One of the best ways to build strength is by weight training. However, for many individuals that are new to working out, stepping into the weight room may be intimidating. There are so many different machines and free weights it can be hard to figure out where to start. Some people may associate with weightlifting with bodybuilding, but this form of exercise is really about strengthening your body and burning fat to build muscle. Whether you are a fitness newbie or are looking to get into strength training, here are some tips to keep in mind when as you embark on your strength training goals.
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Use your own body weight
There seems to be a misconception that access to weights and machines determines the quality of a workout. However, it’s important to remember that body weight can be used as resistance to make your muscles work. Using your own body weight is a good start if you’re new to this type of training. Moves can be as simple as squats and push-ups. The important thing is to find moves that challenge your body.
With this new goal in mind, you may feel tempted to jump right into intensive daily weightlifting. While it’s good to be motivated, this is a new experience for your body, and it’s important to take it slow. Start with committing two days a week to strength training and work your way up as your body gets used to it. However, a two-day schedule doesn’t mean you’re working out for three hours. Instead, start with a 20-30 minute time frame and gradually increase over time.
Remember to Stretch
You’re going to be working muscles that may not have been worked this way before. It’s important to stretch and warm them up before diving into the weights. By doing this you loosen up the muscles, and reduces your risk of injury. Stretching will also help increase your range of motion and help avoid putting strain on your body.
If you have access to weights and machines, you may be surrounded by more experienced weight trainers, and also feel pressure to match their abilities. However, it’s crucial to start at a reasonable weight in order to avoid doing any damage to your body. Different moves require different weights, a good rule of thumb is to pick a weight that challenges your muscles, but doesn’t hinder your ability to perform the move in proper form.
Rest When Needed
Whether it’s between sets or between workout days, it’s important to listen to your body and rest when needed. With all that weight lifting, soreness is expected and repair and recovery is an important part of strength training. Weightlifting is essentially causing microscopic damage to tissue, and you need that rest period so that the muscle can repair itself and build back stronger.