Why You Need a Weightlifting Schedule | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Why You Need a Weightlifting Schedule

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Lifting weights can decrease body fat, improve cardiovascular health, and boost muscle and strength endurance.
  • Men and women of all sizes can reap great benefits from lifting weights.
  • Customizing your weight training schedule is important. Have adequate rest days and not overdoing muscle groups are an example of factors that need to be accounted for.

Don’t you hate it when you get to the gym and just feel lost? If you’re going in without a game plan, you’re going to have a hard time getting any results other than feeling like you wasted a lot of time. You need a great weight lifting schedule to keep yourself on track!

Skeptical about whether lifting weights is right for you? There are SO MANY reasons to set up your own weight lifting schedule, you might have to be crazy not to! Ladies, you need to hear this too!

One of the easiest ways to put together a great workout routine is by going PRO and gaining access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, goal trackers, and more.

Weight Training Benefits

Adding a weight-training schedule to your exercise program, regardless of your age or gender, can help increase your fitness by helping you:

Translation: You’re going to look and feel better! Of course, there is plenty of work involved, and you might even have to sweat a little bit. If you can’t handle that, you can always hope that the TV Remote (Channel up, channel down!) workout plan burns enough calories to keep you in shape.

Schedule Specific Weightlifting Times

Before beginning an exercise regimen that includes strength training, set aside specific times that you will perform various exercises. With a busy daily schedule that includes work, running your kids all over town and spending quality time with your loved ones, it is often difficult to find time to lift weights.

Treating your weight lifting schedule as you would any other important activity helps you consider it more of a priority, and it is going to help! Moreover, without a regular schedule of weight lifting, you’re probably going to want to skip your workout and let it slip by the wayside.

It’s so easy to find excuses not to pump iron! Why do you think so many people don’t??

The following tips may help you organize your schedule to ensure it includes weight lifting:

  1. Write your weight lifting schedule reminders in your calendar or save them on your phone so that it appears on your agenda just as any other important task you need to complete.
  2. Incorporate weight lifting into the daily activities you already plan to do. For instance, depending on your environment, you might be able to pump iron (or do weighted push-ups with kids on your back) while you watch your favorite television show.
  3. If you are truly pressed for time, you can break your fitness sessions into shorter intervals that are performed at certain times during the day, such as during your lunch break.
  4. Try to exercise, if possible, on the same days each week and at the same time each day. This will help you get into a consistent routine. Consistency and determination are key to success.

Weightlifting and Body Fat

Believe it or not, women NOT looking to become the next bodybuilding champ can benefit from a good weight lifting schedule too! Although cardiovascular training is important for your heart and does burn calories, weight lifting does both of those, and also reduces your body fat to help you fit into those skinny jeans you dream about.

According to an article in Women’s Health, the National Center for Health Statistics reports that just 21 percent of women participate in a strength training program two or more times per week. That means that many women are losing out on an important way to lose weight and get a firm, toned body.

Two sessions of weekly weight training over a 10-week period can decrease your overall body fat by around three percentage points – without cutting calories, reports Women’s Health. You could lose up to a total of three inches off your hips and waist. Wow! The muscle you build boosts your metabolism to give you the lean, toned physique you desire!

It has also been reported that adding strength training to your weekly exercise program provides benefits including both burning calories and spot reduction:

Burning calories: This muscle you’ll be adding, as opposed to fat, is metabolically active — meaning that it eats calories even when you are not active.

According to shape.com, a study published in the “The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” discovered that after strength-training for an hour, women burned an average of 100 more calories during the following 24-hour period than they burned without weight lifting.

In addition to burning even more calories while resting, you can increase benefits by increasing the amount of weight you are lifting.

Research published in the journal “Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise’ found that women who lifted 85 percent of their maximum load for eight reps burned almost twice as many calories during the following two hours as they did when completing 15 reps at a lighter weight of 45 percent of their maximum load.

Spot Reduction: Evidence indicates that weight lifting helps reduce the inner-abdominal fat that gives you the dreaded “flabby” look, even more than cardiovascular exercises do. Even though a cardio program may help you lose weight, it will most likely take away some of your fat-burning muscle in the process as well.

University of Alabama researchers observed dieters –consuming an equal amount of calories — who performed strength training or completed aerobic exercises three times weekly. Although all subjects lost an equal amount of weight, lifters lost pure body fat. Those performing aerobics actually lost around eight percent of their weight in fat-burning muscle.

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Equipment Considerations

You can use free weights workouts or weight machines as part of a weight-lifting program to help strengthen and build your muscles and burn calories. The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine provides the following considerations and suggestions:

  • Free weights provide a less expensive alternative to weight machines and are easier used by both smaller and larger body types.
  • Multipurpose machines provide a way for multiple people to exercise at the same time within a confined space.
  • Although not necessary, some weight lifters prefer to use weight gloves to improve their grip strength.

Additional recommendations include:

  • Always wearing quality athletic shoes for firm floor traction and stability
  • Always warming up and stretching before lifting
  • Ensuring your training area remains clean and clear
  • Always using a spotter during squats and bench presses
  • Lifting weights with a partner when possible
  • Getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet

Customizing Your Weightlifting Schedule

Decide whether your main objective is to develop better muscle tone and cardiovascular endurance or to strengthen a certain group of muscles to enhance your ability to perform in a particular sport.

To increase muscle tone and cardiovascular performance, plan a circuit-like program where various exercises are completed at a minimum of four times per week for sessions of about 20 to 30 minutes each. Make sure to include rest periods of up to 30 seconds between each of your exercises.

In general, complete 8-12 repetitions of every exercise performed for all of your primary muscle groups. This needs to be high-intensity.

A muscle-building protocol focuses on the muscle group you are attempting to enhance. You might, for instance, complete three sets of repetition with only eight to 10 reps in each set. Moreover, you need to schedule a longer rest period that ranges from 60 to 90 seconds between exercise intervals.

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine recommends completing a strengthening workout less frequently than a circuit training program — about every other day — to allow your fatigued muscles to rest and rebuild.

Additional Factors to Consider

To ensure you get the most from your workout schedule, keep the following strength-training principles in mind:

  • Muscle building requires the addition of more resistance or weight. Lift an amount of weight that makes the last repetition you completed difficult.
  • Once you can easily complete a certain number of repetitions, increase the amount of weight you are lifting or the number of sets you complete.
  • Be sure to include rest days in your routine, and don’t work the same muscle groups for two days in a row.
  • Slowly lift and lower your weights. If you can’t lift them without swinging, they are likely too heavy.
  • Remember to breathe! Whatever you do, do NOT hold your breath!
  • Maintain proper posture and keep your core tight during movements to help keep your balance and protect your spine.

Weightlifting will not only make you feel better about your appearance but help keep you healthy as well.

A weightlifting schedule helps you stick to a plan to burn calories and gain muscle to make your fitness goals a reality, and we’ve made it all easy online! Get started on your fitness journey today by going PRO and gaining access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, goal trackers, and more!

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