Starting a weight lifting routine when you don’t know the difference between a bicep curl and a drop set is quite intimidating. But the gains of consistent training far outweigh any discomfort.
Research found that lifting weights helps you lose weight, strengthen your body, increase metabolism, improve bone density, fix your posture, and make you look sexier (who doesn’t want to).
Do you want to reap some of these benefits (then some more)?
Fortunately, adding weight lifting to your exercise program doesn’t have to be intricate nor time-consuming.
To prevent your first foray into a strength room from turning into a nightmare, here are the guidelines you need on how to start a weight lifting routine without breaking your back.
After reading this post, you’ll have both the knowledge and confidence to start getting strong.
Let’s get buffed.
Start With the Warm-up
By now, you know whether you’re biking, running, or, of course, weight lifting, warming up should be your first step.
A proper warm-up preps your muscles for intense exercise as well as improves range of motion. This will allow you to fully extend those bicep curls and go deeper into those lunges, resulting in more efficiency, muscle recruitment, and faster gains.
Start with a five to ten cardio warm-up. Do some brisk walking, light jogging on the treadmill, or jumping jacks.
Next, perform five minutes of dynamic stretches. Think walking lunges, inchworms, butt kicks, etc.
Start the Easy Way
A common mistake I see many beginners make is trying to chew more than they can swallow. They do too much too soon and only get hurt in the process.
For that reason, I’d recommend starting with an easy and short program.
Don’t reach for heavy bar and try performing chest presses right off the bat. Instead, aim to make yourself comfortable with the movement so you don’t injure yourself.
For newbies, bodyweight training should be the stepping stone to the strength training world. It helps you practice basic movement patterns without risking injury.
Some of the best exercises for beginners trainees include:
Improve Your Form
To prevent injury and ensure movement efficiency, develop the proper technique.
Perform the moves right, and you’ll be improving your performance and making fast gains. Do them badly, and you’ll be increasing the risks of injury, which may force you out of training for weeks—even stop training altogether.
To improve your weight lifting form, do the following:
- Assume an athletic stance with your shoulders down and back, and core engaged.
- Activate your core, stand tall and keep you back flat throughout your training
- Avoid relying on momentum. Instead, concentrate on slow and smooth lifts and equally controlled descents.
- Avoid shrugging your shoulder nor aligning your ears with them. Instead, keep your shoulders loose and down.
- Breathe deep to center yourself before you begin any movement
- Exhale as you lift the weight and lower it down on the inhale.
- Go for a weight that allows you to finish the set with good form
I’d also recommend that you hire a personal coach for a few weeks to help you set the right technique base from the get-go. It’s much easier to pick up good form from as a beginner than developing bad movement habits and try to break them later.
After a couple of months of consistent training—that’s how long it should take you to start noticing real strength gains—change up your routine to make it more challenging.
Opting for the same load from one week to the next results in plateaus. But striving for progress helps push you out of your comfort zone, improving your strength each time you hit the weight room.
For starters, complete a routine that hits all the major muscle groups on two non-consecutive days per week. This will enable to get stronger and achieve progression from week to week.
There are many things you can do to add more challenge to your training. Here are a few examples:
- Choose different exercises—or an advanced variation of an exercise you already doing
- Using more weight
- Increase the number of reps
- Increase the number of sets
- Doing more volume per workout
- Switch the order in which you do the exercises
For example, when you’re breezing through the whole set, either add weight, or add another set of reps to your routine, but never both at the same time.
Keep tabs on your progress in a training journal and celebrate every time you break a new personal record.
There you have it! The above beginner strength training guidelines are all you need to get started on your way to getting ripped and build the body of your dreams. The rest is up to you. All you have to do is show up and do the work.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
Keep lifting strong.