So you have decided it is time to begin a weightlifting routine. That pale, hollow chest and those skinny arms are to be transformed. Congratulations! You can get started right away – at least, right after you read these golden rules so that you know what you should and should not do.
If you are over 40, over, seriously unfit or have any health issues, then it is a good idea to check with your doctor before you begin a lifting routine. This does not mean that you cannot go ahead, just get clearance first. Your doctor may want to run some checks or suggest that you begin at a certain level.
To begin a lifting routine requires certain equipment. Weights, obviously … but if you want to work more than one or two muscle groups it is better to have access to more than just a barbell.
You might want to consider joining a gym to take advantage of the equipment there. The staff will often help you figure out a good lifting routine for your current fitness level, too.
Begin a weightlifting routine
Planning Your Workout Schedule
Lifting weights to build muscle requires a certain program. You cannot expect to work out once a week and see much benefit. Here is how to plan your schedule:
- Work out all muscle groups at least once a week.
- Aim for 3-4 training sessions a week (but you may need to start with just two the first few weeks).
- Do not work out any muscle group more than 2-3 times a week.
- Have at least one day off between sessions, where you either do cardio exercise or do not work out at all.
Rest is as important as working out in your routine. The muscles are stressed during the session, and then the body spends the next 24-48 hours repairing and building them. You must give it that time or strength will not have a chance to develop.
Planning to begin a weightlifting routine
When you begin a weightlifting routine it is important to cover all of the muscle groups. Do not ignore the back. All muscles need to be strong to support each other and avoid injury while you are training. These are the main muscle groups and some of the exercises that work them:
Chest: chest press, bench press, pushups.
Shoulders: overhead press, raises
Triceps: tricep extensions
Abs: bicycle crunch, reverse crunch
Back: row machine, back extensions
How Much Weight for your Workout?
When it comes to the actual weight that you use, begin a weightlifting routine with light weights so that you can get used to the exercises and concentrate on form (that is, doing the exercises smoothly and safely, with everything in the right place).
After that, for muscle gain, take a that means you can only do 3 sets of 4-8 reps with a 1-2 minute rest between sets. Anything more will injure the muscles so the body has to spend all its time repairing, and never gets to build.
If you are more focused on losing body fat, not wanting to build huge muscles but just develop some definition, then take a lighter : say one that lets you do 1-3 sets of 10 reps with a half to one minute rest between sets. That means starting out with one set as a beginner, and increasing up to three sets as you become more advanced in your lifting routine.
I know that this seems like a lot of broad strokes but when you begin a weightlifting routine you will need this and then the details will come as you get a few workouts in.