It is great for strengthening your muscles, building muscle, giving that toned definition some women love, aiding fat loss, working cardio (you don’t have to just run for heart health), increasing blood circulation, improving bone density, strengthening connective tissues and tendons, plus it can improve your quality of life by building body confidence.
As you can see there are many benefits to weight training. As long as you pick the right approach for your goals and understand the basics you will learn to love the art of weight training. There is no need to be intimidated by the weights, once you know the ‘how’ and ‘why’ it will become more fun especially when you notice the benefits.
Here are 8 tips on how to get started and learn to love weight training.
1. Know the Basics
If you are new to the weights then it may seem a little alien. It may seem difficult at first if you don’t know how to do it properly. If you aren’t used to doing much exercise, you should build up a base level at first. Start by understanding good posture, focus on embracing your core muscles (stomach and back) when doing movements such as a squat and deadlift. Know the technique, seek guidance for the movements, and start with no weight to light weights to get the correct movement.
2. Know the Muscles
It is all too common to think a squat is being performed properly, going up and down, without actually thinking about the movement. When doing any movement whether it is a squat, shoulder press or bicep curl, understand which muscle you should be working. For example, in a squat focus on legs, abs and bum, in a bicep curl focus on the squeeze of the biceps.
3. Slow Down
Slow and steady wins the race! Rather than throwing the weight around thinking you are working out, slow the pace down. For a shoulder press, push the weight up above the head at normal pace then slow down as you bring the weights back down for a count of four. Be amazed at the difference it makes.
4. Don’t Start Too Big
Whether you are a newbie or well accustomed to the weights, when starting a new training programme begin with light weights. Leave the ego at the door and focus on getting a quality session. You can build up to heavier weights overtime, but avoid injury and bad form. Lifting heavy means what is heavy for you, not what the other person is doing.
5. Know Your Goals
What are your goals? Whether you want to lose fat, get fit, build muscle or get stronger, your weight training programme should fit that criteria. There are many different sets, reps and movements to approach with the weights; however your programme should be based on your desired results and not just be a random mix. The more you work in line with your goals the more you will notice the benefits as mentioned at the top of the article.
6. Have a Plan
A well-structured weight training programme will give you the benefits you desire. On top of this it will ensure you don’t hit a plateau and continue to progress as you move on from month to month.
7. Good Music
To me, a great playlist is essential. Having the right type of music for working out keeps motivation and enjoyment at a high level. To stay in the zone with less distractions ensure you have the right music for you. If you don’t like the music playing at the gym take your own headphones.
8. Download an App
These days there are apps for almost anything. If you have a phone that enables you to do so, download an app that lets you log your training session, including weights lifted, reps, sets and any personal bests (PB’s). If you don’t have this or prefer tradition, go old school with a notebook.
While I do believe that weight training is an excellent form of exercise, other types are great, too. Everyone is different and if this is not for you or you need a break from the weights, do something else such as hill sprints, yoga, walking or swimming. As long as you are keeping active, enjoying it and feeling great then you are good to go.
What workout do you love?