It takes a lot more than just pure determination to succeed in the weights room.
As with so many different elements on training, be it with weights or roadwork on the various exercises in between, the number one thing which can cause people, particularly beginners, to fail to adequately adapt a new habit can be the niggling injuries, pulls or tears you can experience if you bite off a little too much too soon.
So, with that said, what follows are some tips for you to make the most of your motivation to up your numbers in the gym.
- Don’t forget to properly stretch and warm up in help avoid injury. A 10-minute shift on the rower in order to break a sweat and to get your heart rate up is an ideal start before moving on to your sets.
- Prepare your muscles first. Are you ready for the weights room? If you can do around five pull-ups, or 25-30 press ups without interruption, your fast-twitch muscles are good to go.
- If you’re serious about lifting, hard-soled shoes are better than their soft-soled equivalent.
- Keep a diary. The biggest motivator of them all is when you begin to notice improvements in your performance and either a written diary, or any one of the hundreds of mobile applications out there can help you with this.
- Start with resistance machines to familiarise yourself with the various muscle groups and prepare them before moving to free weights which activate an increased amount of muscle groups.
- Consider a personal trainer if it is not financially prohibitive. This can be invaluable in devising a routine suited to your and your specific needs.
- Put the work in. You will begin to notice results after just a few weeks or three x half hour sessions. To make the most of your time, select compound, multi-joint exercises which impact different muscle groups.
- Don’t start too hot and heavy. Slowly ramp up your training to a point you are comfortable with to best avoid DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
- Sleep. Diet. Hydration. Nutrients. These four things are almost as important as the weight training itself. Don’t skip ’em.
- Don’t take steroids, idiot.