Weight training is hotter than ever. With so many types of weight training available, where do you start?
You know instinctively that lifting weights can help you preserve muscle mass and power through daily activities. Yet there are other benefits. Weightlifting can help aging adults stay more independent for a longer period of time. It can even help to reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and obesity.
In this article, we’ll examine how to step up your weightlifting routine in a manner that is appropriate for your lifestyle and level of fitness.
How to safely start lifting weights
The cardinal rule of weight training is balance. This applies whether you’re a professional athlete or just hitting the gym for the first time. Also, pay attention to your bone and muscular structure. Prior injuries may prevent you from performing certain exercises.
Don’t risk any accidents by following these tips for safe weightlifting:
Seek out a personal trainer
These days, many gyms will provide you with an initial consultation with a certified personal trainer. Take advantage of this benefit to map out specific exercises, weight load, and rest periods. They will also highlight what you can safely achieve without overextending your body or overworking specific muscles.
A trainer should not only map out your routine but provide adequate guidance on weightlifting basics. This includes but is not limited to proper positioning, posture, and safety.
As your skills progress, you can confidently perform those repetitions and sets on your own.
You can of course opt into a personal training program, but there are other ways to up the ante. Simple tactics include adding a reasonable amount of weight to the last set of exercises or decreasing your repetitions while increasing the amount of weight or resistance.
Whenever you’re pushing your limits, it’s helpful to have a spotter (an individual who is on hand to assist if you start to falter). This way, you can learn by trial and error, while staying safe.
Focus on weightlifting technique
When undertaken in a balanced manner, weightlifting can offer you a world of benefits. First, it can counter the natural loss of muscle as we age. It also helps you lose fatty tissue while improving your balance, muscle tone, and bone density. Finally, there’s the benefit of improved strength and mobility.
However, take care not to overdo weight training. For example, you may have watched a video or two about a new exercise or by observing others at the gym. Double-check with a certified professional before performing any technique.
Incorrect weight training can lead to painful sprains, fractures, and even injuries. If you’re interested in lifting weights to lose weight, be wary of those who are not certified weight training specialists.
Certified trainers are held to the highest standard when it comes to your safety. Don’t make any compromises.
Here are some exercises that you absolutely need a personal trainer to oversee at the beginning:
● Bench Press
● Dumbbell Flye
Whenever you begin a new exercise, concentrate on making controlled, smooth motions. Breathe, and don’t hesitate to let someone know you need some extra guidance along the way.
Create a weight training schedule
Consider scheduling a monthly session with your trainer to double-check your weightlifting technique and discuss your long-term fitness goals.
There are also some great weight training apps to help you identify any changes you may need to make:
● Fitness Point offers comprehensive details on how exercise affects your muscles, with the ability to track your fitness journey
● Trainerize offers on-demand classes with certified weightlifting and other fitness professionals
● Strong is fantastic for experienced bodybuilders who are looking to overcome weightlifting plateaus
If training at the gym is not a possibility, you can still build muscle at home. Dumbbells, kettlebells, and resistance bands are great options for weightlifting at home. Also consider bodyweight exercises for in-between gym sessions.
Rest and regroup
Gradual intensity and good form will help you strengthen your muscles and joints. With the right weightlifting technique, you will also boost your resilience and prevent future accidents and injuries. Our muscles experience minor tears with each weightlifting session. Taking a day or two in between training sessions will help your body recover.
Finally, always cool down in between sets and warm ups. Exercises such as jumping rope, jumping jacks, walking, and light running or jogging are good options. Also, have a bottle of water handy to stay hydrated throughout your session.
If you do experience any setbacks in your weight training program, remember to be patient with yourself. Keep in mind that your muscles take time to build and heal. Creating a balanced workout plan will help you avoid fatigue and burnout, and reduce your risk of injury.