So, you have recently been introduced to the world of weightlifting but all you see is people who have been going for years and have no idea where to start.
Look no further.
When going into weightlifting it is important to remember that everyone started at the beginning and to not get sucked into the social media gym landscape. All of your work should be set up for YOU first and foremost.
Now, with that in mind there are 9 steps to set yourself up for success in this workout.
First, you want to set your goals. This means looking at what you are trying to achieve from lifting whether that is to build up strength, increase body mass, or just to enhance your overall fitness. With each of these goals you will approach lifting differently. This brings us to step two.
Learn the basics. Work to familiarize yourself with the fundamental principles of weightlifting. Understand the difference between compound exercises (which engage multiple muscle groups) and isolation exercises (which target specific muscles). Through learning about these exercises you can also look specifically at what will work for your goals. You can find specific information from video tutorials, articles, or get a personal trainer that can move you towards your goals.
Which ever route you decide you will need to make sure all of your workouts are being done with correct form to avoid injury. This takes us to step three: Start Slow and Focus on Technique. When beginning weightlifting, it's crucial to start with lighter weights to focus on proper form and technique (Do not expect to jump in and squat 225 like all of the fitness influencers). This helps prevent injuries and ensures you're targeting the intended muscles effectively. Don't rush into heavy lifting; instead, focus on mastering the movements and gradually increase the weight as your form improves.
As you get more comfortable with the different movements and lifts it is a good idea to create a well-rounded training plan, part five. Developing a well-rounded training plan is key to progressing in weightlifting. Include a variety of exercises that target different muscle groups, such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, bench presses, shoulder presses, rows, and pull-ups. People do this by creating workout "splits." There are various ways to do this so be sure to look into each type to see not only what way works towards your goals but you enjoy. You should aim to work out at least three times a week, allowing for rest and recovery days between sessions.
After you feel you can do the various workouts fairly well along with your breakdown of days you also need the breakdowns and how to optimize your workout. You do this with part six: Understand reps, sets, and rest. In weightlifting, repetitions (reps) refer to the number of times you perform a particular exercise, while a set is a group of reps. To build strength and muscle, aim for a combination of different rep ranges. For example, perform 8-12 reps per set for muscle hypertrophy and 4-6 reps per set for strength gains. Remember to rest between sets, typically around 1-3 minutes, to allow your muscles to recover.
Along with the numbers you do you also want to continue to add weight as often as you can with proper form also known as progressive overload, step seven. To continually challenge your muscles and promote growth, incorporate progressive overload into your training plan. Progressive overload involves gradually increasing the weight, reps, or sets over time. This progression stimulates muscle adaptation and helps you avoid plateauing in your progress.
But you will not see the results you want step eight is crucial: Ensure proper nutrition and recovery. Weightlifting requires proper nutrition to support muscle growth and repair. Consume a balanced diet that includes adequate protein (having trouble getting the protein you need? Here is a blog post to help find good protein options at your grocery store), carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Protein powders, like the ones we have at Paragon, also can help reach higher protein goals to push your goals even further. Stay hydrated and consider incorporating post-workout recovery strategies, such as stretching, foam rolling, and getting sufficient sleep.
Finally, stay consistent and be patient. Consistency is key in weightlifting as in many forms of exercise. Results take time, so stay dedicated to your training plan and make weightlifting a regular part of your lifestyle. Celebrate small victories along the way and remember that progress is a journey.
Remember to take this new journey one step at a time. It will take hard work and dedication but weightlifting can be for anyone and everyone and that is including YOU! So, go out there and get it done!