During the initial days, weightlifting for beginners can be extremely intimidating and time-consuming. Here's how you can keep your foot on the right track for weight training.
Are you new to weight lifting and weight training? Then you must be completely overwhelmed and mesmerized by all the equipment you are surrounded with. The grunting and groaning of fellow weightlifters or the pressure to be the best among the all must have started building up in your mind. So, before you get too much into the madness called weight training, let’s take a step back and rather focus on the other crucial aspects of weight training. For a new lifter, it is important to understand the four critical concepts of weight training that will not only satisfy your thrust to do the best but will also help in progressing towards your weight lifting goals.
“Beginners get to enjoy a great advantage in weight training over the long-timers. The initial days of weight training allow the new lifters to gain steady strength which only remains a long lost call for those who have been practicing weight training for a long time.” So, here are the basic lessons that every new weightlifter must learn.
Lesson 1: Learn Basic Movements And Also How To Control Them
Before we get into the details, let’s clear out some basics first. The human body is made of some muscle groups like deltoids, back, biceps, quads, glutes, abdominals, and so on. Each muscle group consists of a group of individual muscles, say, biceps have two muscle heads, deltoids have three muscle heads, quads are four distinct muscles and more.
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Every exercise that we perform is designed either to work on an individual muscle head or the multiple muscle groups. Same way, each exercise has a different movement pattern that every new lifter must understand. The best way to learn muscle movements patterns is to use exercise machines. Every exercise machine comes with a predetermined motion range which can be adjusted as per the body to move the load. While using the exercise machine, you will get to know how your body should move. Once you start feeling good about the certain movement or pattern you should start doing the same exercise of movement using the dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells or any other form of weights that might go with that particular movement.
It is worth forming an acquaintance with free weights as they are capable of recruiting more of your muscle groups. They also help in providing stabilization that you might look for with machine exercising. Once you get to know free weights better, they will enable you to adapt to advance exercising techniques. Also, they can come handy when the gym is busy, and you fail to find yourself a machine for some exercising.
However, no matter whether you are using machines or have moved up to free weights, the below techniques are surely going to help you out as a beginner:
- As a rule of thumb, exhale when you lift or push weight and exhale when you lower the weight or get back to starting position.
- Never lock your joints to hold weights in top position
- Always put less pressure while putting down the weight as compared to the time when you lifted them
Lesson 2: Opt For Anabolic Exercises
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When you start spending more time in the gym, you will get familiar with terms like ‘anabolic’ and ‘catabolic.’ Here, anabolic refers to the muscle building process, whereas the catabolic means muscle breakdown. Exercises that use more muscles are usually anabolic in nature. On the other hand, the resistance exercises that you will two will be further divided into two groups. One will be called isolating the muscles exercises while the other will be multi-joint or compound exercises. As the name suggests, isolating exercise means exercises working on a single muscle group, whereas compound exercises mean sets working on multiple joints and muscles.
Most of the experienced lifters prefer to do multi-joint exercises while beginning the workout as at that time their energy level remains at a maximum. Squat, Bench Press and Deadlifts become the core of their over the time. This also includes Rows, Dips and Overhead Presses.
Since you will not be able to lift the same amount of weight with your single joint exercise, it will be good for you to keep the multijoint exercises for the end of your training session. These exercises allow you to focus on a single muscle group, like bicep curls will work for your biceps, and leg curls will maintain focus on the hamstrings.
Lesson 3: Understand The Relationship Between Load And Reps
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The most basic question that every beginner asks is – “How much weight they should try to lift?” In the beginning, you are advised to go light in your weight training. Choose a weight that will allow you to perform 10 to 12 reps comfortably. Going light helps in practicing your form. However, you can keep on adding weights gradually as you progress in your weight training.
When you move to heavier weights, the rep count will come down. A novice should steer clear from heavyweights. Lifting a weight which is too heavy for you might lead to sacrificing your form which you have gained a lot of hard work.
As you are new to weightlifting, it’s better you start with a warm-up using light weights, this will loosen up your muscles and joints, will let you focus on the task and will give good rehearsal to your movement pattern. Warming up eliminates the chances of injury and prepares you to lift heavier weights later on. Once you have warmed up completely begin performing your working set of exercise.
Lesson 4: Train Complete Body Every Alternative Day
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Most beginners commit the mistake of starting with a complete body workout so that they can work on every muscle group in a single session. Instead, aim to work on each muscle group every alternative day while giving them ample recovery time. If you are not giving enough wait time between the workout for each muscle group, your body will not get enough time to repair the muscle fibers. However, if you will wait too long to work on individual muscle groups them also your body might start missing on the compounding benefits due to lack of consistency.
Later, you will start splitting your workouts to work on individual muscle groups; you will get to train each body part less frequently. But this decrease in frequency will mean the increase in the training volume as you progress with your training.
Do not think that working too hard daily and aggressively will bulk you up in time. You will see progress only with the combination of hard work and rest. Resistance training is nothing less than a marathon, but people often confuse it with sprint. Being with the light weights and focus on mastering your form. Keep adding weights gradually and make sure you give your body enough rest and nutrition to grow.
Do these things while moving forward safely. Stop being a clueless gym goer with no concrete plan. Amp up your efforts to get the most out of your workout session with proper utilization of both mind and body. So, be patient and be consistent with your workout.