Getting into weight lifting/strength training can be scary, let alone intimidating! We were new to it once as well, and have learned the basics and then some as time goes on. Once you figure out how to do something, and how you can better yourself (especially when you start seeing results) you’ll want to dive in more! That’s how we got hooked. We started with the basics, and then by watching other people, researching the internet with the help of YouTube, and learning new information/tips, we really honed in on how to weight train at the gym! That’s why if anyone is new to it, we want to help you by giving you some basic tips that helped us learn to pump some iron! For starters:
1️⃣ Warm up before you train. We like to start our workout sessions with some moves that actively get the muscles you want to train warmed up. These could be arm circles, jumping jacks, walking lunges, stretching. Even just 5-10 mins of cardio whether that’s jump roping or using the elliptical or treadmill are all great ways to warm up the body and help prevent injury or straining your muscles
2️⃣Pick a weight that works for you. Dont just go for the heaviest or even the lightest just because it’s easy. You want to be able to perform 10-15 reps of an exercise without feeling your going to injure yourself nor have incorrect form because a weight is too heavy. You want to make sure you can comfortably perform the exercise to where your muscles gets fatigued and not overworked aka when you start feeling a burn and it gets harder to perform at the end of your reps
3️⃣ Remember to breathe during your exercises. Don’t hold your breath as you’re lifting weights. A good rule of thumb is to remember to inhale when you’re lifting weights. and exhale when you’re lowering weights.
4️⃣ Have correct form. Perform the exercise without weight first to get your form right and then slowly add in weights. If you can’t perform the exercise with correct form, decrease your weight. Move through the full range of motion at a steady pace, not to where you feel you’re just jerking the weights around just to get through the exercise. Really focus on the muscle you’re training and don’t rush. Having proper form will increase your results and prevent you from getting hurt.
5️⃣ Create a plan for yourself & don’t over train. You don’t want to work the same group of muscles two days in a row. Take a day or two off in between exercising the same muscles groups to avoid injury and give those muscles a chance to rest. Build a structure for your workouts, something we talk about in our book Fit For Flight!
6️⃣ Journal your progress. Writing things down will help you stay on track and help you see your progress and stay on a schedule. If you started with 10lb weights and find yourself increasing to 15 lbs, that’s progress. Keep track of your routines and see what works best for you or what you want to improve on! Taking progress pictures of your body is a great way to see progress and stay motivated!
7️⃣ Stretch after your workouts. Cooling down is just as important as warming up. When you lift weights/strength train, the fibers in your muscles break down and need a chance to repair and build again, yet stronger. That’s how muscle builds. If you feel like you’re body needs a break, take a day off & relax. Or do something that doesn’t require too much intensity such as a light walk, hike, or a quick stretching routine to give your muscles some much needed TLC.
For more tips on exercise and even dieting/nutrition, grab a copy of our book Fit for Flight available on Amazon.
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