Weight training is not the same thing as bodybuilding. Sure, bodybuilders are practicing a form of weight training, but there are so many ways to train with weights, and there’s a frustrating stigma that conflates all weight training with packing on muscle. In reality, gym weights are just the most efficient way to add resistance to your workout. Training with weights is a fantastic way to achieve your fitness goals whether they be weight loss, increasing endurance and strength, and of course putting on muscle. Here are some easy ways to add weighted resistance to your training schedule.
The easiest and most versatile way to add weight to your workout is with a pair of dumbbells. You won’t be able to load as much weight as you would a barbell but dumbbells are highly valued as strength equipment for their versatility in a huge range of exercises. You can replace barbells with dumbbells for most strength exercises like chest press and squats. They’ll also give you access to more isolated exercises like lateral delt raises and hammer curls. A dumbbell weight set can replace a lot of your existing workout, or upgrade your bodyweight workout to help you continue progressing toward your fitness goals.
If you’re looking to add weights to your retinue of home gym equipment, you can’t go wrong with a set of kettlebells. Dumbbell exercises like biceps curls and lateral raises can always be performed with a kettlebell instead. The unique shape of a kettlebell is why you might find yourself gravitating more toward this equipment for your functional strength and endurance training. It’s easier to grip with two hands than a dumbbell making it perfect for kettlebell swings, and safer too. They also offer a greater challenge to improve your grip strength and stability. For instance, try a shoulder press holding the kettlebell straight up instead of letting it rest on your wrist.
If you love the swinging intensity of a kettlebell workout but the dense construction of the kettlebell has you worried about safety, get yourself a set of power bags. Power bags are specially designed, durable weight training tools with a soft exterior making them ideal for intense and active workouts in a home environment. Adding weighted power bags to your workout is a great way to protect your floors and walls. The softshell is also significantly more comfortable than metal bars and will protect you from any exercise that requires you to catch or rest the bar on your body.
Spice up your weight resistance workouts with weighted balls. There are varieties of weighted balls to choose from, and each offers a very different workout. Your standard medicine ball is evenly weighted and great for core exercises and workouts with a partner. No partner? No worries. Try working out with a wall ball. As the name suggests, these are designed to be thrown at a wall giving you a high-intensity workout that engages your torso and core. For even greater HIIT performance try adding a slam ball to your squat routine. The slam ball is built to take abuse in an intense workout, improving functional strength and burning heaps of calories in the process.
Get an amazing pump workout at home. Pump is a weight training workout that focuses on endurance and weight loss rather than muscle growth. With your own studio bar set you don’t even need to go to a gym class to get this same intense workout. Compared to an ordinary barbell, the pump bar is padded and more comfortable for extended periods. The weights load easily onto the bar, and their squared-off design stops them from rolling around while you’re using them. This is the perfect equipment for high-intensity weight training.
For Those Who Weight
Weight training should not be a word that only evokes images of powerlifting and bodybuilding. When you add weight to your workout you will be increasing your muscular strength, but you’re also improving your endurance, cardiovascular health and accelerating weight loss. Don’t be afraid to reach for the weights.