Short. Intense. Change.

I love weight training. I have been doing it for over 12 years, and I am always learning new ways to maximize my workouts and my results. Just walk into a bookstore or browse online and you’ll find all sorts of information on how to get the benefits of weight training, but there are a few steps you should follow no matter what your goals.

Step # 1: Make your workouts short. Weight training routines should never last more than one hour. Remember, you’re placing stress on the muscles as you lift weights. An hour is the maximum time to exercise without causing stress and possible injuries. Also, from a mental perspective, who wants to workout for more than an hour? If I knew I would be at the gym for more than an hour, I would start making excuses not to go.

Step # 2: Make your workout intense. During weight training sessions one of your goals should be to challenge your body, so it adapts by building new muscle cells and burning body fat. If you are going to take the time to lift weights, really make it worth your while. If you are lifting 2 pound dumbells and doing 20 reps and not feeling fatigued or tired, you are not working hard enough.

Step #3: Consistently change your weight training routines. Regardless of whether you are trying to burn fat, improve sports performance, boost your metabolism, get more tone, or become a body builder, change is a must. To reach your goals most effectively and work smarter, you must constantly challenge your body. Your body can adapt quickly to repetitive routines week after week. Adding more weight, changing the routine and changing the number of repetitions are all excellent ways to keep change in your weight training workouts.

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