Weightlifting is an amazing form of exercise that is beneficial for both your health and fitness. There are many different exercises, techniques, and equipment to learn about, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Not only are there many different methods of weight lifting to learn, but also it is important that all weight lifting is completed with complete safety. Navigating weightlifting with no experience may be challenging at first, but the world’s most professional weightlifters all started as beginners.
Here are some of the most important tips for beginners getting into weightlifting:
Start with the basics
Before you try to lift the heaviest weights possible, it is important to start with the basics. Getting the fundamentals of weightlifting nailed first is important if you hope to progress to an intermediate level. Covering the basics can be as simple as learning how to use the various weight-lifting machines in the gym, or also learning the different methods you can use for free weights. It would be wise to ask one of the personal trainers at the gym to show you the functionality of each exercise. If you are too nervous to ask a personal trainer, ask other gym attendees to talk you through their weighted workouts and to show you demonstrations if they are open to it.
Start with lightweights
Whilst you are still a beginner, you should make sure you are using light weights when completing any form of weight lifting. Surprisingly the early stages of weight lifting are less about the weight you can lift, and more about the structure and depth of each movement. This will help you avoid injury and ensure that you’re targeting the right muscles. Once you’ve mastered the technique, you can gradually increase the weight you’re lifting, which is also known as ascending drop sets.
Focus on compound exercises
Compound exercises are exercises that work for multiple muscle groups at the same time. Some examples of compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups. It is always recommended that once you are comfortable doing compound movements, you should aim to do them at the beginning of all sessions after you have stretched and warmed up of course. In doing this you are making sure that all of your muscles have been fired up and targeted at the beginning of your sessions. Also, it will be much easier to lift heavier before you have done any other workouts, maximizing your ability to lift heavier as you grow stronger.
Use proper form
Using proper form is essential when weightlifting. Having your form in check before you continue to up your weight is essential for a smooth journey into weight lifting. Not only does it help prevent injury, but it also ensures that you’re targeting the right muscles. Depending on what your goals are when weightlifting, having the right form can be the difference between causing yourself injury or targeting the muscle group of your choice. When lifting weights, focus on maintaining proper posture, keeping your back straight, and lifting with your legs, never on your back.
Don’t neglect your core
Your core muscles are essential for maintaining good posture and stability when lifting weights. Engaging your core when weightlifting is the best-kept secret of the most famous popular bodybuilders in the world. If you work towards engaging your core whilst completing your movements, you will not only have a more supported set, but also you will be working your abs which can eventually make them much more defined. Exercises like planks, crunches, and Russian twists can help strengthen your core muscles and improve your overall performance in the gym.
Rest and recover
Rest and recovery are just as important as exercise when it comes to weightlifting. If you hope to see fast and effective results, you need to be giving your muscles time to rest and recover between gym days if some are more invasive than others. This means taking a day off between workouts and getting plenty of sleep and proper nutrition. Other methods such as taking magnesium salt baths are also known to relax the muscles after they have been put under a lot of stress.
Focus on progression
As you get stronger, it’s important to focus on progression. This means gradually increasing the weight you’re lifting, the number of reps you’re doing, or the number of sets you’re doing. This will help you continue to make progress and avoid hitting a plateau.
Track your progress
Tracking your progress is important when weightlifting, especially if you are hoping to see fast results. This will help you see how far you’ve come and identify areas where you need to improve. For example, you might note down when you have hit a new ‘PB’ weight each session to remember your heaviest lifts, or you might take photos once a week of your body to see if there are any noticeable differences.
Consistency is key when it comes to weightlifting. For beginners staying consistent when you are not seeing instant results might be defaulting, but you simply just have to keep on pushing. Make sure you show up to all of your planned workouts and never miss more than two days’ worth of workouts as that can disrupt the habit formation. Simple things such as leaving your gym leggings and gym bag out the night before you go to the gym can encourage you not to miss out on your planned weight lifting days.
In conclusion, weightlifting is a great way to get in shape and improve your overall health. For beginners, it’s important to focus on the basics, use proper form, and start with light weights. By staying consistent, tracking your progress, and focusing on progression, you can build strength, improve your fitness, and achieve your goals.