Weight Training for beginners

Weight Training For Beginners

If you are new to exercising or fallen off the wagon for some time, then you might be confused on how to get on track. You might be tempted to go right into the daily workout routine so that you can make up for lost time. However, this will only lead to misery, soreness, and sometimes to an injury.

Some people might think of doing cardio but there is something that you really need to do. Shouldn’t you have to lose some amount of weight before you begin to lift weights? Especially if you are a woman, you would have constant glare when you get bulky or gain some pounds. Here the short and simple answer is no. Gaining muscles is hard and it is even for men who have the right kind of testosterone for it, which is something that women don’t have.

Keep in mind that wherever you are in your fitness journey, you need to know that lifting weights is significant for creating lean muscle mass, burning more calories each day and becoming stronger. So, are you really feeling overwhelmed with regards to where to begin?

Here are the first few steps to having a basic understanding of what you want to do and how you are going to develop a workout schedule for your fitness goals and levels.

Significance Of Lifting Weights

It is true that exercising is better than not doing any exercise, still strength training plays a major role in any kind of weight loss program and there are numerous benefits involved –

  • Burning More Fat – Not many people know that muscle is kind of metabolically active compared to fat. So, the more you are having it, the more calories you will burning all day.
  • Avoiding Injuries – If you have strong muscles, it means you are having much stronger bones and connective tissue. These simply contribute to a physical body which can easily withstand any kind of stress compared to people who don’t lift weights.
  • Making You Young – Various studies have shown that resistance training will easily enhance the heart health, lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, reduce lower back pain and increase the density of the bone and easing the symptoms of the fibromyalgia and arthritis.
  • Boosting Confidence – Whenever you master something, it will easily boost the confidence in you.

When you are beginning to lift weights, you need to make sure that you don’t have any medical conditions, illness, or injuries. Get a medical clearance from the doctor.

Starting To Exercise

Now before you start engaging in any kind of weight lifting exercises, there are few things you need to keep in mind –

  • Know Basic Principles Of Strength Training. Before you jump into the bandwagon of weight training, you need to be aware of basic rules and regulations of strength training. The basic rules can help you to know more about weight training and help you to get the best health and body.
  • Begin With a Simple Program. Here you need to focus on the exercise or weight training that covers all muscle groups in one to three non-consecutive days of a week. Try to do exercises which can targets all the major group of muscles, especially with the compound moves that assists in creating a robust foundation to work.
  • You need to warm up with 8-10 minutes of extensive cardio or with warm up set of each kind of light exercises. Also, warm muscles are less susceptible to any kind of injury.
  • Select one or two exercise from the muscle group that your trainer recommends and you need to continue with one to two sets of about 8-20 repetitions of exercising. If you are a beginner, you need to begin with 12 reps till you are feeling comfortable with the moves and building good amount of strength. Once you are able to do that you can then slowly add more weight or even reduce the weight for that matter.
  • Now if you are exercising in the gym, you might really start with machines, thereby giving more stabilization with each movement. Certain gyms provide free orientations, so it will be better if you can take advantage of it and try to get accustomed to the basic programs offered by them.
  • If you are doing exercises at home, you really have to invest in certain basic equipment like the exercise ball, resistant band weights, etc.
  • Besides the regular exercise, you need to provide yourself with at least a single day for taking rest. Of course, you might have to take more days after the first workout session to recover. Keep in mind that rest days are very much important in muscle tissues repair. It is better if you don’t work on the same muscle group in two days in a given week.
  • Also, each week, you can add or do one repetitive exercise or follow few pounds of weight along with each exercise to progress. Here you need to keep your reps to about 15 or below. So, as you hit the 15 or 16 reps, you slowly need to increase the weight and then drop your reps to about 8-12 reps. Also, anything that is more than 20 will not provide the required muscle or strength that you need depending on your end goal focus.
  • The major aim is to challenge yourself, not kill yourself. On the first few weeks, you need to simply focus on learning the method of doing each exercise rather than keeping track of how much weight you want to lift or even the number of exercise that you are doing. Frankly, you got plenty of time to create good amount of muscles.
  • Now after you have undergone 5 to more weeks of extensive consistent training, you should really change your routine and try to make it a bit more tough.

Common Mistakes For Avoiding

  • One of the common mistake that people make while doing weight training is using too much of weights. And that to too soon; most health and gym experts feel that you need to start lower than what your ability is and slowly move up your way to the so called first workout.
  • Now if you are swinging the weight, or your form is taking a hit or using a huge amount of momentum, then it is the indication that there is too much weight. Using a huge amount of momentum is dangerous and it can lead to various injuries and sometimes it can even reduce the effectiveness of the muscle which you are trying to develop.
  • Another mistake is not using the required weight. Most people believe in playing safe, however, if you have the stamina to do 40 reps with a certain weight, then you have to really start to increase it a bit. Most gym experts feel that you must increase the weight by 2-5% after each time.
  • Faster repetitions or going too quick. You need to realize is that you can gain nothing if you are lifting weight quickly. There are certain perks if you lift weight in controlled and slow way. In such way, it will use more muscle tension under force, providing more muscle fibre activation in fast and slow twitch fibres. Just keep in mind that a joint is as strong as when the muscles cross. So, if you didn’t lift or take heavy weights in long time, you must be careful about the joints.
  • Not taking enough rest or even resting for a long time. Both of these factors can be a killer for your daily workout. It is better if you take about 40-80 seconds for the overall fitness.

How To Do Training?

Now the first thing you must do is think about the kind of strength training you like or should do. This particular aspect simply depends on the type of equipment you have and what kind of goals you are looking to achieve. The following are some of the programs that you can follow-

Body weight Training

The first step for weight training for beginners is body weight training. For doing body weight exercise, you simply need less equipment (or nothing at all) and most importantly you can train from anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you are at a hotel or at home, or in your office or at a playground. It all depends on the kind of space you have, which means that as long as you have the required space for moving around, you can fit in workouts which adjusts with the busy schedule of yours.

If you are planning on doing body weight training, you must grab the pull-up bar or the available set of gymnastic rings. Now if you are standing out, take the assistance of an exercise band so that you can do movements like dips or pull ups.

But these aren’t required, you have the option to do body training without any kind of equipment. Here the basic downside of body weight exercise is that you would consistently have to modify your exercise and its difficulty level so that you are leveling up and progressing.

Dumbbell Training

Another method of weight training is using dumbbells and this is one of the best ways to start. Most gyms you visit or do training at will be having good set of dumbbells, irrespective of where it is located, i.e. in the apartment complex. So, if you are training at home, you need to get some adjustable dumbbells which won’t take up a huge amount of space.

Another fact is that dumbbells make it quite easy for adding certain amount of weight to a movement. Also, compared to the barbell training, dumbbells are less intimidating. Starting with a 40 lb barbell, it might be a too much weight initially.

The biggest downside of the dumbbells is that you might have to outgrow whatever you are buying immediately and even then there are certain dumbbells which are expensive. You can go for gym membership for having dumbbells which can go more than 100 lbs and that can solve the issue.

Barbell Training

One of the favourite workouts among people is using barbell. So, if you are looking for strengthening, this is the best option that you can do. The best part of barbell exercising is that it allows you to progress quickly and clearly, thereby allowing you to slowly add some nice increments of weight each week. Since barbell are quite stable (where you are using two hands instead of a single one), it is much better if you can go for a heavier one, which is suitable for lower body exercising like dead lift and squat.

Now if you are planning on exercising like the press or squat, you must utilize the rack for reloading and loading safely with heavy weights. However, there is a huge downside to barbell training. For doing it at home, you need to have a barbell, a squat rack, a bench and enough weight in your garage or house (seriously, this is an expensive investment when you are starting out).

Now the question is what is the most suitable form of strength training? Here it goes down to a single one which you would like to do. In terms of strength, you can go for barbell training. But if you don’t see yourself in driving into the gym for three days in a week, try to go for a different plan. In the same way, body weight training might feel convenient however, you aren’t motivating yourself while you are working out at home. It is better if you go with another option.

Sometimes you may feel new to this so called strength training stuff and if you are really hoping to jump into this program and go from zero to sixty, then it is the recipe for failure. Here you should not simply dive into routine without having the knowledge of the basic movements first or else the workout plan will go against you.

Wrapping Up

Now that you have the plan, the exercise, and know what you need to do, just follow the given instructions below. No doubt, it can be tough doing weight training for beginners, but it is not something that is unachievable.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.