Weight training 101 – Beginners basics of Lifting Weights

Training with weights

Weight training or weight lifting or pumping iron all refer to lifting weights. Toning your muscles and possibly making your muscles grow bigger. Is usually what you want to do if you are interested in getting started.

The most important part of your weight training routine is to know exactly what you are wanting to get from exercising this way. Do you just want to tone your muscles, do you just want to work on larger muscles, do you want to grow big bulging muscles or possibly you just want to work on a certain area because you don’t like the way it looks.

Whatever your reason for getting into this popular form of exercising is, you have come to the right place. Whatever your goal is, what I am about to tell you is what you need to know now and for the life of your weight lifting program whether it is 6 months or 30 years.

Compound versus Isolation movements for the beginner

No matter what your goals you need to learn basic compound moves whether you are just wanting to tone or wanting to pack on some real muscle mass. These moves are the foundation in any successful weight training program. Compound moves are movements that involve more than one moving body joint like a knee, a hip, a shoulder, an elbow etc.

For example a barbell squat involves your knees and hips, a barbell bench press involves your elbows and shoulders. They will also involve a large muscle group and other stabilizing muscles.

There are also isolation movements which focus directly on one muscle group. An example of an isolation movement is a barbell curl which only involves your elbow and it would work your biceps, or a leg extension which is using just your knees would just work your quadriceps. Got it?

Isolation exercises for the beginner are pretty much a waste of time, unless you are doing all of your compound moves and want to supplement some isolation moves for some smaller muscle groups like biceps, triceps, calves and so on.

Compound movements for everyone

Here are the most important ones, squats, deadlifts, bench press, barbell row, clean and press. With these five exercise you are working most of your body.

There are other compound movements you can add in or switch with these ones once you have a good weight lifting program going for at least 90 days. They are the push press, chin ups, dips, Lunges, dumbbell row.

For this article lets talk about the first five I have mentioned. So now you have your exercises and now you need to know how to perform them safely and then how many sets, reps and days a week you should use each exercise.

How to squat using a barbell

Proper deadlift technique

The Pre Plan

I am going to assume you know how to perform these exercises or you are researching them and finding out how to perform them. Please for your own sake learn how to do these properly before adding any weight. If you do not learn proper technique chances are you will hurt yourself and we just want to avoid that at all costs.

Next is a very important tip for you, work your body not your ego. That means don’t load a bunch of weight on the bar so that you can not perform the exercise correctly and end up hurting yourself. Got it?

It does not matter what Joe blow is doing on the bench beside you. Exercising to tone or gain muscle is about that, toning and gaining muscle. You are improving your own body. It is not a competition with the guy next to you. I guarantee if you do the exercises properly that over time you will gain so much strength that all of a sudden you will be the one everyone in the gym is watching and envying.

Since these exercises are so taxing you don’t want to be doing them to often. You will end up over training, losing strength and definitely hurting yourself.

Key here is to spread them out so you have optimal strength each workout and lots of recovery time.

How to benchpress

Your weight lifting plan

The plan is simple. For your first workout I want you to do squats and deadlifts. On your second workout I want you to do bench press, barbell row and clean and press.

So that is day 1 and day 2, on day 3 relax, no working out on day 3. On day 4 do squats and deadlifts again then the day after do bench press, barbell rows and clean and presses. Then take two days off. That’s a week. The next week do the same thing.

For reps and sets you should start off with no more than three sets of 6 to 12 reps. If you can do more than 12 reps in any set then you need to increase the weight a bit.

If you keep increasing the weight week after week you should be good with just these exercises for up to 3 months. You are going to get stronger, more muscle tone and if you are eating to add muscle you will definitely add muscle. After a few months you might want to add in some isolation movements on your off days for smaller muscles like biceps etc. if you need me to explain anything a bit better just leave me a message and I would love to help you out to achieve your goal.

Good luck.