What Is Weight Lifting? A Simple Explanation

What is weight lifting

So, what is weight lifting?

A simple question yet the answer might not be too obvious for beginners. Weight lifting may refer to one of three things.  Most commonly it refers to a physical activity where strength and muscle is developed through the utilization of the force of gravity. This force may come from free weights, such as dumbbells and barbells, or from machines. The muscle contracts against this force which results in the breaking down of muscle fibers. The muscle is then rested for a few days and supplied with proper nutrients from food. The processes is then repeated resulting in muscular hypertrophy (the increase in size of skeletal muscle). Different exercises and machines are used to target different muscles in the body. Muscles that are related based on function or proximity are typically grouped together and trained on specific days. This is referred to as split training and the most common is the 5 day split. One alternative is to target all the muscles during a single session, once or twice a week.

What are the benefits of weight lifting?

Weight lifting is a great way to get in shape! It will help you build muscle, loss fat, and improve your overall sense of well-being. It will also improve your self esteem and help you develop discipline (how?). Getting into weight lifting was the single best decision of my life! You can start by either joining a gym or setting up a workout station in your home or garage. With time being a limiting factor for many people, I highly suggest a home gym. It is convenient and will save you time and money. The only thing you need to purchase is a proper squat rack with a pull up bar. If you don’t know what that is, its ok! The link provided will give you everything you need to know. I would also suggest picking up a pair of weight lifting shoes.

What is weight lifting?

Other uses for the term “weight lifting”

Weight lifting may also refer to two different sports known as powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting. Powerlifting focuses on three specific exercises— the bench press, squat, and deadlift. The athlete attempts a single maximum lift of a barbell loaded with weights. This is the same for Olympic weightlifting but with different exercises. Olympic style weightlifting involves only two exercises— the snatch and the clean and jerk (performed in that order). You might already be familiar with these exercises if you watch the Olympic Games. You may have noticed how dynamic the lifts are. While powerlifting tests the limit of your strength, Olympic weightlifting tests “explosive strength” and thus why the exercises are performed so quickly and with a wide range of motion. Powerlifting exercises, on the other hand, are done slowly and with a limited range of motion.  

What is weight lifting?