Resistance Training: Where to Start
Knowing where exactly to begin with resistance training can be difficult. With a seamlessly never-ending range of exercises to choose from, safety points to be aware of and various types of equipment to consider, things can become confusing fast. However, the good news is that resistance training doesn't need to be so complicated and it is easier to get started than you might have thought.
Contrary to what you may have heard, resistance training is about much more than building bigger muscles. For many people, getting big muscles is a great bonus of resistance training but this type of training also contributes to stronger bones, helps the fat to break down, improves your metabolism and leads to better all-round health. With so much to be gained from resistance training, it's really just a matter of understanding how to get started.
Let's take a look at a few useful tips to help you get started on your resistance-training journey.
Gyms are not meant to be intimidating places. There might be a lot of big, strong people in there but they all had to start somewhere. When you're getting started with resistance training, it's wise to leave your ego at the door. Instead of picking up the heaviest weight you can find and putting yourself out of action for weeks, be sure to start small. Resistance bands, for example, are a great way to build base strength and get your body used to specific movements before you hit the weights.
The Right Gear
While many gyms around the country are flooded with people in workout gear that is more stylish than your best wedding outfit, remember this is not a fashion show. When you're buying your gym gear, always choose function over style. A strong, durable and supportive pair of shoes is the only piece of kit that you will need right away. Moisture-wicking gym clothing can help to keep you comfortable and as you progress, you might like to try lifting gloves to give you a better grip on the bars. However, right now, it's important to focus on finding comfortable, supportive footwear.
Get Professional Help
Resistance training involves some very specific movements that need to be followed carefully to avoid injury. Over or overextending your range of motion when you're training with resistance can have long-lasting repercussions. For this reason, it is always best to seek out the help of a professional trainer to help you get started. Perfecting the moves early-on in your resistance training career will allow you to improve over time, increasing your loads while staying safe and protecting your body.
Always Warm Up, Stretch And Cool-Down
Going into a resistance training session without warming up and stretching is the best way to get an injury. Take five to ten minutes to warm up on a treadmill or a stationary bike to get the blood flowing and increase your heart rate. Once you have warmed up be sure to stretch properly so that you do not get injured. Likewise, at the end of your session, be sure to take the time to warm-down in the same way. This will help you to avoid being stiff and sore the next day, meaning you won't miss any workouts unnecessarily.
Set Yourself Up For Resistance Training Success
Getting started with resistance training can be daunting for first-timers. However, by starting slow, using the right equipment and seeking out the right help, there's no reason that you can't succeed with your resistance training goals. Put a workout program in place to follow and track your progress over time so you can see your gains. In just a few short weeks, you will be able to see how much you have improved and you will soon be leaving your ‘newbie' gym status behind you.