Are you looking to get started with weight lifting? Weight lifting for beginners can be a very intimidating thing to get into, but it doesn’t have to be. In this beginner’s guide to strength training, we will discuss the basics of weightlifting and provide some tips for getting started.
Strength training is a great way to improve your overall health and well-being, and it can also help you lose weight or achieve other fitness goals. So if you’re ready to start building muscle and strength, keep reading!
Why should I start Weight Lifting?
There is a multitude of benefits to strength training, but in a nutshell, strength training is a fantastic way to improve your physical health and fitness. It can help you lose weight, build muscle, improve your posture and balance, and reduce your risk of injuries. Plus, it’s also great for your mental health and confidence! Strength training can also help you develop self-confidence, reduce stress levels, and increase energy levels.
Weight Lifting for Beginners: What to Do
If you’re new to strength training, it’s important to start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. It’s also crucial to focus on form and technique, rather than lifting heavy weights. When you first start strength training, you may want to consider working with a personal trainer or taking a class at your local gym. This can help you learn the proper form for lifting weights and avoid injuries.
There are a few key things to keep in mind if you’re a beginner trying to pick up weightlifting. First, always warm-up before performing an exercise. Particularly when you’re just starting out and you’re not really sure what your body is capable of, you need to prepare your muscles. This doesn’t have to be a full stretching session, but at the very least do a workout set with lighter weights to get your body used to the movement and to get your muscles warmed up. This will help improve your range of motion and prevent injuries.
Focus on Compound Exercises
When starting out with strength training you should focus on mastering your core compound exercises. These big lifts will be your bread and butter when it comes to weight lifting. Compound exercises are movements that involve multiple muscle groups simultaneously. These exercises should be prioritized in your workouts because you initially want to build a good foundation and compound exercises will help you develop your overall strength far more effectively compared to doing other random exercises.
Examples of compound exercises include:
The overhead press
The bench press
Bent over rows
Each of these exercises engage multiple muscle groups at the same time, making them very effective for beginners to develop their body in a well-rounded way. In addition, these exercises are also the most technically challenging and require good form in order to be performed correctly. As a result, it is generally recommended that beginners focus on these exercises first as a priority.
Focus on Proper Form
Using proper form and technique is extremely important when lifting weights. This will help you avoid injuries and get the most out of your workout. When starting out, if you have the means to do so, it is often helpful to work with a personal trainer or take a class at the gym. This way you can learn the proper form for each exercise and have someone to correct you if you are doing something wrong.
If you don’t have access to a personal trainer or class, there are plenty of resources available online that can help you learn the proper form for each exercise. Just make sure to do your research and focus on form over lifting heavy weights. Remember, you should be leaving your ego at the door. If you’re a beginner you’re not going to be deadlifting 500 pounds any time soon so start off light, and try to do the exercises properly.
How Much Weight Should I Lift?
This is a common question that beginners have. It’s going to be a bit of a guessing game when you first start out but you should have it roughly figured out after a few workout sessions. When starting out, you should focus on using lighter weights and perfecting your form before trying to lift heavy weights. As with anything new, it’s important to start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts.
In terms of rep (repetition) ranges, it depends on what your goals are. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re trying to gain strength, you should be targeting a lower rep range of 3-5 with a heavier weight. If you’re trying to go for muscle tone/growth, a higher rep range of 8-12 per set is more appropriate.
For maximum results, you should be training to failure in every set. This means pushing yourself until you can’t do any more reps if you tried. A word of caution though: if you are training alone without a spotter, there are some exercises where it would be dangerous to train to true failure. Exercises like the bench press and squats should not be trained to failure when working out alone as you may end up getting stuck and injuring yourself.
As always, listen to your body when it comes to these things. If you’re experiencing any pain which doesn’t feel normal, take a break or cut your session short. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
How Often Should I be Weightlifting As a Beginner?
When you first start weightlifting, you should be lifting weights around two to three times a week. This will give your body time to recover in between workouts and prevent injuries.
As you become more comfortable with the exercises and your strength increases, you can gradually increase the frequency of your workouts. Just make sure not to overdo it as this can lead to burnout and the danger that you may not be giving your muscles enough time to recover and repair.
What Do I Need To Eat?
You’re going to need to fuel your body properly if you want to see results from weightlifting. This means eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
How much of each macronutrient you need will depend on factors such as your weight, height, age, and activity level. There are a lot of online calculators that can help you figure out how many calories and grams of each macronutrient you need to be consuming.
Although this is a much-debated number, a general rule of thumb if you’re serious about trying to gain muscle mass is that you should be eating around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should be roughly consuming around 180 grams of protein per day.
It’s also important to make sure that you’re staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking water will help your muscles recover and repair themselves and will also help you avoid injuries.
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
This is another common question that people have when starting out weightlifting. And unfortunately, there is no definitive answer. Everyone is different and will see results at different rates. That being said, if you’re a beginner at weightlifting, you will see results far quicker compared to a seasoned weightlifter who has been doing it for multiple years.
If you’re consistent with your workouts and eating enough protein, you could start seeing results within as little as a few weeks but more commonly you’ll start seeing real progress within a few months.
So, be patient and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see the results you want immediately. Just keep working hard and eventually, you will reach your goals.
Now that you know the basics of weight lifting for beginners, it’s time to get out there and start lifting some weights! Just remember to focus on perfecting your form, gradually increase the weight you’re lifting, and don’t forget to eat a healthy diet.
If you stick to these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your strength training goals.
Jason Chapman has a degree in Exercise Science and is a personal trainer with 10+ years of experience in fitness and strength coaching. Jason spends his time with BodyCapable researching the latest strength training trends and writing science-backed, informative content. Jason likes to spend his spare time hiking, traveling, and of course training!
Body Capable’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment; we encourage you to seek out a medical professional whenever necessary.