Tips for the Weight Training Rookie
If you’re just getting started in a weight training program, there are some specific techniques which you should and should not do. Improper lifting techniques and habits can cause injuries which could knock you out of training for a long time. Therefore, utilize these rookie weight training tips to keep yourself healthy and enjoy your workouts.
Protect Your Lower Back
Before you start throwing large amounts of weight around to impress the girls and other lifters at the gym, keep in mind that the lower back is used to stabilize your core. As a stabilizer muscle, the lower back is utilized (at least to some degree) on all powerlifting exercises.
The lower back is also quite vulnerable, especially if lifts are done incorrectly or if it is overworked. Therefore, do not overwork the lower back by doing all powerlifting in one day. Alternate your exercise program to give your back plenty of rest between stressing workouts.
Build Large Muscle Groups and Grip Strength First
When you start lifting, begin by targeting the larger groups of muscles first. For example, perform the bench press for the chest, arms and shoulders and the rowing machine which targets the arms, shoulders, back and legs.
You also want to add grip strengthening exercises into your weight training program before you tackle large lifts like deadlifts and lunges. The weak link in powerlifts is the flexor and extensor muscles of the forearms and hands. Time spent developing these muscles first will pay off with bigger muscle mass results from powerlifting later on.
Use Proper Deadlift and Squat Techniques
Squats and deadlifts are two of the most taxing strength training exercises. Both put huge amounts of stress on the central nervous system and can cause debilitating hamstring and lower-back injuries if done improperly.
Get a trainer or seasoned lifter to show you proper lift techniques. Also, do not try to deadlift right after a squat session. It is recommended to schedule these exercises for different days, giving yourself at least 72 hours of rest between sessions. If they are done on the same day, you should rest an entire week before performing them again.
Prepare Your Circuit Training Routine
As a beginner in weight training, you will want to get involved in circuit training early on. This is because circuit training (completing numerous workouts with minimal rest periods in between) bulks you quickly and reduces body fat fast.
One of the main objectives in circuit training is minimal rest periods between exercises. Therefore, you should design and/or prepare your workouts in such a way as to be able to go right from one station to the other without any delay.
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