Lifting weights is the most powerful type of workout you can think of when trying to lose weight or build muscles. With that in mind, let’s see what you should know before trying weight lifting for the first time.
Beginner In Lifting Weights?
Before you start lifting weights for the first time, check out these crucial tips you need to know to avoid injury and make the best of your workouts.
1. Pick A Goal
Before you ever left a single weight, you need to decide what your goal in lifting weights is. Do you want to bulk up and get huge muscles or do you want to be slim and toned?
If you want to get bulky, you’ll want to do fewer reps with heavier weight and if you want to get toned, you’ll want to do more reps with lighter weight.
2. Start Light
Even if your ultimate goal is to get huge like an Olympic weight lifter and lift more than your body weight, you aren’t going to be able to start anywhere close to that, especially if you are just starting to work out.
So as you start your weight lifting journey, start with light weights to avoid injury and condition your muscles.
3. Slowly Increase Weight
Gradually increase the amount of weight you are lifting. Don’t go too fast or you can injure your muscles. Don’t go too slow either.
Even if your goal is just to slim down and tone your muscles, you will still eventually get used to the very light weights and need a small step up continue to give your growing muscles a challenge.
4. Stay In Control
As you increase the amount of weight you lift, be sure that you are always in control. You will know if you are lifting too much weight if you are out of control or if you need to build up momentum to lift it.
You should be able to pause for at least one second between each lift. If any of this is not happening, lower the weight a bit until you get stronger. Don’t worry, you will get there on time.
5. Follow A Program
If you really don’t know what to do when you walk into a weight room, you probably want to start out by following a beginner’s weight lifting program.
You can find one online and study what to do before you hit the gym. Or spend some bucks and get trained by a personal trainer who will show you how to do the exercises properly.
6. Posture And Form Is Key
No matter how you learn to lift weights, one of the most important things is to always maintain proper form. This will vary between lifts of course, but as a general tip, always keep your back straight and your stomach muscles tight.
If you don’t do each lift properly, you are risking injury or at least not getting the most out of each lift.
7. Find A Buddy
Find a workout buddy to go on this weight lifting journey with you! Here are just some of the many benefits:
- A buddy is a built-in spotter, so you don’t have to ask a stranger.
- You have someone to help keep you accountable.
- Won’t feel as out of place alone in a weight room with people more experienced than you.
8. Stretch Before Lifting Weights
Always thoroughly stretch out all of the muscles you will be using while lifting both before and after your workout. It helps get the blood flowing into the muscles and cuts down on aching and soreness the next day.
9. Don’t Forget Dumbbells
You don’t always have to use the barbell to lift weights. Don’t forget that dumbbell workouts are just as good if not better sometimes! They allow you to really focus on each arm as you lift.
Another benefit is that you usually don’t have to wait for the dumbbells and you don’t need a spotter.
10. Work Out Your Legs
Don’t forget to do some lifts that work out your legs such as barbell squats. It is pretty easy to get focused on building up a huge upper body and forget about the legs, but you want to keep things proportional.
You don’t want to look like a freak with tiny chicken legs!
11. Alternate Muscle Groups
Don’t forget that you shouldn’t work out the same body group two days in a row. You have to give the muscles at least a day of rest in order to rest and rebuild. The three main body groups are upper body (shoulders and back), mid-body (biceps, triceps, and chest) and lower body (abs and legs).
12. Don’t Forget Rest
Don’t forget that your muscles need rest in order to build themselves up. Even if you alternate muscle groups each day, there is always going to be some overlap, so lifting weights won’t be possible for 7 days a week.
In the very beginning, you should probably only lift every other day and once you get used to it, you should still only lift 5 days a week.
13. Stay Hydrated
Muscle tissue is made up of 75% water! That is why it is absolutely crucial that you stay hydrated both before and after your weight lifting workout.
14. Eat Healthily
If you really want to make the most of your weight lifting regimen, fuel your body with healthy food all day long. The most important thing you will need is lots of protein. And cut down on unhealthy fats and sugars.
But don’t restrict calories too much. You will be working hard and your body needs fuel. Just be sure to give it healthy fuel.
15. Don’t Be Intimidated
If you are intimidated by all of the guys strutting around the weight room like they own the place, don’t be. You have just as much of a right to be there as they do.
And remember, as hard as it is to believe, they were beginners once, too! And who knows, maybe some of them will be willing to help you out!