This is Part 2 of the 4 part series “Workout-X Guide to Weightlifting”. In part 2 you will learn about the different types of weightlifting as well as the benefits and disadvantages. In the remaining 2 parts of this series you will also learn weightlifting basics, methods, how to schedule workouts, safety, proper nutrition, and weightlifting competition. Make sure to read each of the 4 parts in this series to get a great working knowledge about weightlifting.
Types of Weightlifting
Each of the main types of weightlifting has its own history and its own style. Choosing the type of weightlifting you want to do is an important decision. It will affect the way you train, as well as many other aspects of your life.
Most people who are mainly interested in improving their health choose a program of weightlifting that is basic weight training. A weight training program includes lifting dumbbells, barbells, and other weights such as kettle bells. Weight machines are also sometimes used.
These programs are designed primarily to increase strength and flexibility. Sometimes, weight loss is another goal of a simple weight training program. In general, fitness weight training programs use compound exercises to develop well-rounded fitness for good health.
Bodybuilding may be thought of as different from weightlifting, but bodybuilders do lift weights to sculpt their bodies to their ideal physique. Often, people who lift weights for bodybuilding use lifts that isolate individual muscles. This is based on the fact that they are trying to make every muscle well-defined and prominent. Bodybuilding requires a finely-tuned, precise program of weightlifting to achieve the desired look.
Olympic weightlifting is a very specific type of sport, which uses a very limited variety of lifts. The two lifts currently used are the clean and jerk and the snatch. Olympic weightlifters use barbells with heavy weight plates for amazing feats of strength. Good form is essential as well. In fact, the clean and press lift was used in the past, but was discontinued because it was too difficult to judge form. Unlike bodybuilding, Olympic weightlifting is all about strength and power.
Power-lifting takes strength to a higher level with lifts that Olympic weightlifting has ignored. There have been several odd lifts used, but the three lifts finally chosen for powerlifting events were the squat, the deadlift and the bench press. In some cases, the powerlifters wear weight belts to increase safety with heavier loads. At other times, the weightlifters lift “raw,” meaning that they do not use supportive equipment to help them.
All types of weightlifting take enormous amounts of determination and commitment. The similarities between Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting make them more compatible to do together than either basic weight training or bodybuilding. A standard health-oriented weight training program should be challenging, but will probably not prepare you for lifting those kinds of heavy weights. If you choose to do bodybuilding, your success is in your appearance, and strength is of minimal value.
Whatever you choose, weightlifting can give you a plan and a focus to improve your life. Consider your goals and what working out means to you. It is only then that you can choose the weightlifting avenue that best suits your needs and desires.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Weightlifting
Weightlifting actually has some very impressive benefits. As long as it is done properly, there is no reason it cannot make you healthier in many ways. The few disadvantages have more to do with personal style and choice than with the proper practice of weightlifting
Benefits 1. Improve Muscle Abilities: Weightlifting can improve strength, power, speed, endurance, flexibility and other muscular attributes. A solid program of progressive resistance training with weights can transform your muscles from weak and useless to strong and powerful.
2. Stave Off Muscle Loss: People usually lose muscle mass as they get older. The only way to keep from losing your muscle is to engage in some form of exercise to stave off the decline. Weightlifting is the best choice for this because it builds muscle directly.
3. Improve Physiques: Whether you go into weightlifting for bodybuilding or a simple program of weight training, your body is going to get more toned and muscular. There are different kinds of weightlifting physiques, and you can choose the type you want by selecting bodybuilding, Olympic weightlifting or weight training. In any case, you will appear stronger and healthier for having worked out with weights.
4. Raise Metabolism: Just by virtue of packing on more muscle mass, weightlifting increases the amount of fat you burn each day. This is because muscles burn more energy than fat, even in a resting state. Get muscular and you will have an easier time losing body fat.
5. Improve Bone Mass: Weightlifting is especially helpful for people who are at risk for weak and fragile bones. Women are especially susceptible to bone loss in their later years. Weightlifting actually increases bone mass, making the bones stronger and denser.
6. Good for Cardiovascular System: Weightlifting has been shown to improve heart function, both in people with and without heart disease. It is important to talk to a doctor before starting to do the exercise or sport, especially if you have a preexisting condition such as heart disease. However, in most cases, it will help.
7. Improve Sleep: A good workout with weights will improve your sleep, not only by wearing you out, but also by improving your overall health.
8. Increase Self Confidence: Nothing quite equals weightlifting when it comes to building mental strength and self confidence. The regular goal-setting and reaching of goals reminds you that you can make progress and be successful.
1. Injuries: Injuries are likely if you do weightlifting with improper form. The body is meant to move in certain ways, and if you try to move in ways that do not conform, you are asking for trouble. The best solution is to work with a trainer or instructor.
2. Hard Work: Weightlifting of any variety can be an intense struggle to meet challenges you have set for yourself. It is just plain hard work. If you do not like to break a sweat or feel any discomfort whatsoever, you will not like weightlifting.
3. Commitment: Weightlifting is not something you can do on-again, off-again. You must do regular workouts to keep your muscles in condition. Anyone who wants to play around at a sport should choose something that is less demanding.
Make sure to read the remaining parts of this series “Workout-X Guide to Weightlifting”. In Part 3 of the Workout-X Guide to Weightlifting we will be discussing the types of weightlifting as well as the benefits and disadvantages.