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Why Should I Strength Train and Lift Weights?

Boost Your Metabolism: Learn the ABCs of Strength Training

We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!

Staying fit means including a healthy dose of cardio and strength training in your routine. But sometimes navigating the world of reps, sets, and dumbbells on your own can be confusing. So let's break it down with today's ABCs of strength training. Then grab your weights for a basic arm toning move.

A: The American College of Sports Medicine recommends individuals include strength training 2 times a week on non-consecutive days. The ACSM also recommends individuals perform 8-10 strength training exercises at each session. Aim to target each major muscle group including arms, chest, back, abs, and legs.

B: Begin by choosing a weight that provides enough resistance that makes it tough to push out those last few reps of an exercise, while still allowing you to maintain good form. If you're cruising through the exercise, then the weight is too light. If you're struggling early, it's too heavy. Keep in mind you'll probably use a variety of weights throughout your workout. Larger muscle groups, heavier weights.

C: Complete 8-12 reps (that's how many times you lift the weight) of each exercise to improve your overall strength, boost your metabolism, and tone up those muscles. Although there is difference of opinion with regards to sets (that's a group of consecutive reps), generally you want to aim for between two to three sets of each exercise.

To learn a shoulder shaping move, just keep on reading.
The Move: Arm Raiser!

You'll Need: a pair of weights

Targets: Shoulders

How To Do It:

  • First move: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, slight bend in knees. Hold weights in hand palms down, arms extended straight down in front of thighs, keeping slight bend in elbows.
  • Second move: Holding abs tight, slowly lift right arm up to shoulder height, lower back down to thigh.
  • Third move: Lift left arm up to shoulder height, lower down. Continue alternating arm raises for 8-12 reps. Aim for 2-3 sets.
Source: Thinkstock
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