Lifting weights is one of the best things you could ever do for your health. No matter who you are, what you enjoy, how old you are, it doesn’t matter. Weights don’t discriminate. When you’re just starting out, though, like anything, there’s always some advice people would love to give to their younger selves. Listening to that advice can be some of the most valuable insight you could ever receive. In light of that, we’ve put together some of the best advice we’d give anyone new to weight training, with tips to help them get the most out of it.
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- Form is Better Than Weight
- Volume Does Not Equal Growth
- Rep Speed is Important
- Compound Exercises for Beginner Gains
- You Can’t Out-Train Your Diet
- Don’t Run Before You Can Walk
- Be Patient, Track Progress, Set Goals
1. Form is Better Than Weight
First and foremost, some of the best weight training advice you could ever get, no matter where you are in your training, is that form is more important than weight. Thinking that you can bench 100KG off the bat is all well and good, but if you’re doing it wrong, not only are you not making the most of your effort, but you’re putting yourself in danger too.
It’s the same with any exercise.
Before you go throwing any weight around, start with a weight that’s light and controllable until you learn the best way to do it safely and you’re confident with what you’re doing. There’s way more to weight training than just up and down. Practise!
2. Volume Does Not Equal Growth
While we’re on the topic of doing things properly, let’s also take a second to talk about your sets. There are tonnes of different set styles you can try out there, and they all have a strong something to offer you and your progress. No one denies that. If you have a particular reason for what you’re doing, then that’s fine. What isn’t fine is doing as many sets of as many reps as possible to see results.
The volume of reps does not equal muscle gained. That much is vital to know. Don’t do 1000 reps of each exercise and expect to see huge muscle growth as a result. It doesn’t quite work like that, and you can do yourself some real damage. Pick a reasonable set style and try to stick to it. Train smart.
3. Rep Speed is Important
As well as volume or reps, another awesome bit of weight training advice is to watch what you’re doing with each rep. You know how important your form and technique is now. Use that awesome info to make sure you aren’t going too fast. It’s such an easy mistake to make, and it can have really bad effects on your training.
Take each rep nice and slow. There are no prizes for speed here. Each rep should take around 5 seconds, and any faster than that will probably build momentum, which is ruining your exercise. Breathe, concentrate and control your weight.
4. Compound Exercises for Beginner Gains
The last thing we’ll look at in terms of actually lifting the weight and how you’re doing it is just a little top for true beginners to weight lifting. One of the best things that you can do to maximise your newfound love for weight lifting is to use compound exercises. Any exercise that uses more than one muscle at a time is a good place to start.
Doing compound exercises is an awesome way to build your functional strength and really make the most of your time and of your effort. When it comes to getting the best results from your workouts, that’s one of the best ways to do it. You’re using more muscles, lifting more weight, and training each one more often. As a result, you’ll get your results off to a turbo-charged start.
5. You Can’t Out-Train Your Diet
Moving away from exercise itself, there are a few other things that you should know about to make sure you’re helping your weight training. One of the biggest is to make sure you are watching what you eat. So many people think that eating as much as possible and training as much as possible is the best way to build muscle. In reality, that can be so bad for your health that you might not believe it.
It’s true that you need to be making a calorie surplus to build muscle. We do not deny that. However, to get the most out of your performance, results, and health, make sure you eat the right things. Eat more carbs before and after you train, protein to help build muscle afterwards and healthy fats to help your body recover. Eating a tonne of fried chicken doesn’t do those things well. Remember, you can’t out-train a bad diet.
6. Don’t Run Before You Can Walk
Next up is to make sure that you don’t try and run before you can walk. Don’t walk into the gym and try to do the same weight as the biggest person in there. Weight training doesn’t work like that, and you’ll do your body more bad than good. Start small, as we said, with the proper form argument and do what feels best for you.
Too many people walk in, train seven days a week, and injure themselves. Make sure that you aren’t one of them and just take things one workout at a time. Find the life/exercise balance and make sure your fitness is something you can enjoy. That’s the only way you’ll keep it up long term, and it’s solid weight training advice, as well as a general gym/exercise tip.
7. Be Patient, Track Progress, Set Goals
Lastly and possibly most important of all, we have to say how important it is that you be patient. Don’t expect the world, don’t push too hard, and don’t expect instant results. All that you’ll do is hurt yourself or demotivate yourself. Both of them will stop your progress in its tracks.
One of the best weight training tips you could ask for is to be smart in your training. Track your progress and what weights you’re lifting. Plan when your workouts are going to be the easiest to fit in. Take days off when you need to. Spice up your training. Set yourself long- and short-term goals. All of these things are just logical steps to planning ahead, and they’ll all do miracles for your progress in the long run.
Everyone will have different advice to tell you, but everyone who knows about their weight training will agree with these points. If you need any more help, get in touch with exercise.co.uk for free advice or check out more articles in the learn area. Good luck with your new weight training!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.