Most people start their fitness efforts with an aerobic exercise routine. While aerobic exercise has many benefits, a good long-term weight-training program can improve not only your aerobic performance but also your overall health.

Using proper form is crucial not only to getting the most from your weight training but also to protecting your body from unnecessary injury. Keep your body correctly aligned at all times to avoid straining your weaker or more vulnerable muscles. When working with free weights, always keep your feet planted firmly, shoulder-width apart and lift from your knees instead of from your back or through your neck.

Stay on top of your progress. Too many people get complacent with their weight training, lifting the same weight or doing the same number of sets indefinitely. If your routine starts to feel too easy, then it's time to add some weight,do more sets or try a more challenging machine or lift.

When you start a weight-training program, do not just wing it. Write down how many sets or repetitions you want to do on every lift or machine, and maintain that routine until you are ready to expand or increase difficulty. Once you start to feel fatigued, it may be hard to recall how many sets you initially planned to do and easy to cut out a few.

Write down your workout plan or save it in your phone to keep yourself on track. Know how to meet your weight training objectives. Some people want to increase muscle mass in specific areas while others just want to achieve overall toning. Know which lifts address your target areas. Also, remember that smaller weights and more repetitions are good for toning while larger weights and fewer repetitions are better for bulking up.

You've probably heard it a thousand times before, but the importance of stretching is one piece of fitness advice that remains relevant, especially when you are lifting. Set aside a few minutes for stretching before and after every weightlifting session. Make sure that your stretches are targeting the areas you are going to work, so that you warm up the right muscle groups before you put them to work.

Breaks are an important part of any weightlifting program. If you work out for more than an hour, your body releases chemicals that make your efforts counterproductive. Likewise, you need to take a day off every now and then to give your muscles time to heal and grow.

Adding weight training to your regular gym routine or home workouts will improve your performance in all other exercises. Not only will you feel better, but your body will look tighter and more toned too.

Author's Bio: 

Marc Ouellette is a certified personal trainer that has helped many people get into fantastic shape with circuit strength training, cardiovascular exercise and nutritional guidance - grab my free report giving you the blueprint on this! Go now to and learn how to get results fast!