How to LiftThe first thing you need to do for each exercise in weight training is decide how much weight to lift. Begin with a weight you think you can handle fairly easily. Ten pounds is usually a good place to start. If you can do 10 to 12 repetitions of the exercise without feeling tired at all, you need to increase the weight. If you can't do eight repetitions, decrease the weight until you can.
Just as you should vary the type of exercise you do from workout to workout to avoid hitting a plateau, a study in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" suggests that you'll gain more muscle (and therefore, weight) if you vary the number of sets and repetitions of each exercise you do from workout to workout.
Opposing Muscle Group WorkoutWorking opposing muscle groups in your workout means that when you work one muscle, you should work the muscle opposite it in that same workout. Opposing workouts concentrate on only one part of your body during each workout, but work all of the muscles in that body part. This means one part of your body may be sore the next day, but you can work a different part of your body to avoid being overtired.
A good workout schedule for working opposing muscle groups is working your quadriceps and hamstrings on Day 1, your biceps and triceps on Day 2, resting on Day 3, working your chest and back on Day 4, your lower back and abdomen on Day 5, and resting on Days 6 and 7.
Split Muscle Group WorkoutSplit workouts involve working muscle groups in several parts of the body one day, and other parts of the body the next. It is similar to the opposing muscle group workout, but tends to work more muscles and involve more varieties of exercises than opposing muscle group workouts. Split workouts are popular in the bodybuilding world, and should help you put on quite a bit of muscle mass.
A good workout schedule for split workouts is working your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and abdomen on Day 1, resting on Day 2, working your pectorals, trapezius, latissimus, deltoids, and triceps on Day 3, resting on Day 4, working your calves, biceps, forearms, and abdomen on Day 5, and resting on Days 6 and 7.
SafetyEven though you need to work hard to gain muscle mass and weight, it's very important not to push yourself too hard, or you may become injured. It's normal to be a little sore on your rest day, but if you're still sore by your next workout day, skip the workout until you're not sore anymore.
If you feel sharp muscle or joint pain while you're lifting, you should stop right away. If the pain continues, you should see your doctor to make sure you haven't hurt yourself.
If you're unsure how much you should be working out or how to do an exercise, see a personal trainer or ask someone who works in the gym for help. Practicing proper form is the best way to work your muscles efficiently and avoid injury at the same time. While cardio is an important part of a well-rounded workout, the type of training that will help women gain the most muscle mass and weight is weight training. Spacing your workouts out properly is essential to achieving maximum results.