Weightlifting and training can seem like an intimidating feat to those who are just at the start of their fitness journey. Fortunately, weight lifting isn’t as scary as it seems and you don’t even have to purchase a gym membership to experience the benefits of strength training. If you’re someone who is looking to build muscle tone, increase strength and reap the positive mental benefits of weight training but doesn’t know where to start, this is the article for you. Today, we have a look at 6 fitness fundamentals that will allow you to safely start weight training, so read on to find out more!
Table of Contents
Gather Your Equipment
When it comes to weight triaging as a beginner, acquiring the basic tools and equipment can be incredibly helpful (especially if you’re someone who wants to exercise along to Youtube or online tutorials). The great thing is that you don’t need to go crazy or spend thousands of dollars on your gear either — we recommend investing in a few quality pieces of equipment such as weight plates, kettlebells, resistance bands, and a small set of inexpensive dumbbells. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish with these simple fitness tools without ever having to step foot inside a gym!
Work Your Way Up
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were professional bodybuilders. Understanding that weight training is a gradual process is key when starting out on your fitness journey. It is important that you work your way up and start with weights that are easy to handle. As you grow in strength and are easily able to do your exercise repetitions, you can then choose to gradually increase your weights by 10-15% at a time. Remember – never overdo it or rush as this may put you at risk of serious injuries such as shoulder injuries or torn muscles that will limit your exercise capabilities for at least a few months.
Nail Down Your Form
You’ve probably heard of the term “proper form” spoken of at gyms or when you’re scrolling through Instagram fitness pages. But, what exactly is “proper form”? Nailing your form helps you work out more efficiently so that you can use your energy for an extra push rather than on wasted movements. Proper form teaches you how to evenly balance your weight and how to not put excess strain on any singular part of your body. When thinking about proper form, it is important to focus on your range of motion, tension, and many other factors. In most situations, the most important element to consider is your spine/back which is often prone to injury. As a general rule of thumb, most professional trainers advise that during weight lifting or training, the lower back should remain flat or slightly concave (this is known as lordosis).
Never Skip Your Warmups
It may be tempting to save 15 minutes by skipping your warmups prior to strength training, but we’re here to tell you that you’ll only come to regret that decision in the long run. A proper warm-up sets the foundations for an effective strength training session, and it is always recommended to do stretches, a light jog and foam rollers to get your body ready for a great workout session. Warm-ups help to prepare your muscles for the work they’re about to do and increase your range of motion, allowing you to really get the most out of your workout.
When In Doubt, Research
If you’re at a loss as to what exercises or weights are the best fit for you, we always recommend either doing in-depth research or enlisting the help of a trainer (in real life or virtually). Having helpful resources and the advice of experts in the field is a fantastic way to ensure that your weight training sessions are as effective as they can be. You will also be able to work together to come up with a custom weight training plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
Don’t Forget To Rest
It can be all too easy to get carried away at the start of your fitness journey and get into the habit of training every single day. Whilst we applaud you for your motivation, it is also important to realise that taking days off training is absolutely vital to your overall fitness and health. Resting for a day or two each week gives your muscles time to recover and replenish energy stores before your next rigorous workout. When you strength train, you are essentially causing microscopic damage to muscle tissue which then repairs itself—that’s how you build muscle. In order to allow your muscles to repair, rest is absolutely mandatory. So kick back, relax and take it easy on the weekends because you deserve it!
Weight training can be an incredibly rich and rewarding experience regardless of whether you’re new to the world of fitness or already working out 3 times a week. We hope that this article has given you some insight into how you can safely start weight training and minimise the risk of harm or injury to yourself.