Start Lifting Weights – 5 Essential Tips
The majority of the people on this website will lift, or be looking at starting to. It’s one of those things, you go into it with the best of intentions but little things you won’t necessarily expect will come along and bite you on the ass.
Hopefully, this article will act as a handy guide of what to do for when you are just starting out. You will probably also notice that the points listed aren’t purely for beginners, they can affect people at any stage of their fitness lives. Here’s 5 essential things to do when you want to start lifting weights.
1. Have Goals.
It’s good for you to go into this world with a general idea of what you want. This doesn’t have to be exact, it can be as general as “get stronger,” or “get bigger.” It doesn’t have to be anything as specific as “win the competition on x date.”
Having a goal will give you the focus to actually get off your butt and do some work. It will act as inspiration and motivation for you while also just pointing you towards the correct path.
This might seem like a really obvious one, but you would be surprised by how many people would start going to a gym with no real goal. As a result they would not find a path, or training style, they like and end up becoming completely demotivated.
Have a goal. Stay on track.
If its Bodybuilding try – This.
For Powerlifting try – This.
2. Get Help When Needed.
If you’re new to this world a workout you write isn’t likely to be optimal, your form will need tweaking, you’ll need to be taught certain movements and progressions.
Whether you get this help from a fitness professional, a friend or a family member (who knows what they’re doing, of course) doesn’t matter, as long as you put yourself in a good position to progress.
You always want to make sure that you are doing every exercise correctly and safely. Otherwise, not only will you not progress, but you might also get hurt along the way.
If you’re completely comfortable with doing complicated exercises without supervision but aren’t sure you can keep yourself on track or can plan it in such a way that you will progress, then it might be worth you hiring someone to do an online plan for you.
Having someone to monitor your progress for you can add an element of accountability thats difficult to get on your own.
Whether you do this on your own or with the help of others you will need to learn. Whether it be the exercise movements, how to programme or even how to eat a sufficient diet, a good deal of this will be on you.
Even if you had a trainer helping you 1:1 multiple times a week, if you don’t put the effort in to do the work or recover properly you won’t progress at the correct rate.
Your best bet is to take on some, or all, of the responsibility yourself and to do this you’ll need to learn some of the nuances of training and diet.
4. Find The Right People/Place.
Once you have a goal, regardless of how general or specific, find the right people and the right place to train to help you achieve that goal.
You want to do powerlifting? Join a powerlifting club, or at least somewhere with sufficient equipment.
Want to go into bodybuilding? Maybe a spit and sawdust type gym would be better, with plenty of weights and machines mixed in. Just start lifting those damn weights!
Regardless of how superb the equipment might be in the gyms specific to your goals, that will never be as important as the presence of like minded, or hopefully, well accomplished people in your gym.
I coach out of a powerlifting club, filled with 50+ lifters ranging from complete beginners to international level lifters.
Seeing someone going from squatting the bar to competing at a national level is inspiring in itself, nevermind watching that elite level lifter set another PB and reacting like its his first one all over again.
Even if you don’t get these people to directly help with your training, the energy and inspiration they off is by far the best thing you’ll get from a gym.
5. Find What Works For You.
If you set a goal of being Mr Olympia right at the start but then along the way realise that CrossFit is more your cup of tea then this might be what works for you. You’ll commit to something much, much better if you enjoy it.
On an even smaller scale than this, if you find that certain music works to hype you up, or a certain vibe from the people involved does it for you, then this is massive in picking where and how to start your journey.
How you approach your training should be yours, it should be individual. My own coach approaches lifts with intensity to the point where he screams, I can’t do this.
I have found that going into a competition or a lift with a relaxed mindset does much better for me, getting angry just distracts me from what I’m doing.
Bonus – 6. Actually Start Lifting Weights.
It doesn’t matter if I can give you the absolute best workout, best nutrition plan, or the best gym environment to train in if you don’t get out there and do it.
Many people will find themselves paralysed by analysis here. They try to make it all perfect from the off, I can guarantee you that this will not happen. In this situation you may need to fire and then aim. Arnold started as a powerlifter. Eddie Hall started as a swimmer. You’ll find what works and you’ll take it from there.
Training is incredibly individualised. Yes, at the end of the day we’re all humans who will only need minor changes to our training but how we set it up is down to us. No two of us will be exactly the same in how we approach and execute our training plans.
There’s so much more to lifting weights than people thing too, and health is obviously the main reason to start. But you can learn a lot about yourself and discipline, here’s a great article on the benefits of bodybuilding and business if you want to read more!