Resistance Training For Beginners – 5 Tips
Resistance training comes with a host of benefits, not limited to improving you strength, physique and abilities. Learning to train properly and effectively are the keys to long term success. But as a beginner you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed as to how to start (though using your body weight is a great place!)
If you’re new to the gym walking over to a dumbbell rack seems a bit intimidating! And while I do believe that the majority of people should be doing some kind of resistance training, randomly picking weights up without a plan or proper execution isn’t the way to go.
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If you’re able to, hiring a quality personal trainer or coach is a great way to get started. You may not need them long term but at least you’ll feel a bit more comfortable with the equipment and form.
There are a lot of ways to go about resistance training depending on your goals. Resistance Bands, TRX & dumbbells all provide some form of resistance. You don’t need to walk over to a barbell and try to pick it up! If that area of the gym still makes you nervous then perhaps trying a different route to start may help.
When you are ready to jump into the weighted section of the gym, Here are a check boxes you always want to make sure you have ticked off.
Always Have A Plan
Don’t be that person who aimlessly walks around the dumbbells, does some curls, walks some more, does a row etc. Not only is this beyond ineffective but it’s a waste of time – and time is something moms can’t afford to throw away!
I’m not going to go into details about programs but get one (here’s a few tips on programs for you!). Walk into the gym with a specific plan of exercises to execute. Not only does this make better use of your time but it also gives you a purpose and will make you feel more comfortable through your workout.
Understand Your Exercises
I promise that not everyone is watching you perform the exercises to see if you’re doing them correctly. However, because you are now adding an external load to your movements, not performing the exercises correctly is an easy way to injure yourself or create imbalances.
YouTube is a great source for exercises but you’ll need to practice mimicking the movements and really engaging the muscles instead of just going through the motions. If it’s possible, have someone help you so you know you’re doing them right.
Take It Slow
If you’ve never lifted weights before, just like anything else, you need to wean in. Starting off with even thirty pound squats may not seem like much but it is to your muscles! Make sure you have form down first and then ease your way into heavier weights. As you keep your consistency, you can progress your resistance accordingly.
Tip: You’ll be sore the first few weeks as your body adjusts to the new stimulus. After that though, the goal isn’t to cripple yourself each workout! Causing extreme muscle soreness isn’t beneficial to your muscles.
Switch It Up Every 6 Ish Weeks
Your body is a miraculous thing. When it’s given a challenge it rises to it and adapts. Unfortunately, this means that in order to keep stimulating it you’ve got to constantly change your methods. Sticking with the same program multiple times per week for more than six weeks (ish) will eventually stagnate your progress. There are a lot of ways to improve the workout (rest periods, weight loads, pauses etc) but regardless you’ll want to alter the program or at the very least the way you perform it every so often.
Give Yourself Rest Days
Some people hate working out and others, once they get into it jump all in and can’t stop. When you’re loading up your body (this applies even more so the heavier weights you get to) it needs to recover. Both your muscles and your central nervous system need time to recoup so they can perform optimally. Without this rest progress will be minimal.
Don’t forget to pin these tips for beginners
Adding weights, or resistance, to your workouts is a whole other kind of training. There’s a lot to think about, consider and plan for. Make sure you focus on safety and practicality and not just random movement. Results come from being consistent with both workouts as well as execution. And if you’re ever unsure of something – ask!
What’s your favorite way to train?
Need some workout ideas? Check out these Three Bodyweight Programs and Why Mamas Need Muscle