You might have heard that building muscle tone will increase your metabolism and help you lose weight. But many people feel nervous about starting a strength training routine. Either they feel uncomfortable with gym equipment, or they fear failure. Whatever the case, all you really need is a step-by-step plan. Strength training really isn’t all that complicated once you get started.
Check with your doctor. Before starting any new exercise regimen, always check with your physician to make sure your plans are safe for you. Most of the time you will get the green light immediately, but on occasion your doctor might find an underlying medical condition that makes certain types of exercise unwise.
Ask for help getting started. If your gym has personal trainers, sign up for a session. Alternatively, you could ask an athletic friend for help. Get in the gym and make sure you’re comfortable with free weights or machines before you start using them on your own.
Start slowly. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself, and throw your entire exercise routine out of whack for weeks! Don’t go for the heaviest weights you can lift right away. Start with a weight that feels slightly challenging, but comfortable. As you perform repetitions, it will become a lot more difficult.
Stretch. Remember to stretch before and after lifting weights, to prevent injuries.
Use correct form. This is another way to prevent injuries. Don’t rush through your workout, ignoring sloppy form, in an attempt to fit in more repetitions. It’s better to go slowly, with correct form, than to work your muscles incorrectly.
Write down your starting point. On your first day, keep track of how much weight you’re able to lift, and how many repetitions you’re able to perform. In a few weeks you will be astounded at the difference, and this will keep you motivated.
Commit to a schedule and show up. Ultimately, your strength training success will depend upon your commitment. If you work out consistently, at least three times per week, you will see results! But the choice to stick with your schedule is on your shoulders.