Weight training is an important component in any well-rounded exercise regime. While a cardio workout fortifies your heart and helps you to shed those extra pounds, a strength programme ensures that you’ll have beautiful sculpted muscles to show off once the weight is lost. If you’re just starting out in the world of fitness, it can be difficult to know which manoeuvres to focus on. To help you to kick off a successful body revamp, I’ve asked the experts and done some research, and compiled a list of 7 steps to a weight lifting routine for beginners.
1. Begin at the Beginning
As a newcomer to fitness and exercise, it’s very important that you don’t over-face yourself to start with. Trying to lift weights that are too heavy won’t result in speeding up the journey to defined arms, for example, but will, on the contrary, simply risk doing serious damage to your body. Always start small and gradually add weight as you build up your strength; remember that toning is about repetition and not mass, so unless you’re looking to develop Arnie-style guns, you won’t need to go much heavier that 5kg.
Don’t under estimate the importance of a good warm up. Working on stiff, contracted muscles risks tearing and injury. Before you begin your weight lifting routine, remember to stretch thoroughly. Repeat the process afterwards as well.
It’s very important to make sure you’re lifting your weights correctly. This means working on your posture and developing an understanding of when to use certain muscles. Remember that imperfect technique leads to an ineffective work out, and can also cause serious injury. If you’re worried about the way you’re lifting your weights, schedule an appointment with a fitness consultant at your local gym.
4. Make Time
In order for your weight training programme to be really effective, experts recommend you try to fit in three, forty minute sessions a week. Ideally, you should space these out so that your give yourself a rest day between work outs. This will allow your muscles to repair, and will lower the risk of injury, and reduce stiffness and pain.
5. Listen to Your Muscles
If, at any point during a work out, you feel pain or discomfort anywhere, stop what you’re doing and investigate the problem. Persistently ignoring distress signals from your body will only result in injury. By the same token, when you feel your workout becoming easier, don’t be afraid to increase the level of difficulty slightly. In short, listen to what your muscles are telling you and respond appropriately.
6. Full Body
As a beginner, it’s important that your weight lifting is part of a wider, full-body work out. This means focussing not simply on your arms or legs, but making sure you’re devoting time and energy to your abs and pecks as well.
7. Diet Right
Complement your new strength training routine with a low-fat, protein rich diet. Don’t neglect your lean meats and cruciferous veg (broccoli, kale, cauliflower). Remember that toning up really is about altering your lifestyle.
Weight training is a significant part of any good exercise programme, and combined with a good diet and plenty of cardio, it will help you to achieve the body you’ve always wanted. Remember it’s important to remain safe and avoid injury at all times though; if you feel uncertain about any element of your regime, have a chat with a local fitness pro. That concludes my list of 7 steps to a weightlifting routine for beginners: do you have any more tips to add?
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