It goes without saying that weightlifting is one of the most prolific forms of exercise. Aside from helping you look much better in your bathing suit, it also helps you gain strength, improve your posture, enhance your mood and even decrease the risk of osteoporosis later on. Furthermore, it helps you gain strength and it reduces the overall risk of injury by making your body more resilient in every way. Still, engaging in a weightlifting regimen without any previous knowledge is a disaster just waiting to happen. So, in order to avoid injury, disappointment caused by a long period of stagnation and many other inconveniences, here are a few things you should definitely look out for.
1. Start doing your research
The first thing you want to do when you decide to lift weights is find the regimen that suits you. While it is true that different regimens suit different goals, it is usually advisable to spend the first month working on the overall strength of your muscles. As soon as you get the program, you should head straight to YouTube and see how each of these exercises is done properly. In this way, you will reduce the risk of injury and significantly increase the effect of your training efforts. Another great idea would be to find a professional trainer or a more experienced gym buddy to help you out. This, however, is quite optional.
2. Get the proper equipment
Another thing you need to know is the fact that a lot of gym injuries happen due to inadequate gear. For instance, while doing squats, all of this weight rests on your back and your feet. This is why you need both a weightlifting belt and weightlifting shoes in order to minimize the risk of injury. Aside from this, you should not wear baggy clothes, in order to avoid having them stuck in gym machines and causing a tear or, even worse, an injury. As for the additional gear, you might want to invest in a decent MP3 player, especially if you are training solo. While some argue that you could also use your phone for this, keep in mind that a phone is more of a distraction than anything else.
3. Diet is equally as important as the training
In the end, it is important to emphasize one thing – what you eat matters just as much as how hard you train. In fact, when it comes to your overall physique, it may matter even more. You see, the number of calories you consume on a daily basis (with the same exact training) can determine whether you are getting bulky, ripped, toned or simply maintaining your weight. Needless to say, you need to eat as healthy as possible, so try to avoid junk food. As for the nutrients you need, the ideal ratio would be to go with 30 percent protein, 40 percent complex carbohydrates and 30 percent fats. Nonetheless, as we stated previously, the nature of these nutrients is all that matters.
The most important tip for a new gym member is to just take it easy. People around you are probably all veteran gym-goers, which means that any effort to compete with them, in the number of sets you do or the amount of weight you put on the bar, is completely futile. Not only will this not help you in any way but it will also increase the risk of you injuring yourself. The only person you have to compete with is yourself. This is the only healthy and natural way for you to make true progress.