6 Tips for Getting Started with a Strength Training Program

6 Tips for Getting Started with a Strength Training Program

August 19, 2018

 

Have you decided to bite the bullet and finally get started on a strength training program? Congrats to you! Strength training is essential in your fitness journey. There are five main goals of any strength training program. Those goals are to increase strength, build muscle, boost power, improve muscular endurance, and lastly, lose fat. With so many different strength training programs out there and sites full of tips, one might wonder how you cut through the clutter and find the absolute best beginners strength training tips. That’s where we come in. Follow these six tips to help you get started with a strength training program that will give you the best results. 

6 Tips for Getting Started with a Strength Training Program

  1. Picking the Right Program

The first thing you need to figure out is what kind of strength training you will actually be doing. The type of training you will be doing depends on your goals, the space you have available and the equipment you have access to.

  • Bodyweight Training – Bodyweight training requires minimal equipment. Most of the exercises rely mainly on your own body’s weight. You can do bodyweight training virtually anywhere because you do not need much space. The most common bodyweight exercises include pushups, pull-ups, planks, rollouts and glute bridges. The only downside to bodyweight training is that you will need to frequently modify the exercises to ensure the exercises get more and more difficult. This is the only way you will see progress.
  • Dumbbell Training – Dumbbells are the perfect way to start out with strength training for quite a few reasons. First off, most gyms already have dumbbell sets. If you’re not a member of a gym, you can get a great set of adjustable dumbbells for cheap that doesn’t take up a ton of space. Dumbbell training allows you to add small amounts of weight to movements. This is great because it allows you to challenge yourself with more and more weight as time goes on. The most common forms of dumbbell training exercises include bench presses, bicep curls, upright rows and shoulder presses.
  • Barbell Training – While barbell training is a workout favorite, the downside is that you need certain equipment such as a squat rack, a barbell, and a bench. This can be a problem if you have limited space for workouts. However, barbell training allows you to progress quickly and clearly with adding small increments of weight as time goes on. Popular barbell training exercises include deadlifts, back squats, overhead presses and bent-over rows.

There are also many other forms of strength training, including rock climbing, yoga, and parkour.

So, you might be wondering what strength training program is best for you. The only one who can answer that question is you. Think about the space of your workout area and whether or not you want to or can afford a gym membership. Also, consider your level of motivation. If you feel like you lack the motivation to do at home bodyweight training, then consider another option that requires you to hit the gym.

 6 Tips for Getting Started with a Strength Training Program

  1. Building Up Endurance

If you’re just starting out with strength training, don’t overdo it from the get-go. Doing too much too quickly can lead to injury. Perform strength training exercises for two days for two to three weeks and gradually build up your endurance. You need to work your way up to it. When first starting out, limit strength training sessions to 20-minute sessions and then add on time in 10-minute increments until you’re up to 45-60 minutes. Beginners should also try aiming for 15 reps and three sets for each exercise. Of course, you can work your way into more sets and reps once you get a hang of it and once you feel comfortable doing so.

6 Tips for Getting Started with a Strength Training Program
 

  1. Muscle Prepping

Much like any form of exercise, it is essential that you warm up prior to doing your strength training regimen. Besides standard warm-up exercises try foam rolling your muscles to wake them up a bit. This prepares your muscles for the work they’re about to do and increases your range of motion. When you increase your range of motion, you will be able to fully extend your muscles and get deeper into the exercises. Warming up also reduces your risk of injury.

  1. Weight Limitation

Different exercises will require different weights, but as a safe bet, go for a weight that feels heavy enough to challenge you but not so heavy that your form is sacrificed. For example, if you’re doing 15 reps of one exercise, you should feel pretty worn out by the time you hit the 15th rep. However, if you’re breezing through all the reps and you aren’t feeling challenged then you will want to consider upping the weight by a bit.

  1. Refueling

After a hard workout, it is important that you refuel your body. Drink lots of water before and after your workout and make sure you have a post-workout snack, preferably with carbs and 10-20 grams of protein. The protein will help you repair and build your muscles. If you’re doing strength training in hopes of losing weight, you do need to keep your calorie intake in mind. If looking to lose weight, a post-workout snack should be no more than 200 calories.

  1. Listen to Your Body

It’s OK to be a little sore after a hardcore strength training workout. In fact, it’s completely normal. However, you needn’t push yourself if you are feeling abnormally sore. Taking a rest day is fine and rest days are actually needed to allow for your muscles to recuperate. If you consistently tire out your muscles without a rest day here and there, you’re not giving your muscle fibers a chance to repair themselves and build back stronger. As a rule of thumb, if your soreness is above a level seven, then it is recommended that you take a rest day or at least focus on working a different part of your body.

 6 Tips for Getting Started with a Strength Training Program

 

Overall, the most important thing about starting strength training is that you actually start. Do not overthink everything. Just go out there and give it a go.

If you have recently started a strength training program or are a seasoned veteran what tips would you recommenrd, leave us a note in our comments section.

Written by N. Rolleri for WeirdMojo



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