It’s always somewhat of a milestone when you graduate from cardio at the gym to weight training. An entire floor filled with mean machines, amidst super fit people with bulging muscles – it can get a bit intimidating. But what you should know is that once you’ve figured your way around weights, the results are pretty amazing! We asked our in-house fitness expert on The Transformation, Rohan Mathew, to share his expertise.
Firstly, are weights imperative to your exercise regime? Apparently, yes. “Definitely. Training with weights, or what you call resistance training, is essential along with cardiovascular training. It helps maintain muscle mass, prevents disease and also builds muscle for various activities of daily living. Your weight training regime should be tailored to your job profile and your lifestyle requirements. For example, an athlete cannot do without weight training,” says Rohan.
But it isn’t as easy as picking up a dumbbell and flexing. “Weights are a helpful tool for anyone who wants to work out various muscle groups – bodyweight training generally doesn’t suffice in this case. However, when you're working with weights, you need to know the technique of lifting every weight, and using every machine. Once you become a pro at that, you can move on to more complex exercises,” he says.
So if you’re looking to head to the weights section, Rohan has some tips for you. “For those starting out, it’s an easy 3-step process. First – hire a personal trainer who knows his stuff; second – follow the instructions on the machines you’re using so you know what exactly to do, and finally – find instructional videos of various exercises with weights. Also, remember to start with lighter weights that you're able to handle and maintain form at the same time. Once you adapt to that, graduate to heavier and more complex exercises,” he explains.
Get supervision, prevent injury, but don’t be afraid to pump some iron!