From the smallest gym to the largest health club, weight rooms can fulfill a variety of workout plans. These plans are based on training principles that can be adapted to individuals of all fitness levels. Participating in a weight-training plan brings many benefits, all of which are geared toward improving health and fitness.
Workout Plan History
In the early 1900s, training workouts relied on feats of strength. In a show of strength, an individual would lift large objects, or people, overhead with one arm. Training for this type of event would consist of 12 exercises performed in single sets, one for every body part. Equipment consisted of dumbbells and barbells. With the start of the Mr. America contest in the 1940s, higher repetition and multiple set training evolved. The goal shifted from featuring strength to showing a muscular physique. This type of training is still popular today.
Weight Training Principles
Training with weights is based on the overload principle. When placing an increased stress on muscles, they respond by recruiting muscle fibers to contract and handle the stress. In time, the muscle fibers become stronger and are able to adapt to the overload. These type of workouts are based on the specificity principle, which states that gains are specific to the type of training. The muscle group that is trained becomes stronger.
Types of Plans
The type of workout plan is based on the exerciser's goals. For increased muscle mass, workout plans rely on higher weights and lower repetitions. For increased muscular endurance, training consists of lower weights with higher repetitions. For a combination of strength and endurance, weights and repetitions are set between both extremes. For increased strength or endurance with decreased body fat, a cardio training component is added to weight training plans.
Workout Time Frame
Weightlifting plans can be completed in 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of training. Strength workouts feature exercises using three sets of four to six repetitions. Endurance workouts feature exercises using three to four sets of 10 to 12 repetitions. Each muscle group should be trained no more than two times per week. Plans can include all muscle groups in one workout, or groups can be split into two separate workouts. Workout plans should stress using proper form, working slowly and resting between 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
Weight Training Benefits
The target of weight-training workout plans is increased muscle strength, endurance, mass and tone. When muscles get stronger, so do your bones and connective tissue. A stronger body is less resistant to postural problems and injuries. Increased muscle mass leads to increases in your ability to burn fat and calories, resulting in a reduction of excess weight and fat.
- Team USA: History of Weightlifting
- "Keep Moving: Fitness through Aerobics and Step"; Esther Pryor and Minda Goodman Kraines; 2000
- Health.Learninginfo: Muscle Building
- American Council on Execise: Strength Training 101
- weights and measures image by John Sfondilias from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.