How to Start Weight Training as a Beginner

How to start weight training

Lifting weights can help you achieve your goal of developing muscle or getting in shape. You will need to keep a positive attitude and be willing to work hard.

Before starting a lifting program, let your doctor know that you plan to do so, especially if you have a chronic illness or take any types of medications. Once your doctor gives the green light, consider joining a gym. You can find a gym in most neighborhoods or online at Gym Finder

How to start weight training

What do you need to start weight training?

If you choose to join a gym, ask someone at the front desk about any costs and fees. Many gyms charge an initiation fee. Gyms typically provide all of the equipment you’ll need for weight training, but some people prefer to have their own weights and bench at home, which can often be purchased for less than $100 a piece. How you set up your weight training routine depends on your personal preferences and needs. If you start at home, you’ll need a full array of weights and a sturdy bench that can hold additional weights. You may also want to purchase an adjustable cable machine for more versatility in exercises.

After setting up your space at home or at the gym, do a few light warm-up exercises to prepare your body for the weight training session. Warming up before each set can help prevent injury. Stretch and do some jumping jacks, run in place or ride an exercise bike for five minutes.

Pick a weight training program

Pick a weight training program (some good ones include: Muscle and Fitness Hers and Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises  ). You can use a program as a guide to help you learn the different weight training exercises.

Pick a weight training plan

Pick an appropriate time to work out . Some people prefer mornings because it may reduce the chance of injury and improve concentration. Others prefer evenings so they can work out after work or on the weekends. You may also want to alternate workouts for specific body parts so you don’t overwork one muscle while allowing another part of your body to rest.

Consider hiring a weight training coach

If you’re not familiar with weight training exercises, consider hiring a weight training coach. A coach will be able to assess your specific needs and help keep you on track to reach your goals.

If you can’t afford a coach but still want to weight train, hire a personal trainer for just one session to learn the basics of weight training. However, it’s important to note that trainers are not licensed or regulated in most states. Therefore, be sure to do your research before hiring a trainer. Related: How to Get a Six Pack without Losing Your Gut

Prep your muscles before you start.

Start with one set of eight to 12 repetitions. As you start to lose weight, you may find that you have to increase the number of sets almost daily to keep seeing results.

Prep your muscles before you start. Start with one set of eight to 12 repetitions. As you start to lose weight, you may find that you have to increase the number of sets almost daily to keep seeing results.

Rest for about 60 seconds between each set. This gives your muscles time to recover from strenuous activity. If you rest more than 90 seconds, this may compromise your strength and slow down progress.

Keep a workout or training log. Write down the weight you used, the number of sets and repetitions you completed. This will help you track your progress and adjust your exercises accordingly.

Eat protein and carbohydrates

Don’t forget to eat protein and carbohydrates after a workout. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, so try lean meats such as fish, skinless chicken or turkey, low-fat dairy products, beans, or soy products. Some research suggests that adding carbs immediately after a strength workout may lead to larger increases in muscle size than eating protein alone.

Be sure to eat plenty of healthy foods throughout the day. How much you need depends on your weight, gender, age, and how active you are. A good rule of thumb is to eat about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day. To estimate your daily calorie needs during weight loss, multiple your weight by 12 if you’re sedentary or 16 if you burn more than 2,000 calories in an average day (for example, a 180-pound [82 kg] person who burns 2,400 calories daily would need 3,360 calories [180 x 16]).

Schedule regular workouts—but don’t go overboard.

You don’t have to work out every day to see results. In fact, your body will get too used to the same workout if you do it all of the time. To reach your goals, try working out three times a week with at least one rest day in between. Your muscles need time to recover from a strenuous workout.

The best results come from consistent training. Aim to work out four to six times a week, 45 minutes per day, with an occasional rest day or reduced workout. Follow this plan for at least three months before switching it up for a tougher, more advanced routine.

Now that you know how to start weight training as a Beginner, track your progress over time to keep yourself motivated and on track to meet your fitness goals.