If you are new to weight training, it can be confusing, intimidating with so much info, so many different techniques .. but don’t panic!
It’s easier to get started than you think .. especially when you consider the AWESOME benefits .. like a smokin’ hot & strong body!
OK, let’s get back to basics …
Seriously, start with the basics
Body weight training is the perfect place to start. Mastering all the basic exercises can get great results and when you vary the intensity of these exercises you can get an amazing workout!
Sometimes when I do body weight sessions both for myself and my clients we can feel it even more the next day than when we train with weights.
Learning to control your amazing body under its own resistance is so empowering and satisfying.
Learn the right techniques
If you aren’t sure, ask for help! This is super important and not only because you will be less likely to injure yourself. The right technique will target the right muscle groups that you are wanting to work, which means you will get more benefit, better results and faster!
I’m a bit of a stickler for the right technique, so if you are unsure and you haven’t perfected your technique yet allow yourself to practice a bit more with a lighter weight. It is so much more beneficial lifting a slightly lighter weight with amazing technique and range of motion than letting your ego take over and going heavy with only half the range of motion you should be using and crappy technique!
If you need a little advice & guidance to get started, ask a PT or exercise professional. It is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that you want to get it right!
Don’t go too hard too soon
We’ve all made this mistake. And as a PT I cringe when I hear that another PT has smashed their client in the first few training sessions, then hearing that the client was unable to walk for 4 days because their legs were so sore! You need to be able to get on with life and most of us need to be able to get around with having to wince everytime you see a set of stairs or a toilet.
A little bit of soreness is absolutely fine, and most people like to feel that they “have done something” .. I get that, I love that feeling too! When starting out, this isn’t what we are aiming for. We are aiming to getting your body used to moving in a new way .. too much too soon can lead to lots of pain in everyday activities, possible injury and even illness if you body is fighting hard to repair itself.
This also applies if you are coming back to training after some time off, take it a little bit easier than you did before you finished up last training session and let your body get used to it again!
Build up gradually
Following on from not going too hard too soon, building up your strength gradually is called progressive overload. For strength to be gained, muscles to be “toned” you need to gradually increase the demand placed on your muscles and body. It does not happen in the first week of training! But, if you don’t overload progressively you won’t get the results! Challenge yourself!
That being said, your body is an incredible machine and will adapt to challenges very quickly providing you are consistent in your training.
To progressively overload your body you can do it in a number of ways …
* adding more weight to the exercise you already to eg body weight squat => weighted squat
* adding more reps to your set eg starting at 10 reps of the exercise then increasing to 12 or 15
* making the exercise more difficult eg push up on knees => push up on toes
A note to remember, always make sure your technique is spot on before you overload to reduce the risk of injury.
Quality not Quantity
A quality workout will always win hands down. You don’t need to smash yourself every time you workout, nor do you have to crawl out of the gym or push yourself to the point of vomiting to get results.
Muscle soreness is not always an indicator of a great workout .. this can be a sign of overdoing it or over training or using incorrect technique, all of which will slow down the results you want. Refer again to the too much too soon note above.
When starting out strength training, it is not necessary to train every single day. A full body strength workout 2 – 3 times per week will absolutely get you results when you are starting out. As you progress and get fitter and stronger you could look to splitting your training and adding extra sessions to your usual routine.
Most importantly focus on the results you want and how you want to feel from strength training. Quality not quantity!
Focus on what your body CAN do
Sometimes it needs to be more than the number on the scales. But that number does not always show the signs of improvement no matter how hard you try. Focus on the things your body can do .. more push ups, heavier deadlifts or squats .. these are the signs of improvement that you won’t see on the scales, but they are signs that your body is stronger and fitter than it was yesterday!
Be proud and confident of your body and how strong it is .. Be grateful for your body and the amazing things it can do. You really are stronger than you think!
Stop worrying about what others think or do .. it’s all about YOU!
It’s hard not to allow yourself to be intimidated when you are just starting out, especially if you are feeling a little self conscious.
Do you follow “inspirational” people or pages on Facebook or Instagram? Do you sometimes look at them and wonder how you are ever going to look like that or be able to eat that healthy every single day … stop right now! Unfollow them, delete them if you have to! Your health & fitness, your workouts are not about looking like someone else, or working out like someone else .. it’s about looking like YOU and exercising the way YOU can exercise. Get your focus back to your own workout and doing what works for YOU. You don’t have to lift as heavy as someone else, or do the same exercises as someone else … what works for others may not work for you, it may even be to your detriment!
Ok, are you ready to start lifting weights and getting stronger, leaner and feeling confident in your body?
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to book in for 1-1 PT to find out more about getting the results you want, shoot me an email here.
For more real life hints & tips, workouts & recipes to keep you motivated make sure you register for my Health & Fitness Refresh here.