been trying to get started on a “standard strength program” lately, but mostly have been doing lower body weight workouts, along with pushups from the 100 pushups program. I think I’m going to slowly be transitioning from the pushups only to more of a rounded upper body workout.
Usually I’ll do weight training 3 days a week. The first day will be lower body. Two days later I’ll do upper body, and then two days later lower body again (or vice versa with two days of upper, 1 of lower).
It seems to work pretty good when I’m doing it, and it really helps to jumpstart weight loss as well.
Have you been considering starting a weight training program as well? Tell me about it in the comments!