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More and more people are realizing the many benefits of weight lifting routines as the basis of a healthy exercise plan. Weight training can help you add muscle (big muscle for guys, shapely, toned muscle for women), burn body fat (and do so faster and more efficiently than aerobics), get fit, feel great, and look even better.
Whether your goal is to lose a few pounds of fat and firm up, tone up your problem areas (if you’re a woman), add a few pounds of muscle, or compete in body building or power lifting competitions, you need to engage in properly devised resistance training programs.
Weight lifting workouts such as a dumbell exercise, an arm exercise, thigh exercise, are great to include in your exercise routine. They are the key to completely transforming your body, getting fit, and getting strong.
They are also a key component of a peak performance program for athletes.
Nowadays, athletes that don’t implement weight training tailored to improving their sports performance will be left behind. Weight lifting workouts are a key part of an athlete’s success.
Lifting weights is a much more important factor than aerobics when it comes to shedding body fat and keeping it off. You will not build the body you want without implementing proper weight lifting workouts into your fitness program. Aerobics alone will just make you skinny-fat.
If your goal is to shed fat, you need the right weight lifting routines. If you want to add muscle, you need weight lifting workouts to help you get there. If you want to get extremely strong, make no mistake, weight training is your key to success.
Check out one of my favorite weight lifting routines:
There has been so much fitness misinformation over the years that I really feel I need to say it again – Weight lifting routines are the key to getting the body you want (and keeping it), not aerobics!
Crank Up Your Progress With The 3 x 3 Weight Lifting Routine
If you are feeling a bit burned out or stale on your current weight lifting routines, if you need a change, or if you just want to stimulate new and impressive gains in muscle and fat loss, here’s a program you just have to try.
Let’s make no mistake, this weight lifting routine is far from easy and you need a high level of mental motivation but if you can give it your all you will love the progress you make.
This weight lifting program is not new, but my guess is that you haven’t seen anyone go through it at your gym or fitness club. There’s a reason for that and the reason is hard work – very hard work.
But, you only get out of something what you put into it, or as someone once said, ‘successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people won’t.” If you want to be ordinary, do ordinary things, if you want to be extra-ordinary, well, that’s a whole new ball game.
Let’s be extra-ordinary, shall we?
This weight lifting routine is usually called the 3 x 3 workout and the simple reasoning for that is that you perform three exercises in a row, three times without stopping.
Yes, that’s nine sets in a row without stopping. But that’s all you do for the workout and then you can go home. And it’s a full body weight lifting workout so it’s as time efficient as it gets.
Of course, it’s also about as hard as weight lifting routines get. This isn’t your grandparent’s circuit training routine. It’s also one of the most time efficient weight lifting routines in existence.
There are a number of variations you can do but the key is to select three exercises that target the whole body. So you will want multi-joint compound movements that target the lower body, the chest and the back. Weight lifting routines that ignore certain body parts can spell injury trouble down the line.
A few examples are the leg press, the bench press, and the curl grip l at pull down. You would do each exercise without stopping and repeat three times. In other words you would do the following without stopping:
Leg Press, Bench Press, Pull down, Leg Press, Bench Press, Pull down, Leg Press, Bench Press, Pull down.
Make sure you use a curl grip on the pulldown due to the more direct biceps hit from the exercise.
Now, when you begin, you may want to try a 30 second rest interval between each set.
Weight lifting routines in this manner are brutal, but you get out of it what you put into it so be prepared to go through the whole workout without stopping as soon as you possibly can.
The repetition targets should be as follows –
1st set – Leg exercise, 20 reps, chest exercise, 12, upper back exercise, 12.
2nd set – Leg exercise, 15, chest exercise, 10 and upper back exercise 10.
3rd set – Leg exercise, 8, chest exercise, 8 and upper back exercise, 8.
Keep the weights the same until you hit the target repetitions on the 3rd and final set. Try starting out by doing this weight lifting workout three times per week.
As you really start progressing you may find you get better results working this routine twice per week and eventually 3 times every two weeks. For example, during the first week do the workout on Monday and Friday and next week only do it on Wednesday.
If you work it right, this is as demanding a weight training routine as you will do. That’s the main reason you never see anyone performing this routine.
After a couple break in workouts you shouldn’t do this routine for more than 4 weeks, 6 weeks max, before downshifting the intensity for a week or so.
The workouts are short, but very taxing. If you tried to adopt this type of workout every time you went to the gym, you’d eventually start dreading your workouts, then giving them a half hearted effort, then skipping them altogether. And no matter how result producing weight routines are, they can’t produce results if you stop training, right?
Now, what’s so special about this routine? A few things, really. It makes sure you increase the intensity of your workout, which is a key to muscle growth. By cramming more work into a shorter amount of time your intensity increases greatly over what you were doing previously.
By shortening the workout so much, you are more likely to go all out on each set because you won’t be pacing yourself for a silly two hour workout.
If you’ve been doing a routine with a decent amount of volume and numerous workouts per week, this will be quite a change and your intensity levels will skyrocket, spurring your body into new growth.
On the fat burning fitness weight loss side, this routine will elevate your heart rate, giving you a good cardio workout. Believe me, if you do the typical cardio routine of most gym goers, this weight training program will be more of a cardio workout than you are used to.
You will burn more calories during the actual exercise routine. In addition, due to the intensity level your body’s metabolism will stay elevated long after the workout, burning more calories at rest, and helping to melt the body fat away.
Numerous studies have shown that high intensity training (both weight training and high intensity interval cardio training) can keep your metabolism elevated for up to 38 hours after your workout is over.
In other words, train intensely enough, and you’ll be burning fat while doing nothing. Not a bad deal, for a brief period of working hard.
This workout should only take about 20 minutes, maybe slightly longer with a few warm up sets. And you’ll be doing it only 2 times a week or less, 3 times max, and only the first week or two when you are breaking it in.
And the workout will build muscle, burn fat, and rev your metabolism to much higher levels, throwing you headfirst toward the body you want.
If you put into it what you want to get out of it, you’ll see some fantastic results as long as your nutrition and supplementation programs are in place.
By Gregg Gillies
Gregg Gillies is the founder of Build Lean Muscle.com His articles have appeared in Ironman Magazine. He has written two books and is a regular contributor to Body Talk Magazine.
He publishes a free fitness newsletter available at his site that includes lots of weight training tips, fat loss, nutrition and exercise program information to help you build your best body as quickly as possible. See how you can get a customized nutrition plan at http://www.mynutritionjournal.com
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