Often when we talk about adding exercise to your routine we focus on cardio or aerobic workouts. Weight-lifting is often reserved for those who take fitness to the extreme. What if what we’ve always thought about weight lifting was wrong? It turns out weight lifting isn’t just for muscle bound Mr. Universe types. Adding weight-lifting to your routine can help in a number of ways. The current recommendation for lifting weights is two to three times per week if following a beginner’s weightlifting routine. In order to get started safely, follow these tips.
Talk to your doctor
Before starting any exercise program, talk to your doctor to ensure that any weight-lifting activities are done correctly and won’t exacerbate any existing pain conditions.
Practice without weights
Use anything in your house to learn the basic motions of proper weight lifting. Review videos or websites about the proper techniques and use things like a broom handle or a flashlight to learn how to lift properly.
Add light weight
Once you know the proper technique, add a small amount of weight and begin reps. Use this light weight and do ten reps. If your muscles feel nearly exhausted after this, you are starting with the best weight. If not, add a little more until you reach that feeling.
Take an introductory weight-lifting class
An expert can help you with your form and motivate you to try harder. Your local gym may have a free introductory weightlifting class. Bring a friend and give it a try.
Listen to your body
Certain weightlifting exercises target certain muscle groups. If you are using a technique that targets the upper back but your arms are feeling tired, you may be doing it wrong. Look at what you can correct and try again.
Just because you start to feel more comfortable with light weights doesn’t mean you should stop there. When things become just a little too easy it is time to up the ante.
Add variety to your routine
Not only will your muscles get tired of the same old exercises every day, your mind will too. Change up the routine every day to add variety.
Muscle building is hard work so don’t be afraid to take breaks. Rest one day between weightlifting exercises. This is a good time to add low impact cardio into your exercise schedule.
What resources do you have in your community to start weightlifting?