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How does weight training work?

You want to get rid of some excess fat deposits? Leave your comfort zone and show your body what it is made of. Let your muscles grow by strengthening them step by step.

The human body adapts to the demands placed upon it. The central nervous system improves muscle coordination and the body repairs damaged muscle tissue. After exercising, your body not only prepares to repeat the same load, but also uses the regeneration phase to increase its performance beyond its original level and maintain it at that level for a period of time. This principle is called super-compensation and is the basis for all muscle building training.

How does weight training influence my body?

Regular weight training positively influences your body in various ways. It defines your muscles and tones your body. This doesn’t just look good, it has also positive effects on your health. Weight training increases your physical performance and improves your posture.

Weight training:

  • burns calories
  • reduces body fat
  • increases bone density
  • strengthens tendons and ligaments
  • prevents osteoporosis
  • lowers blood pressure
  • protects the heart and vessels from overloading
  • ensures a healthy posture
  • improves confidence

How do I build muscle?

The best results are achieved with as much training as possible in a short a time as possible. As a rule, you should not train for longer than 45 minutes (3–4 times a week) so that you do not exceed the maximum level for muscle building training. In addition, you should have enough variety in your training, so that your muscles are always exposed to new stimuli.

The most important aspects of muscle building training are:

  • Regular training
  • Correct nutrition
  • Recovery & regeneration

It’s always best to start with a training plan. Progress can only be achieved by training several times a week. The goal of muscle building training (also called hypertrophy-specific training or muscle cross-sectional training) is to thicken the individual muscle fibres. You can do this by performing your exercises slowly with 70–85% of your maximum strength (which is the maximum strength a nerve-muscle system can exert against insurmountable resistance). 6–12 repetitions in 3–5 sets is ideal.

No muscle without the correct diet. Nutrition is the most important thing when it comes to muscle building. Some athletes even claim that 70% of muscle building depends on a proper diet. Muscle strands can only be built, optimised or repaired with the right building materials.

The following components should be remembered:

  • Protein: Muscle cells consist mostly of proteins. That’s why protein is so important for building muscle.
  • Carbohydrates: They are the body’s energy source. Complex, high-fibre carbohydrates such as whole wheat pasta, wholemeal bread and legumes are ideal.
  • Unsaturated fats: Fats are also important sources of energy for the body. In order for the body to use fats optimally, it needs unsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts, fish or olive oil.

Rest! Rest is when the body rebuilds muscles and tissues. When it comes to weight training, it is important to give the respective muscles sufficient recovery time. On average, a muscle should be allowed to recover for 48–72 hours after intensive training.

What should I look out for when training to build muscle?

You should always warm-up for 5–10 minutes before training, so that your muscles don’t start cold. For beginners, training twice a week is good, 3 times is ideal. Important: Training does not have to be very long, it depends on sufficient intensity.

Remember the following points:

  • Intensity
  • Number of repetitions
  • Number of sets per exercise
  • Length of rest
  • Training frequency
  • Continual increase of weight
  • Technical execution
  • Varying exercises
  • Staying hydrated
  • Proper breathing

How do muscles burn fat?

There are around 650 muscles in the human body. Every blink, smile and step is performed by our muscles. Every moment requires our muscles to contract. 24 hours per day, 168 hours per week – our muscles work around the clock and consume most of the calories. Our muscles work like engines, even when at rest, they continuously burn fat and energy. The more muscle we have, the more fat our body can burn.

So what happens when we gain muscle? Each muscle cell has an important component: the mitochondria, also called the “power plants of the cell". This is where energy is generated for the body. Mitochondria convert fats into energy. As the number of mitochondria increases, our body can burn more fat.

If you build one kilogram of muscle, you increase your basal metabolic rate by about 100 kcal per day. With 1 kg more muscle mass, the body naturally loses 3 kg of fat in a year!

How can I get more out of my training?

Over the decades, several training strategies have been developed for weight training and bodybuilding to further intensify muscle stimuli. This makes sure that all power reserves are used and an improved effect in terms of muscle and performance can be achieved.

  • Supersets: Superset training involves placing 2 or more exercises in quick succession to encourage more muscle strength and faster growth. Supersets can also be completed according to the circuit principle, where you train two or more muscle groups without a break. The intensity is reduced with each set so that in the end only a low weight is used. Start with a weight with which you can do a maximum of 12 repetitions. The sets always contain a maximum number of repetitions. For example, when bench pressing, you train first with a 70 kg barbell, then 50 kg and finally 30 kg.
  • Repetitions after pre-fatigue (pre-exhaust principle): According to the pre-exhaust principle, the muscle to be worked is first pre-loaded with an isolated exercise and then completely exhausted with a complex exercise. For example, you might start on the butterfly unit to work the pectoral muscle and then perform some final reps on the bench press. It’s important that there is hardly any break between the isolated exercise and the main exercise.
  • Partial reps: Muscles are totally fatigued after approx. 5 repetitions and then 2–3 reps are performed with an incomplete range of motion. When bench pressing for example, the barbell isn’t lowered all the way to the chest, but you can start half-way with the pushing movement.

Weight training for women

Fit and toned with weight training? With weight and muscle training you not only achieve firmer tissue, but also tone your body. It also has positive psychological effects. Studies show that women who do weight training have higher self-confidence.

We recommend the following exercises:

  • Toned legs and a tight butt – Deadlifts with the cable
  • Proud & upright posture – Rowing while seated
  • Beautiful neckline – Butterfly
  • Toned & firm arms – Standing biceps curls
  • Toned & beautiful legs – Leg raises
  • Tight butt – One-legged squats
  • No more saddlebags – Standing abduction
  • Flat stomach – Crunch