So you decided to start with strength training. You probably even have a good reason for that. Maybe you want to lose weight or achieve a better-looking body. Maybe you just want to get stronger or build self-confidence. Or you just want to have an advantage when the zombie apocalypse begins. Whatever the reasons, it’s a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Perhaps you remember the stories people told you about strength training. You heard it’s difficult, risky and that it takes a lot of time. A lot of people tried strength training but they didn’t enjoy it. Some of them even developed injuries due to some of the mistakes we will address in this article. Speaking of this article, its purpose is to differentiate the important from the unimportant and to give you a proper introduction into strength training.
If you want to start with strength training just do it now. How many people have fallen victim to so-called analysis paralysis? They search for the perfect routine and looking for more information, which only leads to delay and undermines motivation. Once you’ve decided, all you have to do is to take a deep breath and start working out. Delaying things inevitably diminishes the chances of them happening. The “right time” you are waiting for will never come, and once it does something else will come along. Therefore, use that initial motivation and start practicing as soon as possible.
Three Per Week
The optimal workout sessions for strength training is 3 times per week. That’s enough to make significant and long-lasting adjustments to your health and looks. Even with a busy schedule, anyone could fit 3 times a week of the training their schedule. Three sessions per week also allows the body enough time to rest and that’s the time when muscles are being built. If you are really busy or you just want to complement your usual training with some power boost, two workouts per week will suffice.
There’s no “Must”
The good thing about strength training is that there are no requirements. You start with whatever (and wherever) you’re most comfortable, or whatever is available at that moment. There is nothing you’re obligated to do or equipment you must use. Strength training is highly subjective, and there is no optimal program or right-or-wrong principle. Unless, of course, you lift with your back or do anything else that might harm your body. You don’t even have to go to the gym. If you have the right equipment, you can exercise at your home perfectly well.
Okay, maybe there is something you must do in order to achieve some results, and that is to exercise regularly. Occasional participation will not bring you any results. The good news is you can increase your rate of consistency by following a realistic program. Once you achieve the goals in the program you’ve chosen, it will give you the motivation to keep going.
Every good workout program has as a progressive overload implemented within. If you want to achieve results, you need to raise the bar occasionally and give your body a bigger challenge. You can increase the number of repetitions, try different combinations of weight sets, or perform more sets of exercises. Just make sure you don’t raise the bar too high for your current level.
Every new activity carries a certain level of uneasiness, including exercise. However, after a period of adaptation, you’ll be able to fulfill the demands. Weightlifting is no different. At first, it might seem difficult and inconvenient, but after a few sessions, your body will adjust and it won’t be such a shock to the system. However, if exercises cause constant pain and discomfort, you should listen to your body. Insisting on activities that increasingly strain your body carries a high risk of injury. It’s very important to respect your limits and don’t force through the session. Learn to solve these situations rationally instead of impulsively.
No matter what your reasons are for beginning strength training, try not to get scared by horror stories about people getting hurt during weight lifting. Be aware that strength training is much less formal than it seems. There is no “perfect” program you need to follow, nor is there a perfect time of the day or a week to work out. There are no mandatory exercises everyone must perform, and, most important of all, working out until you’re exhausted is not only glamorized but also counterproductive. Just start with whatever makes you least awkward and advance consistently, the results will follow soon enough.