News : the keys to optimize the session
Those who are beginners and / or do not follow the guidelines of a personal trainer always have a question: will I be planning the training week well? It is advisable to combine cardiovascular exercises with strength exercises and, among the latter, the free weight training is highly recommended.
Designing an optimal training routine is largely a matter of trial and error. You must consider the days you can train, the time you have per session, your preferences, your goals and the equipment you have at your disposal. We will tell you below why you should introduce free weight training.
What Are Free Weight Strength Exercises
Strength exercises are what use resistance for muscle contraction. It generates results such as increased anaerobic endurance, muscle strength, and muscle size.
Specifically, free weight training in the gym or at home falls within strength exercises, and includes those accessories that allow freedom of movement. The latter means that, although precision is required to exercise properly without risk of injury, we do not have to do that predetermined route that gym machines subject us to. Among the accessories that can be used are dumbbells, medicine balls, weights or the kettlebell.
Despite its benefits, strength training is not always given the necessary importance. In fact, there is a widespread belief that overweight or obese people should not do strength exercises, or that they should have a negligible role in relation to cardio.
As the nutritionist and personal trainer Diego Campos recalls in this article on the G-Se platform, strength and aerobic endurance training have been shown to reduce death rates. Muscle loss and obesity are linked, so it is necessary to restore the loss of this tissue with control so that injuries do not occur, but do not stop doing it.
Advantages of free weight strength exercises
An advantage is derived from the very definition of free weight training: natural movement. There is no machine that encourages us to do a corseted and repetitive exercise That can be boring, but we execute a natural movement that gives a feeling of more dynamism.
It is, in addition to very complete exercises in which several muscles are worked at the same time, which favors their coordination. In machines, isolated muscle groups are usually worked but, contrary to popular belief, this will not be useful to eliminate localized fat.
That leads us to tell you about another advantage: toning the abdominal muscles. Doing endless crunches or using a specific machine for that group will not help you define as much as free weight exercises. With the latter, the abdomen and lumbar, which we know as the core, are worked in a more comprehensive and specific way.
Free weight strength training
Given the advantages, you may already be thinking about designing free weight routines for your strength training. Bear in mind, of course, that this freedom of movement has a trade-off: you must have a lot of control of both your body and the execution of the exercise so as not to injure you. In fact, this type of training is considered suitable for people who have a previous foundation.
If you are a beginner, you may want to ask a professional for some guidelines, whether in the gym or working with a personal trainer. In any case, on specialized websites and YouTube accounts you can find many tables that explain each exercise in detail, emphasizing the correct position.
We compiled some interesting tables to get you started in strength training with free weights, or to expand your options if you have already entered.
Full body with free weight
Clubs Áccura offers you a strength training with free weight consisting of several blocks:
- Block 1: three sets with 10 repetitions of barbell squats, chin-ups and parallel dips. You should take two-minute breaks between sets.
- Block 2– Three sets with 10 reps of deadlift, dumbbell bench press, and dumbbell bench row. Between series and series, you should also rest for two minutes.
- Block 3: like the previous ones, there are three series with 10 repetitions per exercise in each one. The exercises are the dumbbell lateral raises, the dumbbell bicep curls, and the low plank, which is where you lean on your forearm.
Free weight leg routine
On his YouTube channel, Peruvian personal trainer Anthoni Montalván shares complete free weight routines at his gym, Tr4iner. More than two million subscribers and thousands of views endorse his career.
In this case, use bars and discs in the rack, which is commonly known as a cage. It is the iron structure that is usually in gyms to support the bar. Before you start, remember to warm up.
- Squats. Hold the bar behind your back and squat trying not to lean your body excessively, but to keep your torso straight. Lower yourself more than you do in normal squats, and perform five sets of five reps.
- Front squat. In this case, you keep the bar in front and not behind. Anthoni Montalván supports her slightly below the shoulders with his hands crossed on his chest. Of this exercise you must complete four series of about eight to 10 repetitions.
- Jump squat. In this exercise you do not use accessories, but you use your body weight. It’s about completing the squat by lowering yourself until your glute is just inches from your heels, and taking a jump when you get your body upright again. You can complete 15 reps in four sets.
- Strides. He performs them by holding the bar from behind, as in the first squats, but you can grab dumbbells at the sides and alternately go up and down as you complete the movement. You know, it’s all about stepping forward and bending your knees so they form right angles. It is recommended to do five sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
Free weight arm routine
The same personal trainer, Anthoni Montalván, shares other free weight routines like this one that works the triceps and biceps. Once you’ve warmed up, you’ll need a barbell with weight plates and a dumbbell.
- Pronated bicep curl. Montalván proposes holding the bar not with the forearms pointed up, but down. Go up and down to complete the trajectory of the bar from approximately the hip to the chest, being careful not to raise the shoulders. It is recommended that you complete five sets of between eight and 15 repetitions.
- Supination bicep curl. In this case, you do grip the bar with your forearms pointing upward to complete the full movement. Use assistive aid to lower and hold the descent for five to six seconds alone, although you can hold less weight and do the entire movement alone. You must complete four sets of four to six reps each.
- Incline White Bicep Curl. Lay your back on the bench to complete curls with a single dumbbell on the side. Perform four sets of 10-12 reps for each arm.
- Inclined white torso bicep curl. In this case, you should turn around to support your chest on the bench, where you have supported your back before. As you raise the dumbbell, rotate to supination for a more complete exercise. Perform four sets of eight to 10 reps per arm.
Before moving on to the next part of the routine, you should activate your muscles with light weight. Once you do, these are the exercises Montalván proposes:
- Closed bench press. You must support your back on the bench and hold the bar with the discs at chest level. Do eight to 10 reps in each of the four sets.
- Disc Triceps Extensions. Sit on the bench with your back straight. You will need a disc that you must hold behind the head, going up and down until completing the trajectory to the shoulders. The descent must be done slowly for the exercise to be more effective, reaching six seconds. You can complete four sets of 15 reps.
- Displacement flexion (push-up). The execution of the exercise involves some difficulty. You must position yourself with your trunk and legs parallel to the ground, go up to the high board and complete an elbow bend to go down. But when you are down, you must use your hands and wrists (including forearms) to slide the balls of your feet back and forth before going back up. You must be on a surface that facilitates that gliding, and you can do repetitions until failure.
In short, strength training with free weight is recommended for intermediate and advanced levels that do not need the rigidity of a machine to complete the correct movements. It offers more freedom and a greater variety of exercises to train all muscle groups.