Lifting weights has many benefits, like building lean muscles, strengthening joints, and keeping your metabolism healthy – but if you don’t lift weights correctly, you could injure yourself. Here are some tips to ensure every weightlifting session is safe and effective.
Mental Preparation Is Everything
We are guilty of feeling like it’s all eyes on us when we walk into a gym, but we guarantee that everyone is too focused on their own workouts to give you a second look. So if you’re feeling nervous about heading to the weight section for the first time, hold your head up high. If you lift at home, set yourself up for success by scheduling a timeframe and giving yourself plenty of space to get a good workout in.
Never Miss a Warm-Up
The first 5-10 minutes of any workout should be a warm-up, including a weightlifting session. This could be a quick jog, a heart-pumping walk, or even a few minutes of jump rope. The goal is to get your blood flowing and loosen up your muscles before you put them to work.
The million-dollar question is, “How much weight should I start with?” The answer is: It depends. To be safe, start with lighter weights while doing more reps – even if you think the weights are too light. As you move up to heavier weights, make sure you’re never sacrificing form because that’s when injuries and strains happen.
Embrace the Gradual Increase
Once you can easily work with the weights you’ve started with, increase the weight by 5-10%. Make sure to test the weights before going all in with the heavier ones.
Log Your Progress
Keeping a gym log can be as simple as jotting down notes on your phone. Note what exercise you do, how much weight you’re lifting, how many reps and sets, and how it feels. This will help you track your progress and effectively continue to meet your weightlifting goals.
Take a Breather
After every set, breathe and relax for about one minute. This will give your muscles time to rest without getting overworked. During this time, you should also drink some water, and refer to your gym log and note how you’re feeling.
Consistency Is Key
When it comes to seeing results, it’s not about how much weight you can lift but about how consistent you are with your weightlifting.
Don’t Go Too Hard
Your workouts should be roughly 45 minutes max. Anything more than that can lead to burnout and skipped sessions because your mind and body are exhausted.
Be sure to stretch between workouts or whenever you’re feeling stiff. This simple task can reduce your risk of injury, and your muscles will thank you!