Weightlifting has become quite popular over the past century, and is now a very largely followed sport in the Olympics as well. This is a category that falls under resistance training since the body’s muscles have to contract against and external force to create movement, but is distinguished by the fact that weight is actually being used. Resistance training can refer to several things such as bodyweight movements, so weightlifting and resistance training shouldn’t be used interchangeably.
Weightlifting as a Workout
The primary way we see weightlifting being utilized is by people performing exercises on a daily basis with equipment such as dumbbells, barbells, EZ-bars, cable machines, etc. The benefits you can receive from weightlifting are dependent upon the load and volume chosen. Load is the amount of resistance chosen, and volume is the number of sets and repetitions.
A heavy load with low volume is going to encourage muscular strength, power, and growth. Moderate loads are similar to the heavier loads, but allow you to develop muscles better and increase muscular definition while not adding too much into power. Lighter loads are meant for body maintenance, fat loss, muscular definition, and muscular endurance.
Weightlifting used for the purposes of strength training has been proven to be for our health as well. Strength training encourages muscular strength and also increases the strength of your bones. Even doctors are recommending this type of training for senior citizens to help keep their bodies strong. Consult with a physician if this applies to you.
Weightlifting as a Sport
As mentioned previously, weightlifting has become a pretty well-respected sport as well, and has a large viewer base during the summer Olympics. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) hosts championships for men and women to have the chance to earn valuable qualification points for the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics. The 2015 IWF World Weightlifting Championships started on November 21st and ended November 28th in Houston, Texas.
There were over 700 athletes at the event from all around the world. They are categorized by weight classes, and must perform two different lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk. Both weightlifting exercises are performed in the Olympics as well. Keep track of upcoming qualification rounds for the 2016 Summer Olympics by monitoring upcoming events on IWF’s homepage.
Weight Lifting with Cardio
Weightlifting with cardio is probably the best type of physical activity you can do for your body. The weights provide the resistance to strengthen your muscles and bones. Then the cardio is going to strengthen your heart and lungs. Both also help keep your organs healthy even though you are not physically “targeting” organs for muscle recruitment. This means your hormone production and digestive system are capable of running smoother.
The question often asked is which comes first; cardio or weightlifting? The answer mainly revolves around what you personally like to do. But in terms of energy management, you would be better off performing weight lifting first, and then cardio last.
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Weight training uses anaerobic energy to perform short movements that last less than a minute each set. This energy comes from stored glucose within your muscles and liver known as glycogen. Once depleted your body runs off of ketones from fat for energy, and during this you also need oxygen in your muscles. This is called the aerobic energy phase that focuses on movements lasting longer duration.
Do you want your body to be strong and healthy? Then don’t be afraid of weightlifting and grab some dumbbells!