I know it can be a little confusing when you’re a beginner at weight lifting. You look around and see everyone doing something slightly different. Different isn’t always better.
Yes, you can learn from watching others, but it’s important to know the fundamentals first. Once you have that foundation, you can begin to make informed decisions about pushing yourself and trying new things.
Besides, that’s what keeps it fun and interesting!
When you lift weights, there are a few things you should know about pacing yourself. The first is the amount of time spent exerting yourself.
There’s a general rule of thumb…count to 3 while contracting, pause for 1 at the top of the movement, and then count to 3 as you lower the weight.
This 3-1-3 principle ensures that you have controlled movement through the entire repetition, preventing injury. It also takes away the urge to use momentum.
If you are going too fast through the exercise, this generally means 2 things:
- The weight is way too light for you and you should go up in weight.
- The weight is way too heavy for you and you’re using the momentum to make it through half the movement.
Either way…ADJUST for better results!
A key thing that many people overlook is the pause at the top of the movement. This pause allows you to really feel the contraction of the muscle and making it WORK. (Hint: WORK = IMPROVEMENTS = Hot Body!)
And most importantly, when you are at the top of the movement, ensure that the weights do not touch.
If you’re doing weight training exercises where you’re using dumbbells or equipment with multiple cables or arms, do not have them touch together. Some examples are: the rope for triceps extensions, machine chest flies, dumbbell shoulder press.
This creates more time under tension. When they touch, you actually give your muscles a little break.
I know, I know, you want a break…but save that for in between sets!
Take Action Now
Tell me in the comments below how you’re going to apply this 3-1-3 principle in your next workout. Be sure to check back in and tell me how different it feels!
If this is news to you and you want to learn more, check out my new program “Women & Weights: Overcome Your Fears & Discover Your Strength™”.