There seems to be two ways of looking at weight lifting.
One method is to warmup and then progressively increase your weight and decrease your reps like a pyramid, the other is to just do weight sets to failure. Which way is the best way to lift weights?
I always tell people as they are getting started lifting weights that the best way to start is to do a couple of sets of 10 reps per exercise and one exercise per muscle group.
To many of us that have lifted for years this may seem to be a very random and not very effective way to start weight training as a form of exercise but there are in fact two good reasons to start out this way.
Easy Weight Workouts to Start
First when starting to do weights the seemingly simple bench press, or shoulder press, or lat pull down will feel very awkward and unnatural. Doing a couple of sets of 10 reps of these exercises gives you plenty of time to get used to the exercise and make yourself better at the form.
Secondly, when getting started training you find that most of your muscles that do not get used often get very sore the next day and even more sore the day after.
This is a great thing to minimize since after a couple or three weeks of lifting weights you will not get that muscle soreness that you can get initially.
The first day that someone commits to doing training is the day that they want to see results. People are more than willing, especially when getting started, to lift as much weight as many times as they need to.
This is bad, well bad in that you will be so sore the next day that you will never want to go again..
In the excitement of getting started you can not only hurt yourself but if those results do not come the next day you will very quickly stop lifting in disappointment.
How to Weight Train – What Exercises
Instead it is best to start lifting weight as easily and effectively as possible. Pick one exercise per muscle group and then do that exercise for two sets of 10 reps with a break of a couple of minutes in between.
Make sure that you go though the full range of motion on every rep and that you are doing your reps slowly, count two seconds for the going down and another two seconds for the going up.
As for the amount of it is always good to use a lighter weight as you are trying to figure out how much weight that you can lift. If one set is too light and one set is heavier that is fine. You will get a good feel then for your next workout.
Here are a few exercises to get you started
- Chest – Bench Press
- Back – Seated Rows
- Biceps – Bicep Curls
- Triceps – Tricep Pushdowns
- Shoulders – Military Press
- Quadriceps – Leg Press (save the squats for later)
- Hamstrings – Leg Curls
As for the number of times that you are going to do weights, I suggest probably doing this twice in the first week with a couple of days off in between and then three times a week, usually people shoot for Monday, Wednesday, Friday and take the weekend off the weights.
This may seem simple but getting started training is the toughest part and doing this incorrectly will stop you from training forever. Get started today.