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Strength Training: A Beginner’s Guide

by Sarah Kaminski
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If you’re not a gym buff, the idea of strength training probably reminds you of men with the physique of Arnold Schwarzenegger doing bicep curls in front of a mirror. But the truth about this type of exercise is that it’s so much more than just building big arms.

If you look at the health benefits of strength training, you’ll quickly find it has plenty to offer — as long as you’re willing to do the work.

So, whether you’ve experimented with it before or are starting from scratch, here’s the beginner’s guide to strength training, plus a few tips on ensuring your hard work pays off.

Why Do Strength Training?

Before we get into the exercises you need to do to build strength, you must understand why you need to do this type of exercise in the first place.

On the whole, there are three main benefits of building muscle:

  • Injury Prevention — Perhaps the most significant advantage of strengthening your muscles is that it can help you prevent injury in everyday life. A strong core, back, and legs will help when lifting heavy items (whether those are your kids, fur babies, or that couch you’re trying to haul up a flight of stairs). Plus, a strong musculature helps support your skeleton, protects joints, and makes you more resilient overall.
  • Longevity — Scientific evidence shows that doing resistance training holds a lot of potential in terms of longevity. In addition to improving cardiovascular health and pulmonary function, it can lower cholesterol, boost bone health, and improve sleep.
  • Metabolism Boost — Finally, if you want to lose weight, you don’t have to take up running or punish yourself with those killer HIIT workouts. Instead, doing a few strength-focused workouts per week could allow you to build muscle (which burns more energy than fat), automatically helping you keep your weight in check and your appetite more controlled.

Find a Schedule That Works

The great thing about strength training is that you don’t have to do a great deal to see benefits.

Research shows that two to three workouts per week (aim for 45 to 60 minutes per session) work wonderfully for building muscle and burning fat without overexerting your body and leading to injury.

As you consider taking up this form of exercise, make sure that you pick an activity appropriate for your age and fitness levels. Ultimately, a hard-hitting gym session can be good. But only as long as you can keep consistent.

If you find that the gentle effects of pilates or yoga work better for your body than lifting weights, allow yourself to enjoy these activities and explore ways to make them as effective as possible. Moreover, if you choose to do weights, do your best to start slow and focus on your form instead of trying to lift the heaviest thing you can find. It’s also not a bad idea to hire a personal trainer during the initial stages of your workout journey, as they can help you learn the ropes and prevent you from doing more harm than good by moving your body in ways it wasn’t meant to.

Target All Parts of Your Body

One of the biggest mistakes people make when doing strength workouts is that they only work on the more visible parts of their bodies. But the thing is, big biceps, wide shoulders, and washboard abs won’t do you any good if you have weak legs, glutes, or back. That’s why you must come up with an all-encompassing training schedule that lets you work on every part of your body.

Knowing that you should train your chest, shoulders, arms, back, abs, and legs, develop a schedule that lets you do all these things. For example, dedicate one day of the week to your legs and calves, another to your torso and abs, and the third to your arms and neck.

Furthermore, don’t forget that properly strengthening your muscles requires a proper warm-up and cool-down routine. So don’t try to go all out from the moment you step into the gym, unless you want to injure yourself.

Finally, pay attention to your flexibility levels. A greater range of movement will aid you in performing exercises correctly. So, try to add stretching into your everyday routine — even if you only do it as a break when standing up from your desk.

Pay Attention to Nutrition and Recovery

Last but not least, as you consider taking up strength training as a beginner, you must understand that building muscle requires you to take exceptional care of your body.

In addition to getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night and eating a diet based on nutritious whole foods, you should also consider supplementing with the right ingredients.

For example, a cup of coffee can be a great way to improve your physical performance. However, if you want to build a lot of muscle fast, you’ll need something more potent. In these cases, a product that contains Tongkat Ali and Rhodiola will work great in helping you build more muscle — especially if you pair it with a high-protein diet.

It’s also essential that you make room in your workout schedule for recovery days. No, we don’t mean sitting on the couch and eating chips all day. On the contrary, a solid recovery protocol means moving every day of the week.

So, if you want to ensure your hard work at the gym translates into impressive results, do your best to walk a bit more every day and do gentle workouts on off days. Again, yoga or pilates are great options, as are sports like soccer or tennis. And don’t hesitate to experiment with more advanced recovery protocols, like doing a daily cold plunge, going to the sauna, or even red light therapy.

Final Thoughts

Getting started with strength training, especially as a beginner, can be intimidating. But the truth is, you don’t have to do anything extreme — especially if you’re not after extreme results.

Starting small and being consistent is probably the best way to approach this type of workout. So don’t hesitate to start as soon as today. Even if it only means doing a few pushups and squats. If you keep with it, you’re guaranteed to reap the benefits well into your old age. Plus, it might also help you achieve your optimal physique, helping you feel healthy and strong and look great at the beach.

Sarah Kaminski

Sarah Kaminski

Hi I’m Sarah Kaminski, a freelance writer and social media marketer. I work with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.
I am delighted to share my thoughts here on CaribDirect and hope they resonate with you. Please let me know what you think of my posts and provide suggestions on topics you would like me to cover.
Twitter – @SarahKaminski10


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