Weight training is one of the most common ways to stay fit, but there is a lot of misinformation about best practice and more than a few ways to hurt yourself when you lift incorrectly. If you are about to start your weight training, there are many things to remember which will keep you safe and allow you to see results faster. Let’s cover the basics in this weight training guide before you pick up any equipment so you can get more out of your workout and see measurable results.
Quality home and gym weights
You can buy gym weights from just about anywhere these days, but there is a huge difference in value and quality and you don’t want to find that out the hard way. Look to your leading sports and fitness providers for the best gear, and try to include a variety of weights so that you do a range of weight training to target all muscle groups. Kettlebells are a must, and hand weights will give you the ultimate flexibility in stacking weight and adding further resistance to simple or complex exercises. Alternatively, if you’re looking for whole-body exercises, a squat rack is an effective, simple addition to any home gym setup.
Start modest and strive for high reps, not weights
When you start weight training, it’s important that you leave your ego at the door. Gains will come from more time under pressure and fatiguing from reps rather than heavy weights. Not only that, you want to progress through the weights rather than burning out and hurting yourself at the start with nowhere to go next. Muscles form through small tears but going too heavy can do more damage and will have you recovering on the bench when you could have been consistently creating small tears that result in greater muscle gain. Remember that more weight does not necessarily mean more muscles.
Rest days are important
Rest days deserve a place in every weight trainers week, as this is the time that the muscles repair themselves and start to grow. Overworking one or all of your musicale groups will not allow them to complete the muscle growth cycle, not to mention you won’t be able to beat any PB’s when you are already fatigued and experiencing muscle strain. Some serious weightlifters actually create smart weights plans that target different parts of the body on different days so that you can still complete a 6 or 7-day regiment and still give each muscle group a day or two off the equipment. Cycle through legs, arms, chest, shoulders and core so that every part of your body has ample time to rest and recover while another muscle group is being worked.
Consider a trainer
Personal trainers are not just for those new to the gym. Trainers can be invaluable to people who are looking to go up a weight bracket or improve their form to get better results. A quality personal trainer will have qualifications in muscle growth, anatomy, diet and a number of adjacent areas that contribute to better performance at the gym. If you have been hitting heavy weights for a few months but not seeing the benefit, a trainer might actually place you with lighter weight but deeper exercises that really move the needle in your growth and resistance. If you can’t justify the cost, see a trainer once every few months for a check-in and tune-up to ensure that you are on the right path and approaching the right weight strategy.
This guide should make you feel a little more confident in the gym and form your strategy for how you achieve gains safely. A great foundation starts with great equipment so whether you are working our at home or in a gym, only use the weights that are functional, modern and within your weight class.