If you’re new to weight training or considering making changes to your physical appearance, there are a lot of things to consider before you start pumping iron safely and effectively.
After all, when it comes to effective weight training, whether it’s with personal trainers in the central of London or just at home in a makeshift gym, no two bodies are the same. But if you’re able to remember these key things, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals.
Start small to avoid injuries
There’s no point in going to the largest possible weights from your very first session. All you’ll do is tear or stretch muscle tissue that hasn’t been prepared to take the brunt of such intense exercises.
Lifting is a long-term plan, so start light and small and build yourself up towards those more impressive feats of strength. Remember, everyone starts somewhere, and you have a long road ahead when it comes to your weight training.
Don’t forget to stretch
This cannot be stressed enough – cold muscles will result in some painful injuries if you aren’t careful. Be sure to stretch for at least ten minutes and do some light exercises to get the blood pumping before a big lift. Our bodies are finely tuned engines, so treat them with respect and care and you’ll soon see the results for yourself.
Big and bulky doesn’t always mean strong
Bulging muscles aren’t always an indicator of great strength. And if you’re planning to enter a weight training program, it’s important to know what your goals are. People with smaller muscles who do fewer repetitions are still intensely training in many cases, with several athletes using this method to increase their strength above the cosmetic aspects of bigger lifts.
Strength training isn’t just about increasing your muscles. It’s an all-encompassing goal that includes discipline, dedication, and the nervous system’s ability to work in tandem with your muscles.
Combine free weights and machine weights
For the best results, a combination of free weights and machine weights can push your muscles to work harder and give them a much more satisfying workout than simply choosing one over the other.
While machine weights may feel more intense and powerful, the machinery itself has a lot of control in regard to the muscles you’re using to push, pull and lift them. With free weights, you’re relying on some of the lesser utilized muscles to move the weight. Use both and give each area a good workout.
Stop comparing yourself to others
We’ve all felt a little intimidated by some of the muscle-bound bodies that push iron in gyms around the world. And in a social media era, scrolling through your phone can make you feel intimated about beginning a weight training regime.
But it’s important to remember that these people are on a different journey to you and that they’re also at a different point in their training. Try to focus on your individual goals, shake off the urge to compare yourself to others, and you’ll soon be lifting more and loving the process at the same time.