By Raquel Miller
Be intimidated no more! We're here to tell you weightlifting is for every body.
Starting from zero when approaching weightlifting can seem nearly impossible. From all that intimidating, heavy equipment in a special room or section of the gym to images of well-seasoned lifters performing Olympian level feats, it’s no wonder why you’ve hesitated to give it a try yourself.
Let me guess, you’ve gotten so far as to decide you’d like to TRY weightlifting, and then found yourself asking a barrage of questions that maybe went a little something like this:
“Should I start with dumbbells? How much weight should I lift? Do I even know how to hold it right and how to move my arms? How many reps/sets should I do? If I even successfully finish with this first set, which weight am I supposed to use next?”
And the vicious cycle starts all over - leading to the biggest question that ultimately stops you from making any moves at all:
What if I embarrass myself, or worse, get hurt?
Well, my friend, you are indeed very much NOT alone and we’re here to help you learn the steps you need to take to get started, find your courage, and finally get weightlifting with confidence!
Consult The Pros
If you are truly new to the gym scene and have never had any experience at all, your start is going to benefit greatly from the help of a professional. Most gyms offer low-to-no-cost consultations, and due to the recent restrictions we’ve all been under the past couple of years, the number of virtual training options available has vastly expanded. Help from a professional will go a long way in perfecting your initial form to prevent injury and promote effective muscle development and training.
Work That Body Weight
Since the very definition of weight training is simply “the use of resistance to create work for your muscles,” it’s easy to understand how crucial considering your own body weight can be to starting a new weightlifting program. Simple body-weight exercises are truly the best way to establish a foundation of movement patterns that will then allow you to introduce and use external weights such as dumbbells and barbells. For example, mastering a hip-hinge will lay the way for slamming out awesome and effective deadlifts. Same as a confident body-weight squat lays a great base for rocking at the squat rack.
Grind And Gear
The sets and reps you use to shape your strength training workout will be the difference between time wasted and awesome progress. For beginners, the best formula is a short, 40-minute total-body workout a few times a week, with consistency. Together, some upper body, lower body, and core exercises finished off with some stretching make for an effective and well-balanced routine. Adding some cardio on the off (non-lifting) days goes miles to round out your entire workout regimen, setting you up on the best path for complete overall, optimal health.
Having good, reliable gear is another great way to get a leg up when traveling along your weightlifting journey. As you are adding more external weights and heavier exercises, investing in proper accessories such as knee sleeves, lifting belts, and wrist straps will go a long way in protecting your joints, bones, and muscles, and even preventing injury and easing post-workout soreness.
Give It A Rest
Feeling tired and sore the day after lifting is so normal it has its own name: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Strength training causes intense micro damages to muscle tissue that take time to repair and rebuild. This makes rest days absolutely crucial and incredibly necessary. If you’re overworking your muscles, they won’t have a chance to rebuild. And if your workout soreness is sidelining you for days, this very likely means you're just doing too much and your new workout routine is headed in the direction of becoming ineffective and unsustainable. Try gauging your soreness on a scale of 7-10 for a good benchmark of when your body is requesting a rest day - be sure and listen to it!
You can also try some of these recovery items out to make those rest days more efficient for healing.
Lifting The Dream
Like any new endeavor, diving into an established community built around your new passion is such an excellent way to satiate your curiosities, have your biggest (and smallest) questions answered, and feel the support, confidence, and inspiration you desire! We here at LTD believe in every body. That’s every. single. body. That’s why we’ve built a community dedicated to making the world a better place to lift for people of all fitness levels.
Have you begun your weightlifting journey?
If you have any questions or you would like to be a guest blogger, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bee Tee Dubs (BTW).
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