Now that we know the Benefits of Strength Training, let’s talk about how to start! If you feel nervous about starting a new workout program, don’t worry! These feelings are completely natural. Use the tips below to help boost your confidence and reduce your anxiety before you embark on your first weight-lifting experience.
- Find a Program that Works for You: simply Google “beginner weight lifting program” and you will be amazed with the plethora of resources available. Try to find something simple to start with. You can step out of your comfort zone a bit, but if you try to advance to quickly, it could end in injury! So find a program that works with your available equipment and time. Your program should include workouts for 3-5 days per week to begin. And remember, the workouts don’t have to be long to be effective! We are building strength here, not necessarily endurance. So find your program and print it out to bring with you to your next workout!
- Do Your Research: if you’ve never tried lifting weights before, you need to become familiar with proper posture and alignment. You can find numerous instructional videos on YouTube showing you proper form Nikki Blackketter is a gret resource for weight lifting (especially for women curious about weight lifting). www.bodybuilding.com is another great resource. If you still feel unconfident, you can find a personal trainer to teach you the basics. Whichever path you choose, make sure you are armed with knowledge!
- Start your Workout with a Warm Up: before your pick up any weights, spend 5-10 minutes increasing your heart rate and sweating a little. If space if limited, you can jump rope. If space is unlimited, you can go for a short jog. Whatever you do, make sure your body is nice and warm so that your muscles can perform at their peak!
- Start Small: just like with any new venture, don’t overwhelm yourself from the beginning. When you start weight lifting, your focus should be on form, not weight. You can even start your “weight lifting” routine using only your own body weight! If your program calls for squats, try them without any dumbbells at first. Once you can safely do a squat, then start adding weight slowly. Your muscles need time to adjust to this new program, so keep them happy with steady, maintainable progress.
- Don’t Worry about Anyone except YOU: if you are working out in the gym, don’t get worried about the people around you. Focus on YOU, this is YOUR workout. It doesn’t matter how much weight the person next to you is lifting, it matters how much YOU can lift.
- End your Workout with Stretches: you’ve got to release all of that lactic acid you built up! To prevent soreness and stiffness the next day, be sure to stretch every muscle that you used during your workout. (it’s worth the extra 5-10 minutes, believe me!)
So get out there and start lifting those weights! Your body will appreciate it.