You’ve made it your goal to lose weight, build lean muscle, and get into shape. You’re ready to get strong, improve your health, and be proud of your physique. And you’ve decided that the best way to do that is a fitness routine that includes lifting weights.
Fantastic! You have to visualize your health goals if you’re ever going to making them into reality. But it takes more than that.
For starters, resistance training like weight lifting is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. Studies have shown that it can help lower your risk of diabetes, improve your bone health, and even reduce the intensity of chronic back pain.
You know the benefits, but now it’s time to get started. Here’s how to do it.
You’re a beginner. Don’t try to lift massive weights or do all the most complex exercises possible. Start slow and easy. Work your way up with gradual gains. Soon you’ll be pumping iron with the rest of the hardcore gym rats. But for now, go easy on yourself.
Learn basic exercises that work multiple muscle groups. One of the best you can do for your entire body is the squat. Doing squats helps you burn fat, build endurance, strengthen bones, and stimulate muscle growing hormones.
For more information on the benefits of squats and the right way to do them, check out our Definitive Guide to Squats.
Beyond squats, other excellent compound exercises you can do at the gym include deadlifts, lunges, overhead presses, bench presses, and rows.
There are lots of excellent tutorials online that teach you the proper form for each of these exercises. But nothing is better than getting help from an expert. If you have a friend who you trust to teach you proper and safe form, great. Another great option is to work with a trainer at your gym.
You can hit all the essential muscle groups and get a great total body workout lifting just three times per week. You don’t have to go to the gym every day. Don’t let the bros at the gym try to convince you otherwise.
As you progress with your weight training, you may decide you want to workout more often. Excellent. But for starters, an every-other-day approach is ideal. That way you have a manageable fitness schedule that will deliver results without feeling completely overwhelming.
From the first day you hit the gym, you need to be thinking about injury prevention. Too many newbies come in thinking they’re going to hit the weights and give it their all. Turns out, they hurt themselves trying to do too much, too fast and wind up unable to workout at all.
Be smart about injury prevention. Use proper footwear at the gym. Don’t overtrain or try to lift weight that is too much for your current fitness level. And be sure to always warm up and cool down before and after every session. Those few minutes do wonders for your muscles.
Using the best muscle building supplements is another smart way to get results and prevent injuries. A pre workout supplement will help you stay focused and energized during your entire weight lifting session. And a post workout drink will support muscle growth while reducing soreness.
Another important supplement for weight lifters is a whey protein supplement. Make sure you are getting plenty of protein in your diet so your muscles have the fuel they need to support all your lifting.
The sooner you start lifting weights, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits. Be smart about your training and use the best supplements for building muscle to enhance your training and stay safe and healthy.