Weight lifting is much more than just the huffing and puffing that goes into doing that final rep. It is the best form of exercise if you want to build a stronger and leaner body. But without getting your basics right, all your hard work could go for a toss. Here are some pre-requisites you need to follow if you want to make the most of your weight lifting regime:
Don’t rush into things just because you see a bunch of buff guys lifting heavy weights. The key is to start light and then slowly work your way up in weight. It’s better to get the form down perfectly using light weights than injuring yourself because the weight is too heavy. It’s not worth impressing anybody, so take your time and the gains will be made. Remember, the buff guys started out just where you are right now.
Know your body
Everybody has a unique body structure and tolerance levels, so it’s best to figure things out for yourself and have a solid understanding of where you stand. Have defined knowledge of what could be your limits and attainable goals. Setting up small attainable goals in the beginning will help you in the long run. Don’t set your standards too high because if you don’t attain them, your feeling of defeat and frustration will overpower your will to get fit.
Before starting your workout, it is imperative that you warm up properly. If you break into a sweat then you are on the right track! Warm up is essential because lifting weights with cold muscles is a recipe for injury. Do a quick jog or jump rope to activate your muscles.
If you are the new kid on the scene , it’s better that you have an understanding on the do’s and dont’s while you are getting your lift on. Firstly, don’t talk on the phone in between sets or while running on the treadmill. Nobody’s interested in your conversation or to know the ups- and downs in your life.
Second, always re-rack your weights and dumbbells. It’s just a polite thing to do and makes it easier for the person who’s up next.
Lastly, wipe down any equipment you use once you are done with it. Carry your own towel or use the paper towels provided by the gym. Nobody wants to drown in your sweaty mess.
- Shoes – The number one piece of gear you need to get is a good pair of shoes to lift in. The most important quality of lifting shoes is that they should be able to drive through your heel. So instead of a classic cushy running shoe, you need something that has a flat or solid sole. Your classic Converse All Star shoe is affordable and comes highly recommended by many of the world’s top lifters.
- Gloves- Well gloves are optional when it comes to lifting weights. Many people wear them to avoid developing callouses caused by friction. They also help with getting a better grip when lifting heavy but invest in a good pair that comes with rubber padding.
- Wrist straps- These are great for anyone with weak wrists. They provide great help with any type of overhead lifts like the bench press. They offer great support and are definitely something you need to have when the weights started getting heavy. They allow you to hold onto the weight longer and train without exhausting your grip. This is a must have tool for intermediate and advanced lifters, but nothing to worry if you are a beginner.
- Weightlifting Belt- Bodybuilders are split when it comes to the safety and efficiency of the weightlifting belt. Many lifters believe that the belt increase your risk of injury over time. However the belt is looked upon by many as an essential gear when it comes to lifting because it helps to stabilize and reduce the stress on the spine, while also correcting body bio mechanics.
When it comes to gym attire, comfort should always come first. But this doesn’t mean that you start lifting wearing trousers or jeans. Also same goes for buttoned down shirts. When it comes to lifting, you need solid flat sneakers and breathable loose fitted clothing that will allow you to go through the motions without restricting your movements. Wear clothing that you can sweat in and once you are leaving the gym, remember to have a sweatshirt on to keep your muscle temperature up.