So you’ve decided it’s time to achieve the superhero physique you’ve always desired. This decision has led you to the world of weight training. Welcome!
Weight training provides a solid basis for achieving your fitness goals, but it may seem daunting and even dangerous to beginners.
After reading this article, you’ll see that it’s not as scary as it first appears. You don’t even have to join a gym. You can use free weights and other home fitness equipment at home. It benefits both men and women, and the routines can be adapted to all ages.
What Is Weight Training, Exactly?
As the name implies, weight training involves using weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells to strengthen your body. It’s a form of resistance or strength training.
Exercising with weights challenges your body to adjust to loads that are greater than what it’s used to, and that’s exactly what you need if you want to gain muscle mass and increase strength.
It’s worth emphasizing, though, that weight training isn’t the only way to achieve this. Any type of resistance training will challenge your body and make your muscles grow and strengthen.
Building muscle is also not the only benefit of weight training. Muscle strength can also help you perform better in sports and lower your risk of injury. The muscles will help tighten and stabilize your joints.
Better coordination is another benefit because as you train, you’ll develop better control over your muscles.
On a mental level, it can help improve your sleep, mood, and confidence.
What Do I Need to Get Started?
If you’ve never done this before, a certified personal trainer can help you get started. They’ll be able to teach you proper form for certain exercises and design a strength-training program specifically for you. Many gyms and fitness centers like Opex Gatwick provide free or low-cost first training sessions, and the trainers can answer your questions.
Most gyms also provide you with lots of resistance machines and free weights like dumbbells and barbells, but you can obtain a thorough weight training workout at home with just a few pieces of basic equipment.
Some strength training exercises such as pushups and lunges don’t even require weights. Your body weight is enough to generate resistance.
Dumbbells will expand your options, and they’re quite affordable—a set of adjustable weight dumbbells for beginners costs around $50. Later on, as you need to add more weight, the price will increase.
Another popular choice is kettlebells – weighted balls with handles. Many of the exercises that use kettlebells target multiple muscle groups at once, so they’re great for full-body workouts, especially if you don’t have a lot of time for workouts and you’re trying to make the most out of it.
Resistance bands are another excellent addition to your training gear. They’re light and portable and cost $10 to $60. This makes them ideal if you want to continue your workouts while you’re traveling. They’re color-coded and offer a range of resistance levels when you pull or stretch them.
You can also find workout routines online. You can take each exercise and look for videos made by fitness trainers on how to do it properly. In the beginning, you’ll want to practice in front of the mirror until you get used to it. Once you’ve had some practice, you’ll know how it’s supposed to feel, and it will be easier to maintain proper form.
As you make progress, you learn more about fitness and nutrition, so you’ll get better at adapting your exercise routine and diet to your goals. Since you’ll probably go through a lot of information quickly, we suggest you use a tool like PDFChef that lets you edit PDF files directly from the browser.
This way, you can copy and paste the information you find from various sources in categories and keep the files on cloud storage so you can access it from multiple devices. You can also use it to split PDF files when you’re planning meals or a workout routine.
What Should I Know Before I Get Started?
You have your basic equipment and already found a routine you like and is suitable to your current fitness level. You’re almost ready to get started, but there are still a few things you should know.
Warming up before you start your routine is essential. In the same way, you wouldn’t start sprinting on a treadmill without warming up, you should start lifting weight without loosening your joints, warming up your muscles, and getting your body ready.
This boosts blood flow to your muscles and improves range of motion, allowing you to do exercises more effectively with a lower risk of injury.
The warm-up will depend on the exercises you plan on doing. A 5-minute jog or brisk walk, for example, will boost blood flow to your muscles and prepare them for a solid workout. Warming up by skipping rope or doing jumping jacks for a few minutes is also a good idea. You mostly need to do movements that will raise your heart rate and body temperature. For the joints, you will need dynamic stretches.
We mentioned earlier that if you’re new to weightlifting, you should look for beginner routines designed by a professional trainer. The most suitable warm-up exercises are usually included in these routines.
Start with Lighter Weights and Work Your Way Up
Even though you feel like you could lift more, you’ll want to begin with weights that you can lift 10 to 15 times while maintaining proper form. Start with one or two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions and work your way up to three sets or more.
Once you’ve reached a level where you can easily complete the recommended number of sets and reps, you can increase the weight between 5 % and 10%. You always want to make sure you can maintain proper form to avoid injuries.
Allow Your Body to Rest
First of all, you should take 60-second breaks between sets, which will help prevent muscle fatigue and allow you to do all the reps with proper form.
Your workouts should be no longer than 45 minutes. This is enough time to get bigger, stronger muscles. Longer workouts won’t make you get results faster, but they will increase the risk of muscle fatigue, burnout, and losing motivation. You want to find a workout you can keep at for years to come.
The most common mistake beginners make is pushing themselves too much because they want to get results quickly. They don’t get the results they were looking for because that’s not how it works, but in the process, they get burned out, lose their motivation, and in some cases, even injure themselves. This makes them give up, and it can take years before they try again.
You also need to stretch your muscles after the workout to ease muscle tension and increase flexibility.
Lastly, you should take a day or two off in between workouts so your muscles can recover and replenish.
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