Adding weightlifting to your exercise regimen can have tremendous benefits. Those include losing body fat, improving your strength and muscle tone, and improving your bone density. Overall, you’ll look and feel stronger – and that feeling makes you more confident!
If you’re planning on introducing weights to your exercise and wellness regimen, it’s good to go in with a strategy. We’re going to give you tips here to make your experience with weights a success. Here are the “do’s” – we also blogged about the “don’ts,” linked here.
Importance of Technique
A lot of people learn how to lift by watching others at the gym. The problem with that is – often, THEY are doing it wrong1! Your best bet, if you’ve joined an exercise facility, is to use a personal trainer (PT) to go through the correct form. Often, there are promotions offered for an initial PT session for free, or a discount on your first few sessions. If you can afford to go that route, take notes and pay close attention.
If that option is unavailable, bring a good guide with you. There are so many weight exercises – both free weights and machine – that having visual instruction is essential. This book is excellent, with a photo guide for every type of weight exercise. If you prefer video, there are many options on YouTube.
Lift an Appropriate Amount of Weight
Start with a weight that you’re comfortable doing in sets of 12-15 repetitions (commonly referred to as “Reps”). 3 sets is ideal for tone & strength. Often you’ll find that the first set, you’re able to lift more than your 3rd – that’s perfectly normal. Whether free weights or on a machine, you can go down a level or 2 with each set.
Remember To Breathe
Often, people that start weight training are so focused on completing their set, they forget to breathe properly. It is extremely important that your muscles are getting proper oxygen as you go along. Don’t hold your breath – instead, focus on taking deep breaths out with each “Rep.”
Work all of your major muscles so you have optimum results all over your body. Your personal trainer, or the previously-linked book, will take you through exercises for each relevant body part to train. This includes hips, abdomen, legs, arms, chest, back, shoulders, and arms.
Rest & Recover
When you rest, you give your muscles the opportunity to recover for the next time you train them. Rest is important because when the muscles repair themselves, this is when the actual toning takes place. That, in turn, leads to results!
This is why most people that weight train split it into 3 different parts: for instance, 1 day arms/chest, 1 day abdomen/back, and 1 day legs.
– Johnny Premier, COO of Allwell
1 Mayo Clinic – “Weight Training: Do’s & Don’ts of Proper Technique” – mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/weight-training/art-20045842
2 FitnessNation.net – “The Do’s & Don’ts of Weightlifting” – https://fitness-nation.net/2018/03/22/the-dos-and-donts-of-weightlifting/