The gym can be an intimidating place for many people... Remember the first time you went in? Grand designs of getting those gains and making a life transformation? Of course you do, it can be daunting enough without having to walk in to a place with big, bulky machines and super fit people you feel are giving you the side eye. But once you’ve conquered your misgivings and walked in to one, then what? If you’re someone looking to start weightlifting or someone looking to supplement their weight loss journey with weightlifting (and you should, because it lets you burn calories more efficiently), then you’ve come to the right article because we’ll be talking about an introductory course in lifting weights!
If you’re someone that already knows their way around the gym but have someone in your life that wants to make the same transformation, don't be shy about sharing this article either.
Many people picture weight lifters as very muscular men and women, but remember – they didn’t start out that way. You may think that in order to lift weights you have to be fit, but lifting weights can very well be included at the start of your journey to getting fit. Check out AJ Ellison below, think he looked this prior to stepping in a gym? No way folks.
Just like you should do stretching and warm up exercises prior to more rigorous activities, body weight exercises are a great idea especially if you want to get into weight lifting. These are strength training exercises that use your own weight to enhance strength, flexibility, endurance, coordination and balance – and the best part about these exercises is that they require minimal to no equipment at all.
You’ll want to do functional movements that mimic everyday life such as squats, pushes, pulls, hip hinges, and hip extensions, and you’ll find it’s these very moves that are incorporated in most exercise routines.
There are a few moves you will want to try out, first without weights, and then gradually introducing heavier and heavier weights – how much so depends on your progress and how much you’re comfortable with.
- Using both hands, grasp a weight at your chest, elbows close to your body, feet hip-width apart
- Bend your knees and drop your butt back down to lower into a squat while keeping your chest up
- Push your knees out and make sure your weight is supported by your heels
- Come back up standing and squeeze your glutes at the top.
There you go, that’s one rep.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart
- Hold the weight in front of you with both hands
- Bend at the waist (not knees), keeping your back and legs straight (your hips going backwards as your lower the weight)
- Lower and maintain as far as your flexibility allows, ideally halfway between your knees and feet
- Contract your hips before going back to the starting position
Nice work, that’s one rep!
- Lie on your back, knees bent hip distance apart with your feet flat on the mat
- Position weight or dumbbells resting on your hips
- Push through your heels to lift your hips while squeezing your glutes until you make a diagonal line
- Pause at the top, then slowly lower yourself back down
Guess, what, that’s one rep!
Start practicing these moves without weights, and then incorporate weights depending on how much you’re comfortable with. For most people, that’s between 5 to 15 pounds at 2 to 3 reps each exercise. These exercises are designed to strengthen your core muscles so you can do more strenuous exercises comfortably and safely.