Weight training can be daunting when you’re just getting your start. But, if you’ve decided to get started, you probably already know that weight training is one of the best decisions you can make for your health and physique.
That said, beginners shouldn’t hit the racks without doing homework first. Read on to find the right way to tackle weightlifting with EIM Personal Training’s 5 top tips.
Don’t Neglect Warm Ups
Weightlifting sessions tax your body, but that’s a good thing!
You’re working your body to build muscle and endurance, which means you will be pushing yourself. But, that means there are risks of injury involved.
It’s important to mitigate these risks with a thorough warm-up. Do some stretches or take a jog on the treadmill. Research and develop a routine to get you nice and limber during your pre-workout. Flexibility and readiness will ensure you don’t injure yourself during intense resistance training.
You’re training for results, so it can be tempting to dive into the deep end with weight training. As you progress with weight training you can add more weight and reps over time. This will get you the best results.
When first starting out, try to shoot for 40%-50% of your one rep max in weight. For the uninitiated, the one rep max is the maximum weight you can manage in a single rep. Less than half of that weight is a good place to start with weight training, steadily progressing from there.
Also, start with a lower rep range. Eight to ten reps per set should be fine for a beginner.
Initially, you also want to limit the number of sets you do. Rather than going for multiple sets right away, complete the reps for just one or two sets before building your way up to more.
Don’t push yourself too hard. Allow yourself plenty of time between those sets for your heart rate to recover. Overextension will make your efforts less efficient in the end anyway, as recovery will end up taking longer.
Take Rest Days
Speaking of recovery, if you’re just jumping into resistance training you may not be aware that you’ll need to rest muscle groups to allow for proper recovery.
Typically, 24 to 48 hours is sufficient for a proper recovery time. If you’re on a serious exercise regimen, you’ll likely break your time at the gym into splits for particular muscle groups. Scheduling workouts for individual muscle groups can ensure you’re in a productive cycle of recovery and progress without wasting time on the way to your goals. But, remember that it’s most important to do exercises you enjoy with a consistent schedule.
The best exercise is the exercise you actually do.
Learn Form First
Exercising properly is a skill you have to learn and develop, and it’s vital that you do it. Not only will poor form put you at risk for acute and repetitive stress injuries, but it’ll also seriously stall your progress. Exercises are designed to efficiently apply tension to the target muscles, so working out in the correct form will maximize your return for the time and energy you’re putting in at the gym.
Learning form takes practice like any skill, so be patient and understand it’s worth the effort. It’ll pay dividends over time and could save you from some serious problems down the road.
When eating at a calorie surplus while you’re bulking, don’t destroy the balance of your diet. Just because you’re trying to gain mass doesn’t mean you should practice “dirty bulking,” which involves eating a liberal amount of calorie-dense junk food.
If you trade a balanced, protein-rich diet for junk food, you’re likely to end up with more fat gain than muscle, not to mention the other problems that come with excess sugar, sodium, and carbs.
In general, don’t go crazy with the calorie surplus either. A slight surplus in calories should be sufficient to sustainably build muscle without dramatically changing your diet.
Likewise, don’t eat at a huge deficit when you’re cutting. Keep getting the necessary macros and don’t starve yourself. You may thwart your efforts by disrupting your metabolism to drop weight too quickly.
Weightlifting With EIM Personal Training
If you’re ready to learn the ropes and start building and toning muscle, EIM Personal Training in Mountain Brook, Alabama is here to help. Learn more about our services and book your training today.