The Beginner's Guide to Lifting Weights
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So, you want to start lifting weights.
You may have heard doing so can boost your mood, superpower your metabolism, and help your body function better than ever before. But what if you’ve never done it before? Where do you start? Is it too late?
Fear not! Lifting weights can benefit anyone, at any level of fitness, at any stage of life.
Educate yourself. As beneficial as lifting weights can, lifting them incorrectly can cause serious injury. Consider teaching yourselves about the major muscle groups in the human body before you even start. I recommend setting yourself up with a certified trainer who can help you practice the movements and form required of lifting. Check in with your gym- many offer a free consultation in which you can learn a few key exercises. If consulting a trainer isn’t an option, there are plenty of great instructional videos out on the internet. Use mirrors to monitor your form!
Incorporate machines into your routine using the movements and form you learned. Machines can be a great, non-intimidating way to add weights into your routine as they give you a fixed mechanism for performing movements and working muscle groups. Though not as effective as free weights for balance and stability, they are better for beginners and can prevent sloppy form from causing injury.
Start by lifting every other day, with the goal to be three times per week. This should give your body enough rest to recover and get stronger while giving you enough gym time to work all the major muscle groups.
Start with a couple of exercises per muscle group, and go from there.
On that note, start by lifting light and gradually increasing your load. To start off, you should be able to execute 8-10 good reps in a standard set, with the goal to do two of these. Quality is important here, it’s better to execute strong, consistent movements and great form than to aim to lift as much as possible as many times as possible.
Get plenty of rest and don’t push it! Each time you lift, youre breaking down muscle and you’ll need rest time to build that muscle back up stronger than before. Rest during a lifting regime is crucial to success and prevents burnout.
Reach out for help when needed. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been lifting-everyone needs a little help sometimes.Seek advice from experts whenever the chance arises.