Strength Training For Beginners – Building a Solid Foundation

Although beginners might find strength training daunting, there is an exercise level available for everyone and intensity levels can be increased as skills improve with practice.

Begin with bodyweight exercises and then introduce weights into your routines. When lifting weights, Fagin advocates choosing a weight where ‘you’re getting fatigued but it doesn’t feel like too much’.

Identify Your Goals

Such early strength gains can even plateau, as the muscles make a rapid neural adaptation: nerves change how they behave when signaling your muscles.

Every once in a while, you need to break through your plateau, and keeping track of your goals will help you do that. It will motivate you to dig a little deeper and grind a little harder every time you train.

Bodyweight exercises, such as squats, lunges, planks and push-ups, can also lead to impressive gains, even without owning your own barbells or having access to gyms. Additionally, bands, dumbbells or kettlebells that one can purchase for home use also allow for full-body workouts. Once you start training alone, it can be intimidating; a personalised training programme that is safe, effective for you and your lifestyle, is best developed under professional care, by an exercise professional.

Identify Your Strength Levels

And: strength training doesn’t have to be intimidating for the beginner; a space and a set of weights – dumbbells or kettlebells – or bind and tie water bottles or cans to your body, or use resistance bands in place of weights!

If you’re a beginner wanting to include weights in your programme, then start out with functional exercises, which work every muscle group. These are essentially akin to movements that you will prepare your body to perform in everyday life – they should follow the body’s habitual and natural movement patterns.

By making note of how many reps you can knock out during an exercise, and tracking this number over time, you can get a rough measure of how fast your muscles are growing. Progressive overload is the name of the game here.

Choose the Right Exercises

Strength training refers to activities that exert stress on muscles through the use of weights like dumbbells, barbells and resistance bands, causing them to grow over time. Strength training exercises usually work out several muscle groups at a time, such as pushups and lunges.

Getting moving safely, so that your body doesn’t fall apart, is vital, and an experienced exercise professional can assess you through a movement screening and see what types of movements and equipment suits you.

Exercisers starting out should aim to train each large muscle group between two and three sessions per week on days that are not consecutive, doing one to three sets per exercise and resting between two and five minutes between sets. Between-session rest is necessary to give your body a chance to recover from lifting stress and reduce the risk of injury, so that the stress you place on your muscles is honed for maximal benefit in each session.

Get the Right Equipment

Bodyweight training is easy to do anywhere because nothing but space is needed in order to conduct a safe bodyweight workout. Indeed, for beginners it is advisable to invest in some basic equipment such as dumbbells, resistance bands and an exercise ball to facilitate an efficient bodyweight exercise programme.

Novices must select a load at a repetition maximum, which is the largest number of repetitions they can complete with good form. If the load is too light, beginners will not stimulate a meaningful muscle-fibre challenge. Yet if the load is too high, novices may injure themselves, including athletes who are otherwise healthy, people living with chronic illness and people with disabilities.

In particular, to take maximal advantage of your exercise, plan for your workouts to gradually become more challenging over time with progressive overload, and have that health or exercise professional act as your guide and coach.

Start Small

The thought of strength training can be intimidating – not only for beginners (or the less naturally muscular among us), but even for those of us who have been into fitness for a long time. It can be utterly bewildering, from learning to use the myriad of strange pieces of kit scattered around gyms, to worries about safety, and to the bewildering avalanche of jargon that has to be navigated to gain any meaningful knowledge. But don’t worry: for the beginner strength trainer, the routes to getting started are surprisingly easy to navigate. The key is having a plan. Keep your training simple, focused and under control, and your dedication to moving yourself in this beneficial new direction will be rewarded. Here are five easy steps to help you get started with an enjoyable, deep and life-enhancing form of strength training.

Thankfully, strength training does not necessitate a gym membership or expensive infastructure to get started. Body weight training with resistance added by dumbbells, kettlebells, water bottles or cans will do the trick.

Start with two or three sets of each movement, 8-12 repetitions using an amount of weight that is easy to manage. Then add more sets, more reps and increase the weight gradually over time. Take rest days in between sessions so you do not get injured by doing too much, too soon!

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