Hereâ€™s a fun fact to start off with. For the first four years of my weightlifting experience, IÂ hatedÂ every second of it. It just felt too mechanical, almost a chore and a punishment I was enduring just to continue my lifestyle of indulgence. Today it is an integral part of not my fitness regimen but who I am. While physical activities such as hiking, camping and trailing also form a supplemental part of the experience, the core of my fitness plan lies with weightlifting. A lot of this I credit to a change in mindset which allowedÂ me to view fitness as less of a punishment and more of a celebration of my own body. And now I want to share what can YOU do to overcome the same feeling of dread, monotony and perhaps evenÂ anxietyÂ at the thought of hitting weights and start enjoying your own journey.
Starting Out And What To Expect
If youâ€™re considering starting weight-lifting the good news is itâ€™s probably one of the most accessible ways to get fit. Thereâ€™s a gym now in almost every corner of every city and most office and high-rise residential buildings come equipped with their own. And with more and more fitness chains expanding, its us who benefit the most with competitive deals, 24Ă—7 timings and state-of-the-art facilities all in-house. The ticket to a healthier and fitter you is just literally a gym membership away.
However If you havenâ€™t hit weights before, it might be the most intimidating thing you might do in a while. If youâ€™re at the gym, you will probably also feel self-conscious about yourself in a sea of toned and taut bodies who will make it all seem so effortless. And while itâ€™s easier said than done, all you have to do is take the first step. Just as Rome wasnâ€™t built in a day, think of your own body as a canvas which requires you to jump start into the process so you can start reaping the rewards for your efforts and dedication â€“Â and that might be muchÂ closerÂ than you think. Newbie gains is not just bro-science but actually checks out especially if you havenâ€™t done this before at all. In simple terms, your body is hyper-responsive to resistance training in the beginning which means even a small effort goes a long way. So buzz out all the self-doubts and inspire yourself to dive into the weights. But wait a minute, you must be wondering whatâ€™s so special about weights that you canâ€™t achieve with focusing on cardio?
Benefits of Weight Lifting
With weight-training youâ€™ll soon discover its endless benefits. Scientific studies have repeatedly demonstrated its effectiveness in building muscle, burning fat, improving your overall health including mental and improving your quality of life particularly with regards to risk factors associated with aging. Here weâ€™d like to share top 5 quick reasons to get into it:
- Helps burn calories throughout the day â€“ since muscles are metabolically active, the more muscles you have, the more calories youâ€™ll burn during the day. This means that not only will you be burning calories during your session, but long after your gym session is over making weight-lifting a great way to keep fit!
- It enhances bone density. Weight training is one of the best ways to prevent bone loss particularly that associated with aging and it does so by improving bone density.
- Weightlifting isnâ€™t just for muscles â€“ not only are your muscles getting stronger with each session, but also the associated connective tissues, tendons and joints which leads to greater mobility and much a reduced risk for injury.
- Promotes healthier heart â€“ cardio training isnâ€™t the only form of exercise which is heart-healthy. In a recent study conducted, just a 45-minute session of strength training resulted in up to a 20 percent reduction in blood pressure. Much safer and dare we say, more fun than those pesky pills!
- Benefits arenâ€™t merely just physical. Sure once you start packing the muscles itâ€™s hard not to feel good about the way you look but according to a recent study of clinical trials, evidence suggests weight training might be as effective as cardio in reducing the symptoms of depression particularly those associated with mild to moderate depression! What a win-win.
Get The Most Out Of Your Weightlifting Experience
We all know weights are great at not just building muscle, but also shredding down on body fat. We also know if weâ€™re looking to pack on serious mass, itâ€™s all about being consistent.Â Progressive overloadÂ is the theory that to constantly grow your muscle, you need to increase the training volume each week. And while this is true, Iâ€™ve found taking a couple of weeks or even months to break out of my routine really helps shake things up. So for example if Iâ€™ve been doing a strength-based program for 3 months (such as PPL), Iâ€™ll take a month off and just do hardcore circuit training. Likewise if youâ€™re stuck on the same old routine or same old plan for the past one year, maybe itâ€™s time to change things a little. Thereâ€™s just so many options and ways to have fun with weights. You could do a complete kettleball-based body workout, maybe opt for circuit training, or maybe even alternate between a hypertrophy and strength based program. There are countless options with weights so donâ€™t restrict yourself to just one!
Alternatively if you find yourself getting almost bored of your time at the gym, maybe you could try pairing up with a friend for a couple of weeks. Itâ€™s always good to have a familiar face around and the change of pace might refresh your attitude towards fitness. Some gyms are now also offering group strength training classes where you work with lighter weights with a personal instructor. This could be great for those looking for the social aspect to their gym time but donâ€™t have anyone available to share it with.