The All-In-One Guide to Weightlifting: From Basic to Advanced

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First timers entering a gym are often intimidated by the presence of hulk-bodied dudes who flex their muscles and lift huge weights. One could certainly be discouraged in such company, especially if he either has a big belly or is skinny. One would be left wondering how long it would take until he can be part of the “macho” club.

One should not be left discouraged enrolling in gym class. After all, the person has adjusted his schedule to be able to make improvements on his physique and well-being. If a person is truly committed, nothing else matters but his goals, and that is to increase your strength add muscle mass and strengthen the bones. Bear in mind that those intimidating guys also started somewhere.

Why Chooses Weightlifting?

The best way to build muscle mass and strength is through weightlifting. Aerobics, body weight exercises, and running are more inferior to weightlifting. The discipline will shape not just the physique; it will also mold one into a much stronger person who’s mentally tough. Consider these benefits:

It Teaches Dedication. What a person will need most to succeed in weightlifting is dedication. There should be a hundred percent commitment to the discipline otherwise he will fail. If one follows through, he will truly learn the meaning of dedication, and he can apply this to other goals in his life.

It Also Teaches Persistence. Together with dedication is persistence. One will need to continuously strive to attain his goals no matter what obstacles he encounters. There is no backing out. Persist, while pushing to the next level.

Think of it as Investing in Yourself. When one is striving to better his physique and muscular strength, he will also be improving his well-being. The person will be getting more than what he has bargained for when he engages in weightlifting.

It will be a serious decision when a person finally tells himself, “I can do this, and I will succeed.” Dedication and persistence will be needed from the start until the end of this endeavor.

Training Tips for Beginners

Always consult the gym trainer about safety and progression. Remember that the improper lifting of weights can also result in injuries. Trainers will teach the proper forms to lift weights and the correct volumes as well. Before every weightlifting session, a person needs to do the following:

Remember that Hydration is Key

When a person exercises, perspiration will take place, and he will be losing water. So before engaging in exercise, get on a digital scale and note your weight. Do the same after the exercise and drink enough water to make up for the before-after difference.

Carry Two Towels

One will be needed two towels when he works out in the gym. The first one is for the after work out shower. The second one is for the sweat-covered equipment. Wipe the sweat off all the equipment worked on. This is a matter of courtesy for the next person who will use the bench.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions

Anyone who isn’t sure about safety or lifting routines, shouldn’t hesitate to ask questions. Being a beginner, trainers are courteous and will guide people accordingly.

Pick Up that Dumbbell

With gym machines, weightlifters will need a good spotter. One can opt for dumbbells, and they can even work the muscles harder than equipment.

Control the Weights Used

Avoid lifting weights that are too heavy that momentum is needed to lift them. An easy test would be being able to pause at least a second before lifting the weight. It’s not wise to be a show-off by lifting big dumbbells just to prove toughness. Stick by the guide to perform better.

Start Gradually

Making small adjustments to certain routines in the long haul would be hardly noticed at all. And sticking to these adjustments will cultivate beneficial habits to one’s well-being. The exercise routine, if followed regularly, will gradually provide the goals one desires in the onset.

Take Note of Posture

We have been reminded in high-school gym class about correct posture. To this day it still applies, and it’s a simple way of telling if one is doing his exercises correctly.

Kick it Up a Notch!

For the average weightlifter who has reached the highest level of his program, it would be a good time to kick it up a notch. There are additional benefits when a person takes the challenge. Try these calorie-burning exercises:

Squat in Flats Often

Olympic weightlifters use shoes with elevated heels, and this facilitates their efforts to achieve a full squat depth with a good geometry. But it’s not advised for the standard weightlifters because they would be relying too much on the shoes in making full squat depths which would sacrifice their efforts to enhance their mobility levels. Some may say elevated shoes are good; others may disagree.  What is important is maintaining the mobility, with or without heel lifts.

The quad muscles will be more involved in the squat because of using heel lifts, and this may spoil the involvement of the hamstrings and glutes which may not happen without the heel lifts. For a truly admirable squat, one will require more than the quadriceps.

Press Using a False Grip

A false grip is a grip type that many gym people aren’t comfortable with because of safety precautions. The grip involves the thumb not wrapping around the bar. It does look dangerous but come to think of it, aren’t the other weight-lifting exercises as dangerous? If the false grip is done right, it can result in great benefits.

Closed grip lifting will situate the bar very deep into the palm when performing press movements to a point where it’s just behind the forearm. This will result in a position called the “broken wrist” which can encourage a partial line of force from the elbow to the forearm and finally, to the bar. Using a false grip allows the person to position the bar closer to the wrist, right above the forearm, forming a full line. Structurally, using this grip on press movements is stronger.

Increase the Weight and the Volume

Many programs which focus on size require multiple sets and reps, all done using the lifter’s maximum lifting for that rep range. Most of us would be limited either by our strength and conditioning. We would end up either not completing the required reps.

People should consider ramping up the volume. The way these works isn’t even complicated. But don’t make huge leaps just to skip over the ramp sets. Use reasonable increments to progress to the top-end set.

Doing this may entail more work but better-quality work. It’s a win-win situation. The main point here is not to let the attachment to top-end weight blind the person. This is an innovative move, from an intermediate to an advanced level, finding a solution where there was none before. Being smart can make one be the best.

The Common Weightlifting Exercises for Any Level of a Weightlifter

Training exercises usually target specific muscle groups. A person must do these exercises correctly for maximum benefits. For those who have not yet started, and their physique is less than adequate, they could be at a disadvantage and may be wasting their time, energy, and money. Once can consider very common weightlifting exercises that are good for any weightlifting level.

There are two classifications of exercises for weightlifting that can either involve compound or isolated movements. The difference lies in the muscle groups that are used to do the movements.

Compound

Of course, compound exercises will involve some muscle groups needed to do the lift and consequently will be using more muscle fibers. This will mean that the person can lift more weight. And this is a fundamental that is required for strength progression and the building of muscle tissue.

Isolation

Isolation movements, on the other hand, will require a single muscle group to do the exercise. This will mean stimulating fewer muscle fibers. This type of exercise targets only specific muscles which are lagging or are not completely stimulated when doing compound movements.

It’s a foregone conclusion that compound exercises are far more effective than isolated ones because it’s easier to increase muscle mass and efficient strength. For this reason, weightlifting should be more focused on compound exercises. It’s still okay to do a few isolation exercises but should not be the focus otherwise; the person will be selling himself short in developing more muscle groups.

Also bear in mind that for each muscle group in the body, there will always be an opposing one. A single muscle group may be used for your pulling exercise. Expect an opposing group for movements which involve pushing.

Push Exercises

This is self-explanatory as it refers to any muscle group that requires one to push to lift a weight. The muscles in front are the typical target group of push exercises. Most of these exercises we are very familiar.

Pull Exercises

To counter the push exercises are the pull ones and this involves pulling to lift weights. This time, these will target the muscles at the back.

A person needs to maintain a balance between pull and push exercises. He will need to even up both exercises in the weightlifting routines to avoid any imbalance between the two. But it’s better to use a few more pull movements since the muscles involved are greatly underused. This may be due to our modern, sedentary way of life.

The biggest mistake of weight-lifting beginners is trying to lift heavy weights when their forms are not yet ready. This is a bad idea as it will yield poor results, if not injury. Their eagerness is commendable but should be used not with extra weights but in perfecting the techniques before taking on those beastly weights. Gaining muscle mass shouldn’t be far behind.

Don’t be too impressed with those show-offs in the gym bouncing two plates off their chest. If one observes closely enough, it’s the spotter who does the actual lifting. Be content with lifting just one plate on the bench press but with God-like precision.

Keep These Things in Mind!

At this point, a person should have already overcome his apprehensions about setting foot in the weight room of the gym. Keep in mind all the benefits one can get from deciding to start weightlifting. Naming a few, it can help lose weight, prevent disease, improve heart health, maintain blood sugar levels, balance, and much more. Most people probably already know of such benefits. The more important thing now is to stick with the weight-training schedule. Here are some friendly tips to help avoid pitfalls and maximize the benefits of the new routine:

Stick With Your Decision and Don’t Let the Challenge at the Start Discourage You

Everybody new to weightlifting is not exempted from the soreness, fatigue, and doubts that come after the first days of training. After a period, the pain will disappear, and everything would be easier. Each training day will make one feel the mind and body connection which would eventually lead to coordination and stability. Those lifts will feel natural rather than tortuous, and the person will gradually start to experience more confidence in his form.

Just Because You’re Sore, that Doesn’t Mean that the Workout is Effective

Beginners often think that the more soreness they feel after the first workouts, the more effective the workout was. That is a misconception. If any, muscle soreness in an indication that there is muscle damage. This is just one mechanism when trying to increase muscle mass, although the least important. Some form of soreness is good but when too much, it might inhibit one from attending a good-quality workout in the next session. Bodybuilding is not a one-week plan. Rather, it’s a long-term goal. Don’t get too excited by over-stressing the body then can barely walk after.

Pair the Workout with a Healthy Diet

There seems to be no getting around being healthy without involving diet. One can exercise all he wants, but if he doesn’t follow a healthy diet, it could all be a waste of time. People who train and consume whole-foods can stay more active and will develop better physiques than those who train all day but eat junk and processed foods.

Those who engage in physical activities like weightlifting should eat enough protein, as well as carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Protein will help build muscle, while fats and carbohydrates will keep one satiated, energized, and will help him recover from his workout. Healthy nutrition and exercise go together in developing the strength and health.

Take Some Time Off

It’s true that exercise can do a lot of good. So, does rest. After all the sweat and effort, one subjects his body to, he will need to give it a break. Enough rest will ensure that all the physiological changes he wants to attain will really take place. Do the weight training 2-3 times a week, then cardio 3-5 times a week. Take about 48 hours of rest in between weightlifting sessions. That’s a recommendation not just for the mind, but the body as well.

 

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