A Beginner’s Guide To Weight Training
Weightlifting, also known as strength training or resistance training, helps build and preserve lean body mass, which is crucial for overall health and graceful ageing. Additionally, it boosts metabolism, aids in fat loss, and even increases the production of endorphins, thus giving you an I-can-do-it mentality that carries on in other aspects of your life.
EMF Fitness wants to help you figure out a consistent routine that would help you gain everything you can from weight lifting while also allowing for some rest time. This is why we have put together a beginner’s guide to weight training in order to ease you into increasing your strength.
Seek professional help: A trained professional can show you the ropes of proper weight training, teaching you the fundamentals, instilling proper technique, and giving you the confidence you aren’t making mistakes. Understanding the fundamental movement patterns (pressing- horizontal and vertical, pulling- horizontal and vertical, squat pattern, lunge pattern, hip hinge pattern) is important. You need professional assistance in order to understand how to properly execute each of these movement patterns.
Get access to equipment: Make arrangements for weights (barbells, dumbells, and ideally a pull-up bar) for a proper home gym set up. If you do not want to invest in weights then either a commercial gym membership or a personal training studio such as ours will give you access to the necessary equipment.
Get your technique right: You have to remember that technique is everything, learning to move efficiently and effectively for your goals is paramount. Take the time to understand and learn the how’s and why’s behind each movement you are doing. Focus on your technique first, then look to add weight over time.
Make the most of what you pay for: You want to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to time spent in the gym. Experiment with everything your gym has to offer. Your body will tell you what it likes and doesn’t like. Branch out beyond the few machines you know how to work with. When in doubt, ask a staff member to help you out with an unfamiliar machine.
Advice From The Pros
Work out efficiently: Wasting too much time on less efficient exercises is more common than you would think. Dumbell curls and crunches have value in a training program but not before the fundamental movement patterns. The fundamental movement patterns consist of what is called compound movements, meaning multiple joints working at once. Not only does this use more muscles for the given effort but it enables you to move much more weight, which in turn will cause a greater demand for adaptation, i.e. muscle growth or strength development. Isolated exercises like curls and crunches are effective in targeting certain muscle groups, but the load used will be submaximal and in turn less effective overall for the time spent in the gym, especially for new lifters.
Constantly challenge yourself: After learning how to and why to use the fundamental movement patterns and ensuring your form is solid, you will want to make sure you are applying the right amount of effort. “What doesn’t challenge you; doesn’t change you” If you are consistently just going through the motions at the gym and not challenging the body, you will not be forcing any adaptation as the work isn’t challenging enough to demand it. You want to be pushing your body near mechanical failure, meaning when it begins to be difficult to maintain proper form, as soon as your body wants to start “cheating” the exercise, you know the targeted muscle groups are now worked, and it’s time to stop and rest for the next set.
Keep yourself educated: Educate yourself on the fundamentals, whether it’s self-research through books, articles, videos or hiring a trained professional like the coaches here at EMF Fitness. Understanding the how, what’s, why’s of exercise will be the knowledge that serves you and those around you for life! Take the time to educate yourself as you will start to understand how and why your exercises are working or not working for you, and then figure out an efficient and smart routine.
As a leading fitness centre in Calgary, we are dedicated to helping you become the best version of you. More than just a gym, we are here to teach and inspire others to live a healthy, active lifestyle through purposeful movement, proper nutrition for your goals, and having fun.
When you join EMF Fitness, you become part of a family of people who are committed to improving their health and breaking fitness barriers every day. Our fitness programs include one on one personal fitness training, small group fitness training, large group fitness training and online coaching. We have Clients visiting us from across Calgary, AB and the surrounding areas.