Weight training is fantastic.
Between the many health benefits, the deeply satisfying feeling of progress, and the simplicity, lifting weights is the go-to choice for many.
But if you’ve never stepped inside a gym and have no idea where to get started, you might feel a bit overwhelmed and confused. After all, there are so many moving parts.
To simplify things and get you started, we’ve put together this beginner’s guide for you. Below, you’ll learn the most important things related to getting started.
The biggest mistake many beginners make is to look for the most complicated approach. Sure, complex training programs appear more effective, but you don’t need them.
As a beginner, what matters most is that you learn the fundamentals: training volume, frequency, intensity, and the proven compound lifts.
The simpler your program is, the better. You won’t need to do much to see improvements, so working on a solid foundation will help you achieve much better results in the long-run.
In their enthusiasm and sky-high motivation, beginners often feel tempted to go all in, and train like there is no tomorrow.
Hard work is essential - you can’t achieve good results without it. But you will benefit a lot more from taking a more balanced approach. Instead of focusing on pushing to your limits each time you train, focus on doing moderate amounts of work consistently.
For example, if you’re training at home and have essential equipment like some kettlebells and dumbbells, do the following:
Monday - chest and tricep exercises
Tuesday - back and bicep exercises
Wednesday - shoulder and chest exercises
Thursday - leg exercises
Friday - back and bicep exercises
Saturday & Sunday - recovery
Your workouts don’t need to be longer than twenty minutes. Do a few sets for each muscle group and call it a day. The next day, pick up the weights and go at it again. This will help you gain momentum and make weight training part of your life.
Beginners tend to overestimate their abilities and attempt to lift weights that are way beyond their strength level.
As you first get started, the most important lesson you need to remember is this:
Always use weights you can control well. You should be able to perform each repetition with good technique and a full range of motion. If you have to sacrifice technique for the sake of lifting more weight, you’re not training as effectively and are only increasing the risk of getting injured.
The same goes for the effort you put into your training. Avoid pushing yourself to your limits on every set because that often leads to technique breakdown and prolongs the recovery.
Prevailing wisdom suggests that fitness is a necessary evil we need to endure. This is far from the truth.
The fact is, fitness should be something fun. You should enjoy your workouts, and you should look forward to each upcoming one. If you continuously dread the idea of having to train, you won’t last long.
So, when getting started with weight training, find aspects you enjoy and focus on them more. For example, you might enjoy specific exercises more than others. Good - focus on doing them more often. You also might enjoy a particular style of training more - do more of that.
Whatever it is, make time for it and enjoy the process.
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