Weight training is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world. Whether you use a home gym, or you hit a commercial gym a few times a week, you can't miss it. It can fit into any fitness goal you have, and the benefits are more varied than you probably think. It's a huge topic, after all.

It's a topic so huge, in fact, that there are a lot of weight training questions out there that are being asked on a daily basis. To help clear things up and give you the best progress that you can get, we’ve answered 5 of the most common weight training questions.

Let’s take a look:


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  1. Free Weights Vs Machines?
  2. How Often Should You Work Out?
  3. How Many Exercises per Workout?
  4. What Should You Eat to Build Muscle?
  5. What Are The Best Exercises?

Free Weights Vs Machines?

man doing leg presses on a weights machine

The biggest question out there, especially for beginners to weight training or people looking to branch out, is the best way to go about doing it. More specifically, that lies in which is the better way to train; machines or free weights? They both have their advantages, but they’re very different things with very different benefits.

From a general point of view, free weights are probably the better of the two. They give you a much more natural movement range, and they don’t rely on the machine to keep you stable (which is a big source of overtraining).

Machines are still amazingly useful, both for getting to grips with things and for overloading your muscles, but if we had to pick, it'd be free weights (as long as you know what you’re doing).

How Often Should You Work Out?

woman sat on a weight bench doing bicep curls with dumbbells

This is a big question no matter how you like to train, and it's one that's probably most important when you're looking at weight training since you are putting so much stress on your body. It is worth noting, however, that this is very dependent on the training style you're going for too, as different workout plans have different effects.

Roughly speaking, you should be hitting each major muscle group at least once per week. You might split that into a different muscle group 6 times a week; you may split it into a push-pull legs plan, 3 times per week. It's completely up to you. Just make sure that you are getting enough rest (minimum 48 hours).

How Many Exercises per Workout?

man lifting heavy weight plates

This is a lot like the question above, but it’s still one that gets asked more than you might think, weight training or not. How many exercises should you be doing per workout is ultimately down to opinion. Again, it depends on how you like to train, and what it is that you're aiming to achieve.

It’s a good idea to pick around six exercises per session if you're going for a middle of the road tactic. That is, you're trying to build moderate muscle at a moderate pace, you eat well, and you rest well. If you plateau or you don't like that way of doing things, then explore other safe ways to do it (like these).

What Should You Eat to Build Muscle?

man sat at a table eating a healthy meal

This is huge, and it’s one that an alarming amount of people get wrong, no matter how experienced that they are. Eating to build muscle is so much more than just ‘bulking’, or eating as many calories as you can find before lifting as heavy as possible.

You need to find the perfect balance of macro and micronutrients. You need carbs for fuel, protein to help build muscle, and healthy fats to help you recover and stay healthy. They all have different uses, and none of them can work to their full potential unless you find the balance.

Take a look here for more info.

What Are The Best Exercises?

woman and man doing deadlifts with weights and barbells

Last but not least is the best exercises, and what they are. As you've probably guessed by now, you have a lot of options. Perhaps more than you could imagine. New exercises are being explored every day, as well as old ones being discouraged due to medical risks. To truly find the best weight training exercises, you need to ask the question of what you want to achieve.

It's often said that the best exercises are the biggest lifts or the most compound exercises since they maximise weight and the number of muscles you use to build muscle and strength. That's things like deadlifts, pull-ups, bench presses, shoulder presses, squats, lunges, and just about anything else that sues more than one muscle at a time. We have a workout for that here in case you need one.

All of these weight training questions are fairly straightforward, but they all have a world of depth behind them. To truly understand building muscle, you need to learn new things every day.


general

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout immediately.