how to start lifting weights

Weight training is becoming increasingly more popular as a means to get fitter, tone up, lose weight, and build muscle mass. Becoming stronger is also popular amongst athletes for performance enhancement and injury prevention.

It is never too late to pick up a dumbbell; weightlifting can be undertaken by anyone regardless of their age, gender, or fitness level. This article will detail how you can get started with weight training as a beginner in an effective and safe manner.

Equipment necessities

Most gyms have a combination of resistance machines and free weights, such as dumbbells, barbells and kettle bells. If you would rather stay at home to exercise, invest in a variety of free weights and resistance bands to get you started.

In terms of personal kit, a good pair of flat trainers and a killer workout outfit is all you need to begin lifting. 

Recruiting a helping hand

If you are a newbie to weightlifting, it might be wise to employ a personal trainer. It is important to maintain the correct form when exercising and follow a training programme that is safe and conducive to your goals. An experienced professional will ensure that these requirements are met and maintained. The good news is that this does not have to cost the earth as many gyms or fitness centres offer introductory training sessions at little or no cost.

Training advice

Ensure you begin any session with an aerobic warm-up, such as a 10-minute jog or brisk walk, this will increase the blood flow to your muscles and prime them for a good workout.

Workouts should last around 45 minutes. Start by lifting lighter weights to ensure that your form is not compromised and begin with 1-2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. Slowly progress to 3-4 sets and gradually increase the weight by 5-10% when it becomes too easy to lift. In between sets, take at least 60seconds recovery to help prevent fatigue building up to unworkable levels.

Although you might be especially interested in building your biceps or toning your legs, the best beginner’s resistance training program works all the major muscle groups in your body. Initially, overworking one muscle group at the expense of another will increase your risk of injury.

Once your lifting has ceased, gently stretch your muscles to ease muscle tension and reduce your risk of injury.

Rest days

Ensure that you take 1-2 rest days between workouts to allow your muscles enough time to recover and replenish energy stores before your next session.

Logging workouts

Keep track of how many reps you do, the number of sets you complete, what weight you use, and how it felt. This can help with future planning and the decision to make the workouts more challenging.

An example training week for beginners

Day

Exercise

Sets

Repetitions

Time (minutes)

Monday

Trap bar deadlift

2

10

<45

Barbell bench press

2

10

Dumbbell lunges

2

10

Barbell upright row

2

10

Crunches

2

15

 

Tuesday

REST DAY

Wednesday

Barbell back squat

2

10

<45

Assisted pull ups

2

10

Standing kettlebell calf raises

2

10

Seated dumbbell Arnold press

2

10

Dead bugs

2

15

Thursday

REST DAY

Friday

Dumbbell step-ups

2

10

<45

Plate raise

2

10

Kettlebell swings

2

10

Plate pull-over

2

10

Russian twists

2

15

Saturday

REST DAY

Sunday

REST DAY OR ACTIVE RECOVERY (GENTLE CARDIO)

<60

 

The bottom line when it comes to starting strength training, as a beginner, is to keep it simple and consistent. Complexity can develop over time but, initially, focus on getting a good solid strength base to set you up for the future lifting ventures.

About the author: Laura Smith is an elite-level athlete and has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

  • Posted byGuest Account /
  • Gym