Top 10 Tips for Weightlifting Beginners

Written by Adam Hewer and Darren Hewer

weightliftingWant to make use of that weightlifting gear that’s gathering dust in your basement and get in better shape? Here are 10 great tips for beginning weightlifters.

Before starting any weightlifting or exercise program, be sure to consult your physician, and be sure you know the proper safety measures, including having a spotter and knowing the right way to use your exercise equipment.

1. Choose a goal

What do you want to achieve? Do you want to bulk up, slim down, or get more defined? Try to make your goal as specific as possible, and set a timeframe.

2. Keep the right mental attitude

Once you’ve chosen a goal, keep focused on it. Post it on your wall to help you keep your goal in mind. Try to find someone to work out with (your training partner) to help keep you focused and accountable.

3. Know your limits

Start light. Remember, even Arnold Schwarzenegger had to start somewhere! Lifting heavy weights with fewer repetitions (“reps”) builds muscle size and mass, whereas lifting lighter weights with more reps tones muscles.

4. Keep increasing the weight

Although you’ll have to start off with lighter weights, don’t get stuck in a routine where you keep lifting the same amount. Gradually increase the amount you lift. As a rough guide, try working towards adding 10 pounds per month to your bench presses.

5. Don’t work the same muscle group twice in a row

Muscle groups include your upper body (shoulders & back), mid body (biceps, triceps & chest), and lower body (abs, thighs, hamstrings & calves). Varying your workout ensures you won’t overwork one particular area.

6. Don’t forget to work your legs!

Many beginners are so focused on having large arms and abs that they neglect other parts of their body. Who wants a huge upper body with tiny little chicken legs? That just looks weird!

7. Don’t overdo it

Don’t lift every day. You need at least 2 days of rest each week to allow your muscles to heal. Beginners should try lifting every other day. Also, make sure to get enough sleep, because without adequate rest you won’t build muscle.

8. Stretch & flex

Stretching both before you lift and afterwards helps avoid aching muscle pain the next day. Stretching and flexing your muscles during your workout between lifts keeps blood flowing in your muscles and helps prevent injury.

9. Keep proper posture

If you’re doing lots of lifting, but using poor technique, you’re wasting your time. Ask your training partner to critique your technique, or work out in front of a mirror.

10. Practice proper nutrition

Remember the GIGO principle: Garbage in, garbage out! Drinking a whey protein shake right after working out helps your body build muscle (without enough protein you can’t build muscle mass) but nutritional supplements won’t replace eating right and doing the hard work of doing the lifting itself.

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18 Responses to “Top 10 Tips for Weightlifting Beginners”

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    It is good to keep in fit, as our bodies belong to the Lord and we need to treat our bodies with respect.

  • Taking a smoothie full of top of the range protein powder and other calories
    just before working out has added advantages. They have been
    classified as either essential or non-essential depending on
    their availability in our body. Combination of arginine mixed
    with malic acid makes this health supplement a wonderful product for muscle
    recovery.

  • Kate Kate says:

    Be encouraged in your fitness goals, talk with a medical professional to be safe and keep making healthy choices.

  • Nathan says:

    Thank you guys i am 13 and hoping that this will help me with my 210lb (press) and like dakota i wanna be jacked when i grow up. i am on my way!

  • DIPESH BORICHA says:

    i am talking about weightlifting not bodybuilding

  • Alfred Alfred says:

    Again, just to emphasise, do not be afraid to concentrate on building up your cardio-vascular system. It will give you the endurance you will need! All the best, Alfred.

  • Alfred Alfred says:

    Hi Tyles, I have been very slim and relatively healthy all my life. When I was young, I enjoyed track & Field. My suggestion is to mainly develop your cardio-vascular system. Too often a person has the muscle, but needs to slow down to catch up on breathing. I was also a gym-coach when our children were aged 7 to 13. We had the group run for a few minutes to get their heart-rate up before practices. You are not sitting around, so (I would suggest) just work out moderately for a few years. I’m saying, go for the muscle, but start VERY GRADUALLY.

  • TYles says:

    Jamie, doing something is better than nothing but unless youre going for high intensity and sweating/raising your heart rate, which would act more as cardio then lifting heavy weight and tearing your muscle fibres is the only way to build muscle. ‘Toning’ is simply lowering body fat to reveal the muscles you already have. Diet is 90% – eat well and lots of protein, recovery is second. do not overtrain and sleep is third. Then weights. IMO, that order

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Tyles, thanks for helping out here. Is there any value to less weight and more reps?

  • Tyles says:

    lifting light weights with more reps does NOT ‘tone’ muscles. There is no such thing. You have no idea what youre talking about. Maybe get some actual knowledge before dishing out [expletive removed] advice

  • Dakota says:

    Thank you Sir for your help and you are making sure im asking for help from experienced people.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Dakota, If your Dad and your coach are okay with it then I’m sure they’re monitoring what you’re doing to make sure you stay safe. Be careful using Arnold as an example though. He admitted that he used steroids during his competition days and that’s not a path you want to follow down. You asked if I’m a doctor. No, I’m not, I’m an editor, but I’m an excellent researcher and all the sources say the same thing: weightlifting before 16 has risks. You said that you’re working with a coach though and that makes a huge difference.

  • Dakota says:

    By the way are you like a doctor or somthin just wondering?

  • Dakota says:

    I did ask my coach he says its ok for me to work out and so does my dad.I think I will keep working out even though doctors say i must be 16 not to be rood but hay arnold swarineger did it when he was younger than 16.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Dakota, I’d recommend that you talk to a parent or coach or doctor before starting any training program. Most doctors agree that you need to be 16 before you start weightlifting. The reason for this has to do with the growth plates in your bones. They can get damaged if you weight lift too early. But there are lots of other exercises you can do to get fit and healthy in a safe way. Trainers often recommend using your body, not weights, as resistance until you are 16. Exercises like chin-ups, burpees, etc use your body as resistance. Talk to an adult you trust and they should be able to help you set up a safe and effective program.

  • Dakota says:

    Im 14 an wanting to get big when i grow up so thanks for this great article even though it’s for men im 145 pounds and hope to get bigger with this great information.

  • david says:

    Thank you for the wonderful article. I just started lifting weights and this is article has the right tips. I weigh 135 pounds: do you have any specific diet advice which can help me build muscles faster?

  • Conah Allen says:

    thanks, this helped alot and is a must read guide.

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