May 112010
 

Weight lifting is a popular area of sports practised by many people worldwide. It can be very beneficial to one’s health, especially to those looking to develop stronger bodies with better-accented muscles. Weightlifting is also one of the recognized Olympic sports, so those pursuing a professional career in it can reap great success if they manage to become good.

Like all sports though, weight lifting requires a specific set of exercises, diets and other routines to train the body for better handling of the sport. When it comes to weight training, it’s rather obvious what exercises one would want to do in order to become better at it – but there are also some more subtle elements of the whole ordeal that some beginners tend to ignore and then they end up not making a whole lot of progress.

First, let’s cover the exercises you can use to better supplement your progress. You should definitely go for some isotonic exercises – this means that when you’re performing the exercise, the amount of tension produced in it remains roughly the same throughout the entire stretching and releasing – which is the opposite of plyometric exercises, which produce more tension on the muscle as it stretches and contracts. The latter can also be useful in weight lifting training, but you should try to pay more attention to isotonic exercises.

You should also be aware of the difference between compound and isolation exercises – in the first type, you’re training a whole group of muscles, while in the second you’re concentrating mostly on one muscle or joint. To improve your performance in weight lifting – and in most sports in general – the preferred type of exercises are compound ones. They’re simply much better suited for improving your body and strengthening it as an entire composition of muscles, not just one isolated one. This, in turn, results in greatly improved performance, as your muscles will be better adjusted for working in cooperation with each other and not on an isolated basis.

In weight lifting, having more body mass will generally become a necessity. When it comes to handling heavier loads, you’ll need your body to be heavy enough to counter-balance the weight, otherwise you’re going to experience some difficulty progressing. The good thing here is that this mass doesn’t necessarily have to be lean – you can generally get away with having a bit more fat than usual, and that will be fine. Just make sure you keep it in reasonable bounds if you want to stay on the healthy side, of course – letting it get out of control will end up hindering your progress in the end.

If you want to go into powerlifting, that’s a bit of a different story – you’ll need to do lots and lots of strength training there, as this will be your primary driving force in training and in competing. But strength exercises are a lot different in nature than what you need for regular weight lifting, so we won’t go into much detail there.

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