Fitness Fundamentals: Weightlifting
This is the fourth article in our “Fitness Fundamentals” series, so far we’ve addressed Nutrition, conditioning, and gymnastics.. These articles are for those just starting a health and fitness journey who need simple actionable advice to start improving right away. For those whom fitness is already an active part of their lives, fundamentals are something that should be revisited consistently to make sure the foundation of our hard work remains solid in support of our goals.
Today we discuss “Weightlifting”. Much like the “gymnastics” we teach and perform in the gym, the weightlifting we are referring to is basic strength training, and an emulation of the traits that competitive Olympic Weightlifters possess. Strength training is one of the most important aspects of any training because it not only contributes to all aspect of fitness, it is one of the single biggest factors in health and longevity. However strength can not exist in a vacuum and over emphasizing strength at the expense of all other fitness qualities is neither productive or healthy. Below we’ll discuss some ways to get the most out of the all important “strength work” in our program.
The best way to get stronger is to consistently train for strength. We recommend folks include a strength element to their training a minimum of twice a week. This not only allows the body to adapt sustainably overtime, but also allows for consistent practice that improves the body’s neurological ability to perform movements under load. Along with this comes the consistency of the actual weights used. Instead of striving to constantly hit new heavier weights, our goal is mastering the load you are at, improve form and make it feel easier before you move on to the next weight.
Quality over Quantity
One of the biggest mistakes people make with lifting weights is being focused on lifting heavier and heavier weights. When strength training is done properly it will create physical resilience in a person that will prevent injuries. However many times strength training is associated with injury in the gym because folks are either training with poor movement quality, and / or to much weight. So it is imperative to set aside your ego and commit to mastering the quality of your movements before you make big jumps in the quantity of weight lifted.
Commit to strength training twice a week, and use consistent loads and movements for six weeks. This will help you master the movements to begin with. If you only introduce two new movements every 6 weeks for a year you will have laid a great foundation in 16 different movements.
Thanks for stopping in! Our final installment we will discuss the concept of sport and how it applies to getting fit!