Strength Training for Beginners

Strength Training for Beginners Karp Fitness Vancouver

A house cannot be built without a solid foundation. Similarly, starting a new strength training routine needs preparation – jumping into it full force without the right information or a gradual build up can result in injury and a lack of results. For many people starting weight training is intimidating to say the least. Often the first image that pops into their head is a big muscular man or woman with barbells. Don’t let that throw you off! Anybody can start weight training, even with zero experience. Here are eight principles to follow if you are interested in strength training for beginners.

  • One step at a time. We all have many responsibilities that seem to take up all of our free time; studying, running errands, picking up the children, you name it. Adding a new habit in our routine takes patience and time. It should be done gradually. Start by setting small goals, take it slow and give yourself time to adjust to a new workout routine.
  • In this instantaneous world we are used to getting results and information without having to wait. But strength training takes time, commitment and persistence. Having a growth mindset is essential; appreciate the journey while it’s happening and commit to consistency. Think of the big picture: small daily improvement lead to big results in the long run.
  • Begin with bodyweight movements. Start off by using bodyweight movements to learn how your body works, moves and feels. Bodyweight movements include lunges, wall sits, situps, pushups, etc. This gives you an opportunity to experiment in a safe setting while reducing the risk of serious injury. Additionally this builds a foundation for adding weights. When you are comfortable to start adding weights, begin slowly. If you cannot complete reps with the weights you are using, try lighter weights.
  • Compound movements are effective. Unless you have countless hours to spend at the gym you’ll probably want your workout to be as efficient as possible. Start by learning exercises that target major muscle groups. Compound movements, such as squats, deadlifts and wood chops, work out several muscle groups at once and burn more calories than isolation exercises. Begin with 1-2 exercises per muscle group. Benefits of compound movements include improved joint stability and improved cardiovascular system.
  • Focus on strength. If you are looking to add lean muscle, increasing strength should be a top priority. Staying at the same weights indefinitely is not going to do much to get you to your target goal. It is essential to list challenging weights in order to build a foundation. In addition, increasing weights incrementally will improve stability, improve pain management, relieve stress and prevent bone degeneration.
  • Quality over quantity. When it comes to weight lifting think of doing fewer exercises with more focus and accuracy than several exercises done without much effort or thought. Half an hour of consistent hard work beats ninety minute with several long breaks. Your time is valuable – make it count!
  • Form is important. Train in front of mirrors to ensure that your body form is correct. Bad form results in increased chances of injury and forms bad workout habits. When you are doing a compound exercise you should feel those muscles working. If you feel stress or strain on other muscles take a time-out and re-evaluate your form.
  • Rest and recover. Set aside time to get adequate sleep every day. As much as training is important, recovery time is equally so. Weight lifting tears the muscles down and your body needs proper food and rest to build stronger muscle fiber.