Strength training is a hugely important part of any workout plan. As well as improving your strength levels, having a higher muscle mass means your body will burn more calories, and it will make cardio and other workouts feel like a dream. Here's our guide to strength training for beginners.
1. Slow and steady
If you're new to weight training, keep things chill. Use enough weight such that you can complete 10 to 12 reps (and two or three sets) per exercise. You want to feel challenged but still in control.
Move the amount of weight you use up gradually when you feel ready, and avoid picking up those heavy weights before you're completely ready. You don't want to get an injury that slows down your progress. Spend the first couple of weeks learning how to do each exercise properly, rather than worrying about how much you're lifting.
2. Have a plan
Decide what you're going to do during your workout before you begin, to ensure that you remain focused and driven during the session.
Firstly, pick the muscle group you want to work on, and then plan which exercises you're going to do and for how long (and at what weight if necessary). Keep your workout full of compound exercises for a well-rounded session that works a variety of muscle groups at once.
3. Don't feel the need to splash out
If you're just getting started with strength training, you'll find that you won't need big weight equipment systems or a hefty gym membership to get a good workout. Bodyweight workouts can be a great place to start, and are completely free. You'll be surprised at how hard you'll work just using the weight f your own body.
4. Don't neglect your form
If you're not sure how to properly execute a move, it's crucial that you ask someone. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself because you're too embarrassed to ask if you're using the right form for a certain type of exercise.
5. Warm up
Start your workout with 10 minutes of light cardio, and ensure you have stretched the muscles you are going to be working on. Supplement your diet with creatine to support power and endurance during high intensity workouts. Check out Innermost's The Power Booster, which will help to increase your power, strength and speed at the gym. Perfect for high-intensity training, it will take your workout to the next level.
6. ...and then remember to relax
So you've conquered your first strength workout. Doesn't it feel great?! Now you need to give your body some time to recover before launching back in.
Use a foam roller after every workout to prevent painful, tight muscles the next day, and ensure you're working different parts of your body on different days to give yourself a chance to heal.
It's also crucial to make sure that you're supplementing your diet with the nutrients that your body needs to repair and develop. Get yourself covered with The Recover Capsules, nootropics that contain research-backed which support your recovery process, reduce inflammation, and regulate hormone activity.
7. Mix it up
As well as making sure to exercise all areas of your body (not necessarily all in the same workout!), keep things fresh with different exercises, to ensure that your muscles don't get used to the same old moves. Constant change will mean that your muscles continue to develop and feel challenged.
8. Feed your gains
Be sure to aid muscle recovery and development with a diet rich in protein, which is vital for building muscle. Check out The Strong Protein for a tasty protein kick combined with added functional ingredients designed to enhance strength and support healthy muscle recovery.
So now you're set. Get out there and smash your first strength workout. Don't forget to keep us updated with your progress on Instagram by tagging us at @liveinnermost in your workout pics!