As one of the most important pillars of your fitness journey, strength training can be intimidating to fitness newbies. Strength training aids muscle strength, increases your body’s resting metabolic rate, reduces your blood pressure and improves your balance, among other things. We’ve put together a few tips on starting out with strength training as a beginner:
Get your heart pumping first
As a newcomer to strength training, one of the most important things to avoid is jumping into the deep end without first getting your heart rate up. Begin your strength-training routine with a dose of cardio, which could mean a 5-minute warmup of light jogging, stretching or even walking. Light cardio kick starts your body into action and warms you up for the journey ahead!
Aim for proper technique
Strength-training is important, but it doesn’t come without its risks if done incorrectly. To prevent injuries, it’s vital you know proper form and technique. This means you know which muscles you’re working and how to do it without straining or harming yourself. Beginners might find investing in a one-off training session can help them with this, or if you’re working with a personal trainer, let them know you’re interested in learning more!
Don’t limit yourself
While most of us associate strength training with dumbbells, it’s important for beginners to know these aren’t the only options. There are many different modes of strength training available – from resistance bands to weight bars, kettlebells and medicine balls, the world is your oyster with strength training!
Stay conscious of weight
It can be tricky to figure out how much weight you should be using for a strength training session, especially if you’re not working with a personal trainer. When you’re starting out, it’s important to err on the side of caution and use weights that are too light, instead of too heavy. A good rule of thumb is that you should feel fatigued by the last set you do, and extremely fatigued by the last few reps. Your body could shake, but never allow yourself to feel extreme discomfort.
Strength training is nothing without rest – so make sure you’re giving your body the space it needs to heal! As it causes small tears in your muscles which then heal stronger than before, make sure you give your body the time it needs to heal properly, or your strength training effort will go out the window!