Starting out with Strength Training

Published by activeforlife on

Starting out with Strength Training

If you are looking to build strength, tone muscle, build stronger bones, loose weight or prevent injury, you might want to look into some strength training options!

Strength training exercises can be done with weights, body weight or other resistance equipment. It can be done at home, outside, and at the gym. Workouts can be modified for most abilities, and using equipment can actually make it easier to modify! 

Today I am going to talk to you about how to get started on your strength training journey, how to make it part of your daily life and some tips to get the best results! 

Tips to Start Strength Training

Always Warm Up

It is always important to warm up before you workout. Preparing your muscles for the work is the best way to avoid pain and injury. When you are strength training it is a good idea to warm up with a little cardio to get your blood pumping and heart rate up, followed by a few minutes of mobility, focusing on lighter versions of the workouts that you have planned. 

EX. If you are planning to do bicep curls with a heavier weight, do a few wall push up to get the joints moving and muscles engaged. 

Focus on Proper Technique

This really goes for every kind of workout. Proper form is always so important. It’s always a good idea if you are just starting out to work with a trainer who can help guide you in proper technique and body mechanics. 

If you are going it alone here are a few key points to think about:

Make sure that your feet are firmly planted, core engaged (to protect your spine), keep your back straight, and shoulders down and back. Avoid hunching!  

Check out: Why your Posture Matters

Move Slow

When you are lifting or moving against resistance you can get double the workout by just slowing down your movements. Concentric muscle contraction is what you may typically think of with exercise. It is the standard contraction and lifting motion, when the muscle shortens and its two connection points come close together. The eccentric contraction is utilizing the same muscle, but acts in the lowering part of the motion. The muscle continues to contract and still exerts force on the weight. It acts as a sort of braking mechanism, slowing down the lowering movement and preventing the weight from pulling down too quickly with the force of gravity. This helps improve your overall mobility and stability by strengthening your muscles more wholly. 

If you need put momentum into the movement, you are more likely to injure yourself and it likely means that the weight is to much for you!

Determine the right weight for you

A common question that all trainers hear when recommending a workout to someone is “how much should I do?” To which I always reply “How much can you do?” This goes for weight/ reps and sets! I can not tell you how much you should do before knowing what you are able to do! 

If you are just starting out, you might have to experiment a little bit. Try starting with a lighter weight and see how it feels. Do a full workout with a light weight to start and low reps, something that you maybe feel might be to easy. After that full workout, just see how you feel! 

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “NO PAIN NO GAIN” 

You do not want to start off working your body to exhaustion. Very sore muscles, not being able to lift your arms or climb up stairs the next day is a sign that you have OVER TRAINED! 

Over training can damage your muscles, lead to long term pain and really throw off your routine (especially if the pain lasts multiple days). If this happens you need to take a step back!  When you are strength training you should feel it in your muscles, while still being able to move easily and without pain! 

Working out at home

You can can get a full workout from the comfort of your own living room. You don’t need anything to gets started but let’s review some of your equipment options.

Body weight

The most simple and least expensive option of course is to use your own body weight. There are a ton of low impact workouts that you can do standing sitting and laying down. 

Ex. Squats, Lunges, Planks etc.  

Check out: 5 Beginners, 5 min Body Weight Workouts

Dumb bells/ Hand Weights

A set of light hand weights can be very inexpensive and incredibly versatile. If you are primarily working your upper body, or you are only doing seated workouts they can be very beneficial. Start out light and make sure that adding weight is advised by your doctor if you have suffered any back or shoulder injuries.

Check out: 15 min Arm and Core With Weight Workout

Resistance bands 

These are my favourite! They are perfect because they can go everywhere with you, take little to no room to store, can work every part of your body and they come in lots of fun colours! (Usually coded for resistance strength). They are often used in rehab situations because of their versatility and ease of use. They can be effective with limited range or full range of motion and their intensity is easily adjusted giving you full control! 

Let’s Get Started 

The benefits of a good strength routine outweigh any of the excuses you might have! I promise you. If you’re not motivated by working out alone, I recommend looking into local fitness classes, or you could work with a trainer, like ME!!!

If you are interested in 1:1 At Home or Online fitness training, please refer to the menu above, or book your FREE Strategy Call and we can talk about your options.

My online programs include an assessment, personalized workout plans and easy to follow videos! Click the Link Below or visit my Virtual Personal Training page


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