I first entered a gym for weight-training when I was about 19 years old. I had lots to learn about fitness. It took me a few years to understand from my own experience and abundant online resources, what I needed to do and how I needed to approach my own fitness. Currently, Iâ€™m in my early 30â€™s and like to pursue an active lifestyle through weight-training. It helps me stay active and feel good about myself. Over the years I have continued to study fitness and nutrition, and how to utilise multiple variations of exercises for all muscle groups. My interest in fitness started getting stronger during my postgraduate studies and eventually, over the course of a few years, I became even more passionate about fitness.
A few things that I find amazing about weight-training is that one can not only adjust the amount of weight to train with but can also make the same weight feel lighter or heavier for the same set of muscles using different variations. Also, with the same variation and weight, a great way to train a muscle group harder than usual is to do a higher number of repetitions than one has the habit of doing. This challenges the muscle group as it may have to train to or past failure.
Starting As A Beginner
When starting as a beginner, the first thing to do is to get yourself to the gym as that is one of the hardest parts when youâ€™re just starting. If your gym is close to work or within work premises or somewhere between your home and workplace, carry a change of clothes with you. This will make sure that you donâ€™t have to commute back home as that can be a step backward. When you start training, keep your own safety in mind and learn to train with correct form and technique. It is generally a good first step to start with lighter weights as your body will first need to get into the habit of training with weights. Your body may take up to four weeks to adapt to this change. During this process of adaptation, it is expected to feel soreness in multiple muscle groups. Therefore, it is going to be important to consume foods that are nutritious and are good sources of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. It is also necessary to have appropriate amounts of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals and to get the right amount of rest for your muscles to recover.
Finding Friends Who Motivate You
At least when you begin, it could work well to keep yourself motivated. There are multiple ways of doing so. You may come across people in the same gym who have goals similar to yours or it can also be helpful to look for fitness groups. These groups may be present locally or on social media. Here people motivate each other with various fitness and nutrition tips. Gyms are also good places to come across people who motivate people working out with them.
If youâ€™re trying to find a place to train with weights that fits your requirements, a good idea is to either seek advice from friends or colleagues or even the internet.
Pros And Cons OfÂ Weight-training
Everything comes with its own pros and cons. These are to be considered from the very beginning in order to reap the benefits that the discipline offers and to minimize the chances of any injury or discomfort. Whilst we are looking to challenge ourselves to get fitter, we want to stay away from injuries.
Training with weights has many advantages associated with it. Depending on how much you are able to lift, you can pick the appropriate weight for each exercise and take one step at a time from there as you progress. Also, if on any day you feel tired or the muscle group you intend to train is still sore, you have the option of reducing the amount of weight you lift if itâ€™s necessary.
There are various compound movements that weight-training offers in order to engage multiple muscle groups. Squats, deadlifts and shoulder presses are a few such exercises.
In order to increase the level of challenge, you can increase the number of repetitions with a particular weight before increasing the weight in order to get fitter and prepared for a heavier load.
There are many variations to challenge any muscle group and give them a different stimulus to grow. Variations of an exercise which reduce the level of challenge are called regressions and variations involving a higher level of difficulty are called progressions.
Variations can involve altering the pivot point of the exercise or use approaches such as time under tension or repetitions under time. The approach of time under tension is quite effective for building stronger muscle groups as they need to remain activated for a prolonged period of time. Repetitions under time involve performing a target number of repetitions or as many repetitions as possible under a fixed amount of time. This approach has the ability to test muscle endurance.
Isolation techniques also form a huge part of weight-training. There are several exercises that target a specific muscle group and going through those exercises is going to stimulate the respective muscles.
Training with weights can have some downsides as well. Itâ€™s always recommended to train with the correct posture and technique. While it may be possible to get away with incorrect technique or posture once in a while, repeatedly training with incorrect posture can lead to injuries.
Itâ€™s possible to get carried away and attempt to lift a weight that our bodies are not prepared for. This can cause muscle strain or injuries which could result in not being able to train until we recover.
It is also important to know that training without an adequate understanding of the target muscle group or groups and technique is going to keep us from the desired results because one may just be focussing on moving a weight from point A to point B without using the right muscle groups.
Working with weights also requires the body to have adequate muscle flexibility and joint mobility. Without proper work on flexibility and mobility, muscles tend to lose flexibility and joints their mobility which in turn hampers weight-training through an inadequate range of motion.