Want to start strength training but don’t know what to do to lift weights safely, or even where to begin? Don’t worry. Our 9 strength training tips for beginners will have you lifting like a pro.
9 Strength Training Tips for Beginners
- Learn good form – Proper form will keep you from getting injured while strength training. You must know proper form for ANY strength training exercise you want to do. A trainer should be able to demonstrate form for any exercise you wish to learn, so don’t be afraid to ask.
- Don’t overdo it – Beginners sometimes make the mistake of being too gung-ho with a strength training program. After a day of weight lifting, your muscles need to rest and recover. Leave 24 to 48 hours of rest in between strength training days to not tax your muscles. On the rest days, you can perform cardio if you still want to work out.
- Breathe correctly – You need to breathe while you lift weights, and the correct breathing pattern is to inhale when you release weight and exhale when you push, lift, or pull weight.
- Target muscle groups 2-3 times per week – Too much or too little weight lifting can either cause injury or leave you not progressing toward strength training goals. Experts recommend that you work a muscle group 2-3 times per week.
- Don’t rush it – When strength training, focus on keeping a steady pace instead of rushing through those reps. Momentum will make it easier to move that weight, but it will also sacrifice your strength training gains. If you find yourself rushing, try counting to three as you raise or lower the weight to slow your pace.
- Know when to increase your weight – As you do more strength training, you will naturally get stronger and need to increase the amount of weight. As a general guideline, the last set should be harder than the first and the last few reps should be very challenging. If you’re tearing through all sets/reps, up your weight.
- Switch it up – To really work your muscles, you need to use different exercises. Learn new ways to work muscle groups so you continue to challenge your muscles and do not get bored with your weight lifting routine.
- Use dumbbells over machines – Nautical machines may seem beginner friendly, but it’s better for you in the long run if you learn how to work with dumbbells. They work your muscles harder than a machine, and allow you to address muscle imbalances.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – Whether it’s help spotting while you lift weights or help learning proper form, do not be afraid to ask for help in the gym whenever you need it. Most other gym-goers will be happy to lend a spot. All of our trainers will also help you in the gym with a quick tip. For more help, schedule a personal training appointment.
Did we leave anything out in our roundup of 9 strength training tips for beginners? If so let us know in the comments what other advice you’d give folks new to strength training.