Weight Lifting has so many health benefits, yet most people are either afraid of the gym or not sure what to do once they arrive. Frequently I see these beginners lifting with improper form and setting themselves up for injury. One way to avoid this is hiring a personal trainer for at least your first few times.
Some of the benefits of weight lifting are increasing muscle, getting stronger, improve bone density, and reversing risk for degenerative diseases. Plus the endorphin kick you get will make you feel mentally better everyday.
There is a wonderful app called FitNotes that can help you at the gym by tracking the weight and reps you do for each exercise. This also helps you find exercises for each body part.
To plan your weekly workout, there are many options (aka splits) you can do.
- Full body: 2-3 times a week
- Push/Pull: Push = chest, shoulders, triceps, quads. Pull = back, biceps, hamstrings
- 3 Day Split: back and triceps, shoulders and biceps, legs
- 3 day split: lower body, upper body, lower body (reverse the following week)
The options are endless. It’s also good to mix it up every month. Start with one plan and then change to another to promote muscle confusion.
If you are a rookie and prefer beginning at home, there are many options for you. For legs, you can simply start with sit stands. Sit in a chair and stand up. Squeeze your legs and booty at the top each time. Start out with 3 sets of 10, walking around for a few minutes in between each set. Add in wall sits when you are ready. Finally, squat with weights.
Similarly, you can do pushups against your kitchen counter, graduate to the coffee table, then on your knees on the floor, finally into a full pushup. It’s called progression. Start where you are and keeping pushing forward!
Please note, I do not train chest often, other than pushups in boot camp. Since most of our daily movements are forward (driving, cooking, computer, cleaning etc) I feel the need to stretch my chest and strengthen my back. Also, having a shoulder impingement from lifting heavy bench, has swayed my decision to avoid chest workouts for now.
What support do you need in creating a strength program?