The Most Basic Rules for Lifting Weights

Planning on lifting weights as part of your workout? That’s always a good option. You can join a terrific gym like Max Fitness where you’ll have lots of weight lifting equipment to pick from.

But if you want to get strong the right way, then you need to remember the basic rules. Forgetting these rules can lead to serious injuries at worst, and ineffectual workouts at the very least.

Wear the Right Clothes

You just need some comfortable clothes that allow you full range of movement. It should feel nice and cool.

But make sure you’re wearing the right shoes as well. You need something that provides excellent traction, because you really don’t want to slip on the floor while you’re lifting weights. That’s just dangerous.

It also helps if your shoes can protect your feet, just in case you drop some dumbbells on your feet. That way, you can reduce the severity of the resulting injury.

Remember to Warmup

You need to warm up first before you do any exercise. That means doing some sort of light activity (such as light jogging or cycling) to make you sweat a little bit. Exercising cold muscles leads to poorer results and increased risks of injury.

Along the way, you should do some stretching as well. Stretching is about optimizing your flexibility and range of motion.

Go with the Right Form for the Exercise

You get better results when you’re able to maintain good form for the particular exercise you’re doing. The wrong form leads to poorer results and even injuries.

This is so important that it’s probably the main reason why you’d want to get some personal training if you’re a newbie. If you’re attending a class, then hopefully you’ll get some notice from the trainer in charge and they can correct any form mistakes you’re making.

If you’re doing the exercises solo, then check out the YouTube videos and make sure you get the form right. Practice doing the exercises without the weights first, so you’ll know what to do.

Use the Correct Weight Amount

This is crucial, since the wrong weight can be dangerous. Lift something that’s really too heavy for you, and it can lead to serious injuries. But if it’s too light, then you’re not really working your muscles and you’re just wasting your time.

The right weight is the amount you can lift while maintaining good form. The weight should be enough that you can lift it comfortably for about 12 to 15 times. By the 12th rep, you should also have fatigued your muscles.

If you can’t maintain the form for 12 reps, then reduce the weight. Increase the weight when you find it too easy to lift 15 reps.

Don’t Lift Too Quickly

You need to lift the weight in a way that’s controlled and unhurried. That way, you keep yourself from “cheating” by depending too much on momentum to lift the weight. By lifting in a more controlled way, you really work on the muscles you’re focusing on.

Mind Your Breathing

Don’t hold your breath when you’re lifting weights. That’s a rookie mistake that you need to quit right away.

Instead, start to exhale (breathe out) as you pick up the weight and lift. Then breathe in as you lower the weight.

It seems counterintuitive, as lots of people breathe in when lifting and breathe out when lowering the weight to the floor. So, practice “breathe out, breathe in” until it becomes natural for you.

Know Your Limits

Plenty of weight lifting workouts involve doing a set of exercises to the point of fatigue—that is, until you can’t lift with the proper form anymore. That’s usually enough. You don’t want to go past this limit because you’re increasing the chances of overload injury.

If something you do causes any pain, then stop immediately. Weightlifting exercises are meant to be challenging. They’re not supposed to be painful. Try the exercise with a lower weight. If the pain persists, try again after a few days instead.

Don’t Forget to Rest

The whole process of getting stronger with weight lifting is about building bigger muscles. And you do that by first causing some microtears in the muscle fibers when you lift challenging weights. When you rest the muscle, it rebuilds by using protein in your system, and you get bigger muscles as a result.

That means you can’t get bigger muscles when you keep working on the same muscles every day. You should keep from exercising the same muscle groups 2 days in a row. When you focus on some muscle groups on one day, work on other muscle groups the next day.

Final Words

Strength training is actually an important part of any workout schedule. When you build bigger muscles, you also burn off calories more efficiently and you also become less likely to get injured because you’re stronger.

Just make sure that you work out all your major muscle groups, in both your upper and lower body. Focus on both your left and right sides, and on the front and backs of your body parts.

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