Tired of cardio? Want to start weight-lifting but don’t know how to start? Not only does lifting weights improve your metabolism, but it also improves your mood and helps your body fight osteoporosis. Weight lifting is a great way to reach the recommended 2 days of muscle strengthening activities every week as it leads to better heart health, keeping you going strong and healthy. Check out these 9 beginner weight lifting tips to help you get started:

Choose a goal: Establishing a goal gives you something to work towards. Whether your goal is to bulk up or slim down, try to make your goal as specific as possible. Start with small, achievable goals and work toward them. Have a daily, weekly and monthly goal to keep you motivated and on track. Be careful about setting goals dependent on a scale thought. Muscle weighs more than fat and everyone’s body builds muscle differently.

Vary your muscle group: Try not to work the same group of muscles back to back. Develop a weekly routine to keep you in rotation, which will prevent you from overworking one specific area. As you become more familiar with the weights, be sure to add in new exercises to keep your body from growing too accustomed to your workout routine.

Don’t overdo it: While you may be eager to see results, do not lift weights every day. Give your body time to rest. Lifting weights causes tiny tears in the muscles that heal and result in muscle development. Give yourself at least 24 hours between lifting sessions to allow your muscles to heal.

Keep good technique: Keeping the correct form while lifting weights will help you gain muscle quicker. Before starting, ask a training partner or a trainer for tips or help you learning and maintaining good form. Trainers also can help improve your grip, positions and motions, leading to better results. Knowing the proper form will also help prevent injuries.

Do a cardio warm up: Get your heart rate up before lifting. Start with a five minute run on the treadmill or begin with some lunges. Don’t forget to stretch as not stretching before lifting can result in injury.

Determine the right amount of weight for you: Don’t try to start out by lifting as much weight as you can bear. Determining the correct weight is a trial and error process. You should feel fatigued after lifting, but should not push it too far as this may result in injury. Start with a low weight and gradually build to add more. If you feel extreme discomfort you are probably using too much weight.

Give the same attention to both sides: Many people are naturally stronger on one side of their body. Try to work each side equally, or pay slightly more attention to your weaker side. This will help you keep an equal balance so that your muscles form equally.

Stick to the basics: When just getting into lifting, start easy. Create a routine that uses a few exercises and perfect those before adding new ones. Your body will adapt faster and the movements will become muscle memory. Start with exercises like deadlifts, squats, or chest press.

Stay hydrated: Don’t forget to drink water before, during, and after lifting. Proper hydration is important to keep your body working to its potential. To replace water lost during working out, weigh yourself before and after your workout, then drink the difference in ounces.

Now that you know the tips to get the most out of your workout, it’s important to remember a few gym etiquette tips:
  1. Always put the weights back in their place when you are finished.
  2. If someone is using the equipment you would like to use, it’s okay to ask how many reps they have left, but don’t pressure them to finish quicker.
  3. If someone is waiting to use the equipment you are using, you can offer to let them do their reps while you are resting. If you aren’t comfortable with sharing, let them know kindly that you are almost finished and the equipment will be all theirs.
  4. Wipe down the equipment before and after you are done. Gyms offer wipes or towels for your use after your workout. Be kind and leave the equipment clean.
  5. Give yourself some room. Don’t lift too close to anyone else, give them their personal space. Their activity could take up more room than yours so be sure to allow enough space between you.
  6. Do your reps and allow yourself the proper amount of time for rest, but don’t drag it out- especially if someone is waiting.

Still interested in starting weightlifting? Here are 3 workouts for beginners:

1)

  • Lat pull down 3 sets of 10 reps with 2 minutes rest between stes.
  • Butterfly press 3 sets of 10 reps with 2 minutes rest between sets
  • Triceps pull down 3 sets of 10 reps with 2 minutes rest between sets
  • Squats 4 sets of 5 reps with 2 minutes of rest between sets.
  • Deadlifts 4 sets of 5 reps with 2 minutes of rest between sets

2)

  • Squats: 3 sets of 8-10 reps with 2 minutes rest between sets.
  • Bench press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps with 2 minutes rest in between sets.
  • Rows: 3 sets of 8-10 reps with 2 minutes rest in between sets.

3)

  • Deadlifts: 3 sets of 6-8 reps with 2 minutes rest in between sets.
  • Pull ups: 3 sets of 8-10 reps with 2 minutes rest in between sets.
  • Overhead shoulder press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps with 2 minutes rest between sets.

 

Grab a friend and head down to your local gym. Get the health benefits of weight lifting and build up some muscle. For more information on weight lifting, please visit the Mayo Clinic's website.


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