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Designing Your Strength Training Routine
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends one set of eight to 12 repetitions (10 to 15 reps if you are 50 or older) for all large muscle groups twice a week. And yes, you only have to do one set. If you do have more aggressive goals it may be necessary to complete multiple sets of each exercise, but for the majority of people one set is enough.
Here are a few guidelines to follow when designing your resistance-training program.
• Quality and execution of movement is critical. It makes no sense to perform 20 sloppy reps. It is far better to perform eight reps with good form.
• Use resources to ensure that you are using good form. If you don’t have access to a personal trainer, you can often find examples of instructional videos on YouTube.
• Take it slowly. A lot of people lift much too quickly, using momentum instead of muscle. Try to take 4 or 5 seconds to complete a repetition. A set of 8 to 12 repetitions will take approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute to complete.
• Remember to breathe. Focus on exhaling as you lift the weight or when you exert and inhaling as you recover or lower the weight.
• Find the proper weight. If you cannot perform 8 reps, the weight is too heavy. If you can perform 12 reps with perfect technique, increase the weight by 5%.
• Your muscles require a day of rest. Perform your muscle conditioning sessions on alternating days.
There are literally hundreds of different exercises you could perform to get the results you want. Start with basic exercises. Every 4 to 6 weeks try to add a new challenge to any exercise that you are performing.
You can do this by:
Have fun, build muscle, and with consistency you will see results.
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