This page is dedicated to weight training for beginners. If you are just starting out, and you need to know the basics, this is the place! You will read about technique, proper form, supplements, tips, exercises, and more. If you have any further questions, please contact us, we are here to help! Also, check out workout motivation; a great place for weight trainers of all experience to share stories, pictures, and tips!
This is the single most important thing weight training for beginners must learn, and to continue to throughout practice your whole weight training career. First and foremost, it prevents injury. Your health and safety is always the main concern. You want to maintain proper form throughout EVERY exercise, regardless of whatever circumstances.
This is such a problem and gym now days. Everywhere you look some one is doing something completely wrong. It is important to get informed now so you do not make the same mistakes They are either doing the exercise wrong, or they are cheating. What I mean by cheating, is that they are tweaking the exercise to make it easier. They could either be using their momentum, swinging, arching their back etc.
With form comes focus. It takes extreme focus to have good form. Focus on good form, and completing every repetition with your greatest effort.
If you cannot properly lift the weight you are doing, then why lift it? LOWER THE WEIGHT.
You or somebody else is going to end up hurt if you do these type of things. Do not be that person in the gym swinging back and forth on barbell curls, or arching their back on bench press. Oh, that reminds me, do not bounce the weight off of your chest while bench pressing. That is completely wrong and it makes you look like a novice. Weight training for beginners can be exciting, this does not mean you shouldn't be properly informed.
Train with a weight you can handle properly on every exercise. This is how you see results, stay injury free, and lay a solid foundation for your future. This is the number one thing to remember in weight training for beginners.
Techniques is an important thing to know in weight training for beginners. You can use to make your workout better, and perhaps help you see results quicker. They are also a great tool to challenge yourself in your weight training as a beginner and later on as you advance. Use these techniques in your beginners weight training workouts.
Supersets: A superset is when you complete one exercise, and move directly into another one without resting. For example, say you are doing flat dumbbell bench press. You complete your set of eight, and then right after you move into flat dumbbell fly's. Drop the weight you were using for the bench press with the dumbbells, and grab a proper weight for the fly's. Take minimal time to do this, like said before.
This is a great way to challenge your muscles and confuse them. Catch your muscles off guard with this and force them to grow! Remember, do not always use this technique, as your body will get used to it. If you train chest once a week for a whole month example, use this technique twice maybe, or do it for all four weeks, whatever floats your boat! The main thing is to keep your muscles guessing to promote growth. This is a favorite technique among weight training for beginners as well as the more experienced type.
Drop Sets: These are also know as triple-drops or breakdowns. For example, say you are on a shoulder press machine. You complete a set of 12 with 80 pounds, immediately after, you drop the weight to 70 and complete another 10 repetitions. You can take it a step further and then drop the weight down to 60 and do 8 final repetitions.
Usually, at the end of each set of repetitions, you reach failure, that is why you drop the weight. The most times you usually want to drop the weight is three times, so a total of three combined sets is the recommended amount. This technique is commonly done on machines because it is so fast and easy to change the weight, but can also be done with free weights as well.
Again, the main point with this is to shock the muscle. Remember though, you do not want do this for every exercise in any given muscle group. You should stick with one drop set per muscle group for that day. You could do 2 for each muscle group but that is the max. Also, do not use this technique long term. It as meant as a tool to shock your muscles, and you wouldn't be doing that if you did it all the time!
Partial Reps: This is another great way to promote muscle growth. A partial rep is when you reach the end of your set and you cannot complete another full repetition. This is when partial reps come into effect.
Say you are curling a straight barbell. You complete 10 repetitions, and have reached failure, you try to complete another repetition as complete as possible. This means you will probably lift it half 3/4 of the way up. On the next partial repetition, you may lift it 1/2 of the way up, and the final one might be 1/4. You are now taking your muscle failure to a whole new level. You will experience a good pump from this as well. This is a great way to promote new muscle and challenge your body.
Supplements should play a minor role in weight training for beginners, and progressively become more prominent as experience is acquired. Your main focus should be your diet, and doing the exercises correctly in your routine. This is what gets you muscle and into shape, not taking weight training supplements left and right.
If anything, you could take a daily vitamin or whey protein directly after your workout. The whey protein gets absorbed fast and will aid in muscle recovery. Do not skip out on your post workout meal however. This should come as soon as possible. The sooner you give your body nutrients the sooner it can get to work. If you want to learn more about supplements, you can always visit the weight training supplements page.
Here we have all the little things that add up to major importance in weight training for beginners as well as those of you with experience. First, always remember to eat. Eat 30-60 minutes before your workout. This way you are fueled for your training. There is nothing like crashing half way through your workout because your body is running on fumes. It works the same way a car does, if you have no gas, your're not getting anywhere. Also, remember to eat as soon as you can after your done training. A whey protein shake would also be good.
Have a plan. This means, before you enter the gym, make sure you know what you are doing. Do not go in there without a routine in mind. Pick a routine from this website, or a different one you prepare and be ready to go. Do not walk in and choose random exercises to do, this is how you waste time and lose out on results.
You need to be prepared and have a set schedule, this is how you progress and see results. If motivation is an issue for you, you made need to read up on some good tips to get some weight lifting motivation.
Track your progress. It may be smart to bring a workout journal/notebook to track your progress on. Write down each exercise for that day, and log the amount of repetitions and weight you did for each set and exercise. This way, next week you can challenge yourself with harder weight, and not use the same thing you did last week. This helps you see for yourself the amount of weight you did the previous week instead of trying to remember.
Rest. Weight training for beginners can be tricky in that most do not know the importance of simple rest. Do not over train. Listen to your body, if your body hurts or if it is sore, then stay home. This is a common mistake among weight training for beginners. You have to listen to the signals it is sending you.
It is not a very good idea to train a muscle group that is sore and not properly recovered. This is called "over training." It can lead to injury, catabolism, stagnant results, and a feeling of being burned out. Do not workout for 3-4 days in a row. You gain the most muscle while you are resting.
Get a partner. When you have a partner, they can help you when lifting heavy weight. This is especially important in weight training for beginners. Exercises like bench press and squats for example can be dangerous, having someone spot you is a good idea. They can also make sure you have proper form at all times. They can help with forced repetitions, and serve as great motivators. If you cannot find a permanent workout partner, don't be afraid to ask someone for help.
Warm up. Warming up is so important! A common mistake most will make in weight training for beginners. They just want to get started right away! Warming up helps prevent cramps, tears, and pulls. A low intensity cardio session (5-10 minutes) before your workout is great, it gets the blood flowing and prepares your body for lifting weight and burning fat.
When training with weights, do a warm up set of around 15 repetitions for each muscle group you are training. The weight should be light/moderate. The whole idea is to prepare your muscles for the working set, which is heavier. You will stretch your muscles, practice the form, and reduce risk of injury. Also, it will promote blood flow to your muscles.
Stay Hydrated. As we all know, hydration is important. Staying hydrated is not only essential to life, but it helps with your fitness goals. It is also essential to the endurance during your weight training. A gallon of water a day is recommended throughout the day.
You get water from the foods you consume, and the liquids you drink, so not all of it has to be from water itself. Just remember to drink water throughout the day, during your workout, and before you sleep. Hydration is the key to effective weight training and proper recovery.
Weight training for beginners can be a rewarding new experience, just remember to follow the proper precautions and you will be just fine.
Do you have any tips, techniques, or information that beginners would find useful? Every one would love to read them. The more information we have the more beneficial for every one! Please share!