So you’ve finally made the commitment and joined a gym. It’s the first step to developing a healthy lifestyle, and you should feel proud that you’re on the right path. If you get stuck as soon as you walk in the doors and then end up on an elliptical day in and day out, then this guide is for you. One of the best reasons to join a gym is for the weightlifting equipment and access to expert trainers. Here are some important strength training basics so you can find your confidence and take advantage of those dumbbells.
Who Should Lift Weights?
If you take a look at the strength training area of your gym, you’ll see that weightlifting is something anybody can do. Lifting weights is a healthy activity for people of every age and gender. Some people might say that women or athletes don’t need to lift weights and should focus on cardio instead. This is bad advice. Practicing strength training with either machines or free weights is a very good way to improve your overall health and physical abilities.
What Do You Need To Get Started?
Now that you know that anyone can start lifting weights, you might wonder if you need any specific equipment to get started. You’ll want to choose lightweight clothing that has support and stretch as well as good quality and comfortable shoes designed for exercise.
If you’re interested in supplements but you’re not sure where to begin, here’s a great stack for beginners:
- Fish oil
- Whey protein
Each one of these has a specific purpose. If you’ve never heard of these supplements and you ask what is creatine, you can find many resources online that describe the benefits. You can also discuss supplementation with a trainer.
What Are Good Exercises for Beginners?
The next step to developing your beginning weightlifting routine is to get comfortable with the most beneficial strength training exercises. These specific movements are very effective at building overall strength because they engage many different muscle groups at the same time. The best exercises for beginners are:
- Shoulder press
- Tricep dips
Start by learning how to do these movements correctly and in a controlled way. Choose a moderate amount of weight at first or do these exercises with just your own body weight until you build enough strength to scale up. While you can learn the correct form from online tutorials, the safest way to practice these new movements is to consult a trainer.
What Are the Benefits of Weightlifting?
If you want some extra motivation to get into weightlifting, there are a lot of benefits to consider. Not only is lifting a very effective way to burn calories, but it’s also amazing for your overall wellbeing. Building strength through weight training is an effective way to help your body manage glucose, which is important to ward off diabetes, especially if the disease runs in your family.
Weightlifting also helps your heart, supports your joints, increases your mobility, and gives you better balance. This specific type of exercise is also effective at improving the strength of your bones. As with any other physical activity, lifting weights can also put you in a better mood and is a way to support good mental health.
When Do You Switch Routines?
As you get more comfortable with your weightlifting routine, you may wonder when you should mix things up and switch exercises or routines. A good rule of thumb is that you should stick to one specific regimen of weight training for eight to twelve weeks. After that, you can switch gears and take on a different weight training challenge.
That doesn’t mean that you should do the same exact thing in the gym week in and week out. Explore ways of mixing up your exercises and try techniques like super sets and HIIT to give your muscles a challenge.
If you feel intimidated about going to the gym, that’s okay. Start slow and choose just one or two exercises to master over a few weeks. Slowly, you’ll develop confidence in the weight room strength training will feel completely natural.