This is where your resistance training program should begin. If it is your very first experience or you have taken a long break from working out, you should start with 1-2 weeks of endurance training. This type of training consists of high reps with short rest breaks, along with relatively light weights. The point is to give your muscles a higher endurance and resistance to fatigue. When you go on into hypertrophy and strength phases, your muscles will be able to sustain the higher loads. Also, this gives you a chance to ease your way into heavier weights to initially strengthen your muscles and avoid injury. Endurance training will also show physical changes. You will build muscle, but your muscles will become denser. They will become more compact. Endurance training is what will allow you to see the definition and tone of your muscles as your body fat is reduced through cardio.
The specific guidelines you should follow include: 50-67% of your 1RM (1 rep max), more than 12 reps (usually between 15 and 20), 2-3 sets, and less than 30 second rest breaks. Throughout the range of motion, you should have a fast paced tempo.
About this Author
After graduating from the National Personal Training Institute (NPTI) in Richmond Heights Ohio, Mat sat for and passed the test to earn his CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist). After spending over one and a half years of training in a gym setting, and becoming and instructor at NPTI, Matt started MK Fitness as a one-on-one or small group personal training company.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.