To the most of the “laic” world, weight lifting seems like a very simple affair – You go to gym, lift until you can lift no more and your muscles grow as a result. It is only when we start implementing this severely lacking strategy we see that the list of things that separates an average Joe from an average Arnold goes way beyond the number of reps. Do not make such mistake and cripple your chances of succeeding from the get-go. Here are few tips that should help you to start your weight-lifting journey on the right foot.
Have a Clear Goal
Did you know that the regular gym newbie is capable of packing as much as 9kg (20 pounds) of lean muscle mass over the course of just one year? The only way this amazing progress is possible, however, is by setting this golden goal for the next year and pursuing it like your life depends on it. You are not that ambitious? Fine. Set yourself goal of bench pressing 5 more kilos by the end of the month. The only important thing is to have some goal that will keep you on course, or you will quickly lose yourself in aimless, unproductive repeating.
Do Not Listen to the Big Guys
Newbies are easy prey for the local “big guys” to unload their knowledge on. Some of the things they say will make sense, some of them will not. The only truth you should care about is that everyone has its own specific needs, and even if you get a good advice, your body may not react to it as gracefully as you would like. That is why you should consult professional trainer, find a routine that will be adjusted to your body and leave the street-smart tips from the fellow gym attendees to the next victim.
Leave “Cool” at the Door
Although it may appear very cool on the picture and in the movies, lifting is not that cool at all. As a matter of fact, sometimes it can come off as really awkward and unpleasant, especially if you are a beginner. Do not worry, every beginning is hard, and there is nothing wrong with failing at some exercise you are not yet experienced with, moaning when you are struggling with some weight, and trying out things that will make you look “uncool”. If people were concerned with such things no one would ever make any kind of progress.
Prepare for the Training the Right Way
Never start the training without taking some time to stretch and warm up the muscles. If you are in a hurry, it is much better to shorten the training than to start cold – Just warm up for these 5 precious minutes, and you are good to go. Also, you should make sure that you have all the necessary workout equipment in place. Something as simple as fat grips can easily make or break your entire session. Finally, do not go to gym on a full stomach – It would be wiser to keep the snacks for afterwards.
Do not Rely Solely on Machines
Machines may look very safe and welcoming, but the thing with them is that they target very specific groups of muscles. Sometimes, that is a good thing, more often it is not. That is why you should do your best to throw into the mix as much free weights as possible. Free weights will provide you with better all-around results, and, what is the most important, more “applicable” strength.
If you use these few tips, your weight lifting journey should be much more productive. Sure, you will have to pick up tons and tons of other things along the way, but this time you will at least get the essentials right, and that alone makes all the difference in the world.