I’ve talked about lifting weights before on the blog and how weight lifting has transformed my body and mindset around exercise. Today, I’m starting a three part series that will help you get into weight lifting if you are unsure how to start and are ready to stop being a cardio bunny.
In this three part series, you will learn what exercises to do, how frequently to do them and how to eat properly so that you can start lifting weights and love your body!
Before you start lifting weights:
If you jump into a training program as a beginner and throw a barbell on your back or try to pull your entire body weight, you will likely have poor form and become susceptible to injury. It is tedious, but important to do these exercises with proper form, so if you need to build your way up to it, please do so.
If you are completely new to lifting weights, starting off with a barbell squat, for example, is going to cause more harm than good. Work your way up to the barbell squat by performing exercises that will prepare you for it, such as the goblet squat. It teaches your spine to stay in a neutral position when squatting as beginners tend to curve their lumbar spine on the barbell squat, which will lead to imbalances and injury. With deadlifts, try using dumbbells or just deadlift with the bar until you get the form down.
While the exercises that I describe below are going to form the basis of this beginner’s plan, if you are completely new to weight lifting or any kind of exercise, I will include substitutions in the program where needed, so use those substitutions if this is the case for you.
To start off, you want to be doing compound, multi-joint exercises that will create a solid base of muscle that you can later build from.
Note: These exercises should not be attempted individually. The workout plan in Part Two will provide you with a guide on which ones to use and when.
- Keep your head in a neutral position. Do not look up as this will put strain on your neck.
- Keep the barbell close to your shins at the starting position and continue to keep it close to your body as you move upwards, do not start with the barbell far away from your shins.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades, tighten your glutes and look straight ahead at the top of the lift.
- Do not try and attempt various forms of barbell squats until you have mastered the back squat.
- Rest the barbell on your shoulder blades (they should be squeezed together), not your neck.
- Keep feet and knees parallel.
- Do not be afraid to squat below 90 degrees.
- Keep shoulder blades squeezed together.
- Lower the bar just above your chest.Do not bounce the bar off of your chest.
- Push through your chest, not your shoulders.
- Do not curve your lower back. Keep your spine comfortably flat on the bench.
- Keep legs slightly bent and heels on the ground.
- Squeeze shoulder blades as you pull the weight towards your chest.
- Do not hunch over and do not curve your spine. Bring the bar to your chest. Do not bring your chest to the bar.
- Palms should be facing away from your body.
- Bring the bar to your chest by leaning back slightly.
- Do not swing your way up or jump your way up.
- I recommend starting with dumbbell presses before moving to a barbell.
- Keep your back in a neutral position. Do not curve your lower back.
- Keep the weight directly over your body, do not sway the dumbbells forwards or backwards.
- You can do this seated or standing. If your standing, keep your core engaged and glutes tight to prevent curving your back.
You’re probably thinking, “Okay, so how often do I do these, how many reps/sets do I do and how do I put this all together?” In part two, I will discuss how frequently to perform them and provide you with a weekly workout plan that incorporates these lifts to get you started. If you don’t want to miss it, you can grab my ebook and you’ll get notified of new posts!
FYI: Here’s How to Start Lifting Weights Part 2!
Now you tell me…
What is your experience with weight lifting?
What’s your biggest challenge with working out?
What is your favorite lift?