Beginners Guide To Weight Lifting
Getting started with weight training is an amazing experience. It's new, you're motivated, and you can't help but imagine the goals you will achieve.
But weight lifting can also be scary. Where do you start? How do you set goals? What do you focus on? A thousand questions arise.
To that end, I've put together this beginner's guide, outlining some of the most important things to keep in mind.
Let's dive in.
Set These Three Goals
Before you even step inside the gym, I want you to set the following goals:
Focus on consistency, not perfect
Always prioritize good form
Many people overwhelm themselves, but simplicity is often key, especially in the beginning.
First, instead of trying to have amazing workouts or find the perfect program, focus on never missing a workout.
Second, understand that working hard will produce much better results than any gimmick, 'special' exercise, or 'tactic.' Your muscles understand stress and tension. The only way to provide both is to push yourself hard.
Third, always focus on proper training form, even if it means using a lighter weight. Too many trainees fall for the trap of lifting more weight, which only worsens their technique, prevents them from training the right muscles, and increases their risk of injuries.
Focus On The Core Lifts
There are no perfect exercises in the weight room. But beginners can benefit significantly from making better choices.
Every beginner to weight lifting should dedicate their first months of training to learning the core lifts:
Pulling - barbell rows or Pendlay rows
Pushing - bench press and overhead press (barbell or dumbbells)
Deadlift - conventional, sumo, trap bar deadlifts, or rack pulls
Squats - back or front squats, goblet squats, or split squats
By narrowing your focus, you get to practice each movement enough to improve your technique. Plus, these movements train multiple muscle groups, so you will train your entire body effectively even if your training revolves around four to five exercises.
Focus On Small Improvements (And Learn to Track Your Workouts)
The human body is an incredible piece of biological machinery capable of adapting to all sorts of external stressors, such as training. When we first start lifting weights, our body isn't used to the stress, so it responds by building muscle and strength rapidly. But, at some point, that stress is no longer disruptive, and we stop making progress.
So, it's essential to push for some improvements over time. Doing so prevents your body from adapting fully and forces it to keep getting stronger and building new muscle. An obvious way to do that is to lift more weight. But other ways to make minor improvements include:
Do more repetitions
Do more sets
Do more weekly workouts
Rest less between sets
The best way to ensure that you're making small improvements is to regularly track your workouts and review your performance. In doing so, you can see how you're doing. If you're progressing, keep doing what you're doing. If you're stagnating, make small changes until you start seeing progress.
A workout log or simple note-taking app will do great. Write each workout as you do it, including:
Number of sets
Amount of weight you're lifting
How many reps you do
Good luck with your new weight lifting journey! Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more tips!