What exactly is a free weight workout? As a beginner, how can free weights help you achieve your fitness goals?
Free weights are any piece of strength equipment that is small enough to pick them up and move around the gym. Dumbbells, kettlebells, weight plates, rubber plates, and barbells are the best examples of free weight props.
- Determine your objectives.
This is the most important step in free-weight training, but it is also the most overlooked.
Before starting any workout regimen, you must know your fitness objective above everything else. You should also determine how many times you must workout per week and how much time you have to spend on each workout.
If you want to do free weight workouts to gain strength and size, you should stick to a workout routine with heavy weight but low reps and more rest between sets. On the other hand, lighter weights but higher reps and less rest in between sets are more ideal for endurance.
- Have a realistic schedule.
Whatever your fitness goal is, you should try to exercise at least four or five days per week if your schedule allows. You can incorporate different movements such as squats, lunges, hinges, and others, but you should not work on the same muscle groups twice in a row.
You have to decide what exercises you want to do and how you’re going to divide them up throughout your week’s schedule. You don’t need to spend hours working out. You must focus on the quality of your workout and its composition rather than its duration. You can get a good workout in as little as 20 minutes and no longer than an hour.
- Determine the order of exercises.
You must know at this time that exercise order is important as well if you want to succeed in your free weight workout goals. Developing a plan to do them in the proper order will do wonders for your workout routines.
Your free weight workouts should have this order, at least, in general;
- Explosive Power Exercises
- Heaviest Compound Exercises
- Isolation Moves (targets single muscle)
4. Choose the proper weight.
This factor is also important, so you should know how much weight to use in each workout routine, especially if you are a beginner. If you’re new to weight lifting , aim for three sets of 10–12 reps of each of these exercises, using as light a free weight as possible. Between sets, take a one-minute break. When this becomes too easy, switch to a heavier free weight.
- To reduce the risks of possible injuries during workout sessions, always use safety lifting equipment. This precautionary measure is especially important if you are training at home or at your favorite gym.
- Always ask for help from an experienced spotter whenever you want to lift heavy weights. They are someone who will keep an eye on you while lifting weights. They should be someone who is ready to help you out in case of an unexpected accident.
- Use the correct form at all times. Form refers to the posture you maintain during an exercise. If you are unable to perform exercises correctly, you will not be able to target the right muscle nor get the workout routine’s full effectiveness. Or worse, you may end up hurting or injuring yourself.
You can ask for help from your personal trainer or an experienced gym buddy. Or you can take advantage of the availability of resource materials in this modern world, watch YouTube tutorials, or ask everybody’s best friend, Google.
- Do not attempt “ego lifting” by any means. This happens when you attempt to lift more weights than you can safely handle just because your pride says so. This attitude will not only not help you get stronger faster as you wish, but will also lead you to possible injuries.
A lunge is a unilateral lower body exercise that works on one leg at a time. It is a popular leg-strengthening exercise with numerous variations to spice up your workout routine. It’s an excellent movement for improving leg strength and balance. Lunges work your quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings. To ensure your stability, practice this movement using your body weight and then use light dumbbells whenever you feel like you are ready.
- Hold one dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides, and feet shoulder-width apart.
- Take a big step forward, lifting your right foot off the ground and bending your knee and lowering your body as you go.
- When your right thigh is parallel to the ground, come to a halt.
- Keep your chest up and your shoulders back all throughout the movement.
- Push up with your right foot as you return to the beginning position.
- Lunge again with the other side of your left leg.
- Press Up/Push Up
It is an exercise in which a person lies face down on the floor and raises their body by pressing down on their hands while keeping their back straight. This is extremely effective for toning the upper body, but the pectoral and triceps muscles are specifically targeted.
- Lie face down on the floor.
- Place your hands just under your armpits, slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- And then push yourself up off the floor while keeping your back straight.
- Slowly lower yourself until your chest is just above the floor.
- Perform at least 10 repetitions for 3 sets with 90 second rests in between.
- Floor Press
A floor press, which is primarily a chest press on the ground, is an excellent exercise for teaching bench press to beginners. During the concentric portion, floor presses resemble bench presses, but in this exercise, you will lie flat on the floor rather than on a bench. The floor press primarily works your triceps, anterior deltoids, and pecs.
- Lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground.
- Hold the dumbbell in each hand above your chest.
- Lower the dumbbells until your upper arms touch the floor.
- Keep your forearms perpendicular to the ground and your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body.
- Extend your arms and raise the dumbbells.
- And then return to your starting position after a brief pause at the top.
A free weight workout is excellent functional training that is both physically and mentally beneficial. To avoid injuries, you must take precautionary measures when performing this workout, just as you would with any other exercise.
Free weights have numerous advantages and outperform resistance machines. Aside from burning calories, it also targets neglected muscles and improves your balance.
When training, keep your back straight, abs engaged, and shoulder blades pulled back as a general rule. It is also critical to understand proper form. And also, consider hiring a personal trainer if necessary.