Basics of weight lifting: how to start?

Basics of weight lifting: how start?
John Arano

When you’re new to weight lifting the gym can feel intimidating. There are so much unknown things you should learn. You can be totally bemused about which weight to use and for which exercise. Though, there are many advantages to start this type of training. Weight lifting not only makes you strong, but also boosts your self-esteem.

Moreover, strength training helps in fat burning and muscle growth. Another advantage is that this type of workout boosts your metabolism. After doing workout, the body falls into the stage of recovery and uses lot of energy. Since weight lifting is all about working on muscles, the effect is stronger, too. In other words, your body’s resting metabolism rate will speed up. This process is due to the necessity of much more energy for muscle recovery.

The best approach as a beginner is to combine compound lifts with functional exercises that mimic your everyday movements. Functional exercises include the hip hinge, hip extension, squat, pull and push. They are key to establishing a foundation for complex exercises.

For full body lifting start with:

  • Goblet squat
  • Chest press
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Single Arm Dumbbell Row
  • Seated Shoulder Press
  • Glute Bridge

Mastering them will make you comfortable with weight lifting. Thus, they prepare you to progress cautiously as you get stronger. For Romanian Deadlifts, Glute bridge and Goblet Squat you first need to master each movement well without weight.

Basics of weight lifting: how start?
Maria Fernanda Gonzalez

Choosing weights

Choosing the right weights for weight lifting is a major key to getting what you’re after. If you want good results, you have to challenge yourself. Therefore, use weights that are heavy enough for your muscles to adapt and grow stronger. However, this doesn’t mean you should use weights that are too heavy. In fact, weights shouldn’t become the reason of injuries. Moreover, each exercises aim at training particular muscles. Lifting heavy weights might engage muscles that shouldn’t be engaged. On the contrary, the chosen weight shouldn’t be too light or too heavy.

Type of weight

There are many types of weights you can use. These are barbells, dumbbells, kettlebell, and sandbags. The type of weight determines how heavy to go for a given exercise. You should go lighter for unstable weights, since your muscles will do extra work to make sure you’re balanced. A 10 pounds sandbag and a 20 pounds dumbbell can be used in the same move. The 10 pounds sandbag can even be challenging even if it isn’t as heavy as the 20 pounds dumbells because of instability.

Type of exercise

The weight you choose should correspond with the strength of the muscle you’re working on. Go pretty heavy with the deadlift or weighted. On the other hand, go lighter when you’re working on the back of your shoulders. Go for light weights for weaker muscle groups. A weight that is too heavy can injure your muscles. While using them, you’re completely unable to meet the number of repetitions set. Weights that are too light make you easily complete all the reps set. After, you may feel a burn but that doesn’t mean things are working well. The chosen weight is too light for you if you have no problem with getting to the last reps.

Basics of weight lifting: how start?
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If you’re a beginner you shouldn’t increase the weight too fast. Though, if you feel you’re ready, then go ahead and challenge yourself. Scaling back is also allowed. Sometimes you will have to pick different weights to find the best weight for the given day. Don’t compare yourself with friends, listen to your body. You shouldn’t lift heavy weights because your friends or someone on social media is working with heavy weight.

Final words

When going for weight lifting you should eat well-balanced meals. Additionally, make sure you’re hydrated by drinking eight to ten glasses of water every day. In terms of recovering after the training, have a rest! Meaning that you should give your body at least 48 hours before working the same muscles. Also, our muscles usually work together. For example, when you lift your hands, the muscles of hands, chest, and shoulder work together. Thus, strength training 3-4 days a week is enough.

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