Although it’s one of the best things you can do for your body, 60% of adults do no weight training at all! Weight training is the single most important factor in your metabolism, bone health, controlling your weight, and getting stronger.
Despite the fact that it has so many benefits, many people avoid it! If you’ve ever been to the gym and watched bodybuilders train, weight training can strike you as overwhelming. Targeting every muscle to achieve a toned body is a difficult skill to develop, but it’s not as overwhelming as it may seem.
In this guide to weight training for beginners, we hope to demystify the sport and help you build real strength and power. Read on to learn how to create a healthy lifestyle and get strong!
Why Weight Train?
As we mentioned, gaining muscle mass is one of the best things you can do for your body. This is because it provides a ton of benefits. All of the following benefits will give you a new sense of confidence.
Boost Your Metabolism
Although lifting weights doesn’t burn calories in the same way that cardio does, a high metabolism means you burn more calories at rest. So, if you want to maintain a high metabolism, muscle mass is essential! It makes it near effortless to keep a healthy weight and avoid dangerous visceral fat.
You’ve probably heard the myth that after you hit 30, your metabolism starts slowing down significantly. Another myth states that women have naturally slower metabolisms. However, recent studies suggest that muscles mass is the single most important factor in metabolism.
A woman and a man with the same muscle mass will have very similar metabolisms. Likewise, someone at 50 and someone at 20 with the same muscle mass will have very similar metabolisms.
There is a reason that this myth came about. Women have a lower amount of natural muscle mass and as you age it becomes more difficult to maintain muscle. However, anyone can build and maintain muscle mass with a bit of hard work!
As you age, osteoporosis is a severe risk, especially for women. After age 30, your bones begin their breakdown. Your bones will become softer and more brittle, putting you at risk of fractures.
Your bones need to hold weight to stay strong. By challenging your skeleton with weight training, you can maintain bone density over the years.
You don’t have to become a professional bodybuilder to enjoy this benefit. Even simple resistance training and bodyweight exercises will exert force on your bones, allowing them to get stronger.
Strength training also has some great benefits to stave off disease, reduce inflammation, and regulate insulin levels.
Studies show that regular weight training burns more glucose in the bloodstream, which keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels in range. This benefit is indispensable for people with type two diabetes.
Likewise, it can prevent new cases of diabetes and other chronic diseases by giving your immune system and your heart a boost!
It probably doesn’t need saying that strength training will make you stronger in many ways. Even if you don’t train cardio, you’ll find that you have better endurance, power, and coordination.
Strength training can improve balance and coordination, lowering fall risk and increasing your sports performance.
Designing a Weight Training Program
When you start lifting weights, it’s important to break up your exercises by muscle group. For example, you don’t want to train legs two days in a row. Overworking one part of your body will do more harm than good.
In this example schedule, we’ll use a ten-day cycle between the upper body, lower body, core, and whole body. Whole-body means doing both your upper and lower body exercises. It should look something like this:
- Day 1: Upper body
- Day 2: Rest
- Day 3: Lower body
- Day 4: Rest
- Day 5: Core
- Day 6: Rest
- Day 7: Whole body
- Day 8: Rest
- Day 9: Core
- Day 10: Rest
Then, you’ll start the whole cycle over again. You can also rearrange this plan to suit your schedule. If you have a busy few days at work followed by a few light days, skew your schedule so you rest more during the busy time of the week.
You can also do a few workouts on the same day. For example, you can do lower body and core on the same day and then take two days off. This allows you to find a good work-gym balance, so you’re not overwhelmed.
With every exercise, you’ll have to experiment until you find the right weight to begin with. It should be challenging but not too heavy. You don’t want to lift weights that are so heavy that you can’t use proper form.
Begin each exercise with little to no weight so that you can get your form down, then you can begin to build up your muscle.
The first exercise for your upper body is the bicep curl. This exercise targets your biceps, one of the most aesthetically important muscles! Begin standing with a weight in either hand with your palms facing forward.
Then curl your arms so your hands reach your shoulders, then release. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
Follow your bicep curls with tricep kickbacks for a complete upper arm workout. Begin with weights in your hand with your knuckles facing the outside. Hinge at the hips and soften your knees.
Bend at the elbows and extend for 3 sets of 10 reps.
Pull-ups are some of the best exercises for arms and your back. If you can’t complete a pull-up, most gyms have an assisted pull-up machine. Alternatively, you can loop a resistance band around the pull-up bar and stand in the loop.
This will give you a bit of a boost while you do the exercise. Over time, you’ll be able to do pull-ups unassisted! Try to begin with 3 sets of 5 reps, but adjust this number as necessary.
The bread and butter of your lower body routine are squats. Begin by using a dowel so you can perfect your form, then add weight. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and make sure your knees don’t pass your toes on the way down.
Go as low as you can, but you don’t have to push it. Everyone has a different level of flexibility. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
For a total leg burner, try Bulgarian split squats with less weight. Keep one foot on the ground and another on a bench behind you. Then, perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
You can perform hamstring curls with either a machine at the gym or a resistance band. Begin lying on your stomach, and curl your legs in until your feet reach your glutes (or as close as you can get), then release. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
Planks and sit-ups are the classic core exercises. In addition, you can do bicycle curls and leg lifts.
Consider making a circuit of your three favorite core exercises, and perform 3 sets of 1 minute each. For example, your circuit could be 1 minute of planks, 1 minute of sit-ups, and 1 minute of leg lifts. Repeat the circuit 3 times for a total of 9 minutes of core blasting work!
The most important factor in your strength training is regularity. Shoot for three to five days at the gym every week. However, if you need a break, don’t be afraid to take one.
Taking breaks helps your body recover so you can get back to pumping iron.
A bit of muscle soreness is unavoidable, but if your muscles are painful to the touch, take a day off. Also, if you’re unable to complete your sets, take a break! If you’re feeling great and performing well, keep going.
The body isn’t the same every day, so don’t worry if it doesn’t perform the same way every day.
Diet and Nutrition
The most important part of weight training is exercise. The second most important part is your nutrition! The food you fuel your body with will build your muscles, so keep it healthy.
Protein should make up the majority of your diet. A good rule of thumb is one gram of protein for every pound of body weight every day. This will reinforce your muscles so you can build up that muscle mass more easily!
You can also increase your recovery with protein shakes and creatine powder. Fish oil is another great supplement that can reduce inflammation and help you get rid of your muscle soreness.
You can shop for these supplements and more at https://www.wilsonsupplements.com/.
Start Weight Training for Beginners Today
Now that you have the basics for a weight training routine, you can start building your muscle mass and working towards the body you want. Enjoy all the benefits of weight training for yourself today!
With our plan for weight training for beginners you’ll have a great place to start, so give it a try. As you learn more and get stronger, you can start adding more exercises!
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