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Step Up Your Strength Training

By Julie Davis
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Strength training is an essential part of a complete workout program. But whether you use free weights, machines or resistance bands, keep challenging your muscles by stepping up your routine as you progress.

Training with eight to 10 exercises that target all muscle groups should be done two or three times a week. But never work the same muscles on consecutive days -- your muscles need that recovery time to grow.

As you progress, you might opt for a split routine. That could mean working the upper body on Mondays and Thursdays and the lower body on Tuesdays and Fridays, for instance. How you set up the days is up to you, as long as every muscle group gets the rest it needs between sessions.

Once you can complete three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions of an exercise with excellent form -- meaning you can just about complete your last rep of each set -- it's time to add more weight. This might mean moving up one level in tension if you use resistance bands, adding a weight plate on a machine, or going from 5-pound dumbbells to 7.5-pound ones.

Whatever equipment you use, the increase should be heavy enough that you're back to being able to complete only eight reps per set, and possibly only two sets, not three.

Adding weight is just one way to up your game. You can also lengthen the time it takes you to release the lifted weight to work the muscle longer. Typically, this is twice the length of time it takes you to lift the weight.

If you haven't yet consulted a weight trainer, having a one-on-one session now will not only help you move to the next level safely, but also ensure that you're reaching four key goals: strength, power, muscle development, and endurance.

More information

The American College of Sports Medicine has advice for beginners and experienced lifters alike on stepping up strength training.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=730351

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Muscles
Set (Psychology)
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Power (Psychology)
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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