Getting started with weights

The thing I most want people to take away from this post is… Don’t be scared of the weights!

I hear it all the time, ‘I don’t want to look silly,’ ‘I’m not sure what to do,’ ‘It’s too complicated.’ Suddenly, you have created a huge barrier between yourself and the weights and you simply steer clear of them. But that is a huge mistake. By doing this you are cutting out a massive part of your workout and denying yourself the benefits of weight training.

Weight training or resistance training, is a vital part of any exercise routine. Just some of its benefits include: Increases strength, increased mobility, pain management, improved posture, weight management, improves bone density and aids in the prevention of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

So what should you do if your not sure where to start…

Get a personal training session

Personal trainers exist for this very reason, to help you navigate the gym and show you correct lifting techniques and exercises. I understand not everyone has the money for a weekly PT session, however lots of PT’s will let you purchase a few sessions, just to get you started. They can walk you through all of the equipment and show you numerous ways to best utilise it.

Read the instructions

This might sound silly, but its amazing how many people simply don’t read the instructions. Generally the machines have a panel on them that describes what muscles the machine targets and how to use the machine. Take a minute to look at the panel and work out how to correctly use the machine. Then position the pads, seat, cables or anything else that needs adjusting, to fit your size. It’s hard to complete an exercise when the machine isn’t set up correctly.

Start super light

Take the pin out of the machine, or take  all of the weights off, before your start. Get a feel for the movement of the machine and positioning of everything, then slowly increase the weight.

Follow some fitness pages

Beware. Not everyone in social media land knows what they are doing… But what is good about social media, is that it provides you with lots of opportunities to view different exercises and get plenty of ideas. I often scroll through different sites and pages, looking for a new exercise tip or training circuit.

Ask the staff 

That is what the staff are there for! I work in a gym and I encourage all members to come and ask for help if they need it. You don’t have to be undertaking PT classes to seek assistance. If your nor sure… Ask. Remember you are paying to use the gym, it should be part of the service.

I have made and will continue to make, plenty of mistakes when training. I have left the lock on the leg press and wondered why it wasn’t moving, I have failed to put the pin into the seat properly and it collapsed and I have dropped barbells on my feet numerous times, just to name a few. But it’s important to remember that everyone starts somewhere… Even those muscly, confident gym goes were just a beginner once.

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