Congratulations! You've decided to start lifting weights. Soon you will know the physical and mental benefits + the joys and satisfactions that resistance training can bring to your life.
Whether you're trying to put on lean muscle or lose weight, weightlifting is a healthy pastime that will help you accomplish your goals.
Before you start, read through the following truths about weightlifting and use them to build a better, healthier you.
Weightlifting Burns More Fat Than Cardio
If your exercise goal is to lose weight, remember this:
Your body composition (ratio of body fat and muscle) is more important in regards to a lean physique than the number on a scale.
The old adage "muscle weighs more than fat" is true, so don't get discouraged if your weight doesn't change or increases slightly after starting a weight training program.
Adding a few extra pounds of muscle to your body will increase your resting metabolism, allowing you to burn fat more efficiently throughout the day.
For more a more in-depth article about fat loss and weightlifting, see: Why Weightlifting Is More Important For Fat Loss Than Cardio
Form Is More Important Than Numbers
When you're starting out, concentrate on correct exercise form first. Your weightlifting numbers will increase with time and training, but it's important to build a solid foundation in your form before progressing too fast.
Not only does correct form help prevent any injuries or strain, but it works the intended muscles more efficiently, allowing you to progress faster.
If you've never lifted weight before, we recommend a few sessions with a personal trainer, or an experienced weightlifter that you trust to help show you the ropes.
You Must Lift Heavier To Progress
I know, I know… I literally just said concentrate on correct form before you start lifting heavier. However, it's important to understand the underlying principle known as "progressive overload".
In short, your body wants to stay in homeostasis and will adapt to new stresses that it experiences regularly. So if you start training your muscles regularly they will grow stronger and larger in order to adapt to the regular work required of them.
So, concentrate on form and once you feel comfortable with an exercise, start increasing the weight each week so that your body continually has to adapt to new stresses and build itself up bigger and stronger!
Stick To A Program For At Least 6 Weeks
Do not program hop, I can't stress this enough for beginners. Like I mentioned above, your body will adapt to new stresses that it experiences regularly.
So, pick a single weightlifting program and follow it for six weeks before you move on to a new program.
Understand that any good program takes significant time to see results (typically 6-10 weeks) so give whatever program you choose a fair shot!
Results Come With Proper Nutrition
Six packs are built in the kitchen. If you're trying to get a lean physique, you need proper nutrition. If you're trying to build up muscle, you need proper nutrition. If you're training to compete in a sport, race or event, you'll need proper nutrition.
If you're okay following a nutrition regimen, try flexible dieting (IIFYM). If that's too intensive for you, simply try to skip the junk, eat lots of veggies and proteins, and eat carbs before and after your weightlifting sessions.