Strength training, sometimes called weightlifting, is a popular sport. Many people start strength training because they want to build strength and confidence, lose weight or simply try out a different kind of exercise. Some people do it because they want to build muscles, and others want to participate in bodybuilding competitions or shows. No matter the reasons, most people need to follow some basic steps when starting this type of workout regimen. The best tips for strength training for beginners include incorporating several types of pre-workout exercises, setting workout schedules, creating lifting goals and eating specific types of foods before and after a workout.
Some beginners already are in shape, and others are just returning starting — or returning to — a strict workout practice. The background and history of the beginner doesn’t matter — all beginners need to stretch and warm up before attempting to lift weights. Strength training for beginners will utilize different muscle groups and challenge people to use their bodies in new ways. If a person isn’t warmed up, he or she can easily tear, sprain or strain a muscle or ligament on the first day. Doing arm and leg stretches will prepare a person for heavy lifting.
When building muscle mass, the older, smaller muscles sometimes have small, microscopic tears. This is normal in strength training for beginners, and most people experience delayed onset muscle soreness about 24 to 48 hours after a workout. When the muscle heals properly, it usually becomes stronger. If it isn’t allowed to heal, then the person might not see the desired results. The best way to avoid that is to follow a workout schedule that works different muscle groups each day, such as the legs on one day and arms the next day.
One of the biggest mistakes that occurs in strength training for beginners is when a person doesn’t go at the correct pace. Many people set themselves up for disappointment and frustration by expecting immediate results. Strength training for beginners should follow a slow, steady pace. Lifters should start with three short sets of six to 10 repetitions and gradually add more repetitions over a period of time. They should start out with weights that they feel comfortable with and slowly add more weight each week.
People who are incorporating strength training to lose weight often do not see results because they are not eating properly. Strength training for beginners usually is a lifestyle change, so the exerciser's diet needs to change as well. The best thing to eat before a workout is food high in carbohydrates, because the body will have more energy to burn. Foods high in protein, such as protein shakes and protein bars, should be consumed immediately after a workout. Protein will help the tired muscles recover more quickly.