“It won’t always go your way, so you can’t get trapped in this idea that just because you’ve imagined a possibility for yourself that you somehow deserve it. Your entitled mind is dead weight. Cut it loose. Don’t focus on what you think you deserve. Take aim on what you are willing to earn!”– David Goggins
Yes, I chose a hard hitting quote to start this relatively sweet topic about “beginners” and “safety”. I truly believe it is the most important angle to approach this subject on. I know we all just want fitness and health to be ‘fun’ but it won’t always be fun. When starting out in weight lifting, follow these tips for safe and effective weight lifting.
Strength comes from breaking yourself down and experiencing adversity. With health and fitness, we’re playing the long game. It will always be there for you, either to help or to hinder you. So there’s no need to go in to weight training like you’re a seasoned athlete. You want this to stick. As a beginner, you want to approach weight lifting in a way that will give you the most effective results.
When you start your workout, it is all about you… not the social media influencer you saw doing the same move that morning, or the buff dude or chick over at the dumbbells. This is your time, and you want to put all your mental focus on to the muscle you are currently working.
No matter what your ultimate goal may be (stepping on stage in your first body building show, deadlifting your own weight, or just feeling better about yourself) these tips are fundamental in building your confidence within the gym and within your own body.
But, why weight lifting?
Weight lifting is habit training at it’s finest. Not only are you engaging in an amazing physical activity, but it’s compiled in to structured blocks that are easy to gauge over time. You can never say you “just got lucky” when it comes to weight lifting and strength training. Your success is built over time and with consistency.
Strength training and increased muscle mass provide an array of positive health benefits. is one of the top ways to help you stay functional and healthy in the long run. Muscles are often described as the “engine” of your body’s fat and calorie burning mechanism. Increased muscle mass can lead to less body fat, a stronger immune system, improved energy levels, and reduced stress.
Your 7 Weight Lifting Tips:
Start with your bodyweight.
Yes, your body weight absolutely counts! I personally only train my core with my own body weight. Strength training is working your muscles with resistance, and our own body weight can do just that. It’s much more important to build confidence and safe form through body weight moves. Even now, before for first set of any move, I will do that move with my body weight only. Allow yourself to really think about the muscle you are targeting in order to support safe and effective weight lifting.
Nail down your form.
Correct form is the key to your success! I can not stress this enough. Not only will it save you time in reaching your goals but it will protect you from injury. The first time I got injured was a scary experience and extremely uncomfortable. Correct form is all about supporting your back and joints. Always lower the amount of weight you lift with to help work towards proper form. Taking a yoga class is a massive help when it comes to correct alignment.
Invest in some accessories.
Equipment I Use
Investing in a few things will certainly help with recovery, motivation and time saving. Making sure you have a quality stretch after your lift is key to helping your muscles recover. I love having a foldable mat I can use in the comfort of my own home. Use this to stretch while you watch your favorite television show. Music is a must have for your lift. I prefer bluetooth headsets to eliminate any cords getting in my way. Working out from home is a crazy time saver. Having this pull up tower on my back porch gives me zero excuses when it comes to getting some sort of physical activity in.
Prep your muscles before you start & stretch afterwards.
Warming up and cooling down is a must when it comes to seeing results. Warming your muscles up happens every time you are about to start a new exercise. Even if you are thirty minutes in to you lift and you are about to do your first set of deadlifts, warm your muscles up. This means, do the move with your body weight only. This not only warms your muscles up but it gets your mind thinking about the correct form and the specific muscles you want to target. Help your muscles recover by stretching afterwards. Make this a comfortable time for you. If you lift at a gym, don’t feel like you have to stay there to stretch. Find a place, like home, to allow yourself to stretch in peace and really cool down.
Schedule regular workouts but remember to rest.
Consistency is a valuable habit. Make strength training a habit throughout your week so you can really see your results in an incremental and sustainable way. This will let your mind and body to see this physical work as apart of what gives you energy. Vigorous exercise puts stress on your body and damages muscle tissues, these rest days allows your muscles time to repair and get stronger.
Lift the right amount of weight.
Choose weight that allows you to reach a comfortable failure in each set. Going to failure means you want to honestly feel as if you could not do one or two more reps without compromising your form or having someone else help you. Compromising your form or “cheating” can be as simple as bouncing at the top of your reps, or bouncing the weights off the floor with every deadlift. These circumstances take a bit of weight off of your lift, which can be helpful down the road. When starting out I suggest keeping strict form. This will support safe and effective weight lifting.
Continue with the same moves each day when you’re starting out
Do similar moves as you start out. Repetition is a great way to build muscle memory and confidence in weight lifting. Do not feel as if you need to do 5 different moves for your triceps in one workout. I personally, to this day, will only do 3 to 5 different moves in an entire 1 hour workout. This eliminates the amount of time you spend moving from one workout to another. You allow yourself to become very familiar with how your muscles feel after a particular move and can pinpoint the specific pump you receive.
I look forward to hearing your take on weight lifting and strength training when starting out. I’m still constantly learning every single day and find it fascinating to build every day.Please leave a comment below