Congrats for taking steps to get to a healthy weight! This is never easy and requires some intense willpower and motivation, so good for you! The trick to weight loss is keeping things fresh so that you don’t get so bored that you throw in the towel. If you’ve reached a plateau, now is the time to add free weights to your routine. You will be shocked at how effective this can be. And lifting is fun too, so you can’t go wrong.
1. Start off Small and Slow to Prevent Injuries
Using free weights should be done in combination with your regular cardio for the best results. That being said, don’t jump in with two feet and go all out. You need to start with small weights and one set of reps so that you can build your strength over time. If you’re new to weights, start with 5 pound dumbbells so that you don’t get hurt. As you get stronger, you can move up to 10, 15 and beyond.
2. Start with Just One Set of Reps
In some cases, more is absolutely better, but not when it comes to adding weights to your routine. You want to move slowly so you don’t get hurt and so that you don’t get so frustrated that you give up. Start with one set of 12 reps for several moves that target each of your body’s main muscle groups. Once that feels too easy, add a set and keep on going to get the results you want.
3. Start a Consistent Strength Training Routine and Stick with It
Free weights burn calories, but more importantly, they help build lean muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism, helping you lose weight. That only happens if you have a consistent routine though. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest adding at two or three 20-minute sessions to your exercise routine each week.
4. Don’t Trade Your Cardio for Free Weights
Losing weight means you have to burn more calories than you take in, which is why cardio is so important. You can’t choose weights over cardio is what I’m trying to say here. You should ideally be doing both on a regular basis to see the whittled and toned body you want. Try to get 30 minutes of cardio most days of the week and add the weights a couple of days, like I said above.
5. Learn Proper Form
Using weights is a great idea for weight loss, but only if you’re doing properly. Use video tutorials or meet with a trainer a few times to learn the right way to do the moves. Once you have the technique down, you should be fine to do them on your own. This is important for getting results, but also cuts the risk of getting hurt.
6. Give Yourself a Day off between Sessions
Your muscles build and gain strength after your workout as your muscles work to repair themselves. To get the most out of this, you have to give yourself a day off between weight sessions. That means you should be doing your free weights every other day to get the most out of them.
7. Incorporate Moves That Lead to Weight Loss
Any exercise using weights is great for your routine, but there are some that can lead to more weight loss than others. Moves that include the squat to overhead press, single leg dumbbell row and steps with weights are great choices, according to the experts at Health magazine.
Are you adding weights to your routine for weight loss? What’s your favorite move?