Whether you’re trying to shred fat, increase muscle size or maintain your general health, resistance training in the form of weights should be a vital component of your training program. The benefits of lifting weights are well documented for various fitness goals, from burning a higher amount of calories in sessions to effecting hormone secretion and ‘sculpting’ a toned, athletic look.
If you’re new to lifting weights or if you’re thinking of starting, here are 6 easy to implement tips for when your start lifting weights.
Focus on movement
When you start lifting, it’s tempting to try and lift as heavy as you can as quickly as you can. Take a few weeks to really master some key movements before you start lifting heavier weights on them. Some good exercises to start with are squats, deadlifts, chest & shoulder presses and rowing movements. You can find all of these with full videos, pictures and exercise cues as well as alternative exercises on our exercise database app.
Split your workouts up throughout the week
Whilst it can be advantageous to plan full body workouts, another good way to start training is to split your body into different areas. A good beginner split is a push, pull & legs session, once per week. This allows you to rotate through all the major muscle groups in the body, whilst leaving enough room in the week to do any cardio/conditioning sessions you may want to implement.
Keep your exercise selection low
Start by focusing on mastering 5 exercises per session. The last thing you want to do when you start training is give yourself DOMs to the point where you can’t walk the next day (check out our blog here on 10 tips to reduce DOMs). If you do 5 exercises with perfect movement, tempo and weight, you will do more than enough to work your muscles enough to force them to grow.
Don’t over complicate things
When you start lifting, your body doesn’t need as much of a stimulus to grow as someone who has been regularly training for 10 years. You won’t need advanced and complicated training systems, just stick to straight sets with adequate rest and recovery and you’ll be ready to step it up in no time.
Keep your bucket full
This is a great analogy for balancing your nutrition, rest/recovery and your overall energy expenditure so that you don’t over train and you can stay injury free and on track. At the top is a tap pouring water into a bucket, which has a tap at the bottom letting water out. The tap at the top is your sleep, nutrition and recovery, the tap at the bottom is your exercise, stress and work. The bucket in the middle is your body. If the tap at the bottom empties quicker than the tap pouring in at the top, you will eventually end up with an empty bucket which will leave you tired, depleted and most likely injured. The aim is to keep your taps pouring in/out at a similar rate so that you can train continuously without having to take extended breaks away from training (outside of your planned de-load weeks). To take a look at the original post, click here.
Take a de-load
Every 4 to 6 weeks, let your body have a week off to recover and repair. Linking back to the previous point, periods of heavy training during a periodized training program can leave your bucket slightly emptier, so allowing your body to catch up is very important for long term success.
If you need help with anything to do with training, contact us on Facebook, Instagram or email us through our website. We also have some great programs designed for people starting to lift weights, check them out here.
For exercise demonstrations, check out our FREE app (click the picture below) to view videos, pictures and exercise cues for over 250 exercises!
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