Starting a weight training programme

Fitness for beginners

Weight training is one of the most versatile exercises. It can make you stronger, improve your appearance, lose fat, improve weak areas and prevent injuries.

If you are new to weight training then we hope this straightforward guide will help get started on a weight-training programme. Once you have the basics then you will soon see the benefits and we are sure this form of training will become an integrated part of your life.

Getting Started
Get a medical check up if you are over-weight; have not exercised for a long time or over 40.
In the beginning stick to one programme. When you are more knowledgeable then you can start to introduce different training programmes to combat boredom or achieve specific results.
Keep a record of what you do, it helps eliminate guesswork
Warm up before any training session.
Take it easy to start with.
Pay attention to previous and existing injuries.
Don’t worry about your weight at the start. Muscle weighs more than fat so can be misleading.
Don’t worry about diet at the start. Trying to change everything in your life all at once will only lead to failure somewhere.
Expect slight muscle ache a day or two after training, but not pain. If you experience pain, stop training and seek medical attention.

Safety Tips
Do not train alone if you are using free weights.
Make sure all collars on barbells and dumbbells on free weights are secure.
Do not twist or jerk during a lift.
Position the body correctly before performing a lift.
Be particularly careful when performing squats and dead lifts.
Stop if you feel pain at any time.

Terminology
There are two terms you must understand before training begins.
REP – is one complete movement of an exercise with a barbell, dumbbell or on weight machine.
SET – is a fixed number of repetitions.

How Many Reps?
In the beginning stick to 10 reps.

How Many Sets?
In the beginning do one to three sets with a 2-5 minute rest between each set.

How Much Weight?
There are many formulas but the rule of thumb is use a weight that allows you to do 10 reps comfortably with the last rep being quite difficult to lift. Use the first training session, as a testing session and be sensible.

Breathing
Never hold your breath during the entire exercise.
Breathe through the nose and mouth to make sure you get enough oxygen
Breathe in, then hold your breath momentarily at the beginning of the lift and then breathe out, at the end of the lift. Breathe in again as you return to the start position and repeat the exercise.

How Often Should You Lift?
To start with train three times a week for around 45-75 minutes with a rest day following each session. Do not miss the rest day as this is when the cellular changes in the muscle take’s place. It is this recovery period that the muscles grow and get stronger.

When To Increase The Weight
When you can do more than 10 reps in any individual set. Use small increases in weight, as just 2kg can make quite a difference to a beginner.

The Seven Most Important Muscle Groups to Exercise.

    Chest
    Abdominals
    Biceps
    Triceps
    Shoulders
    Back
    Thighs

Achieving Your Goals
Different types of lifting can achieve different results.
Low reps/high weights = Size and Strength
High reps/low weights = Tone and endurance.

We hope this simple introduction to weight training will encourage you to have a go. If you do we are sure you will not only see significant benefits but you will find it extremely enjoyable.

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